Many opportunities present themselves to businesses at Valentine’s. The one I have chosen to address today is retention. Don’t we all say that we do care about our customers, we care about our employees and their families, we care about business opportunities, we care about our community and the list goes on?
They are all very important but one is often forgotten; Retention. I have been in the business for many years and spent countless hours in meetings and on committees to discuss and strategize on how to grow the business but very seldom on how to retain the business. What do we really do to retain our valued customers, and employees as a matter of fact? How do we differentiate from our competitors in that area? We all know how much more it costs to gain new business compared to retaining actual customers. How much does it cost to attract and train new talent?
Valentine’s Day offers a unique opportunity to contact customers at a time they do not expect it. For most of them it is not renewal time and it is not as busy for your employees. So why not use this time to contact your customers and say how much you love serving them. The contacts could
be by phone for your “A” customers and e-mails for the others.
The best idea I have heard about saying ‘we love you’ to customers is to host an event around Valentine’s. One broker had an open house to invite his customers to visit their office and meet with the team. Valentine’s themed decorations adorned the office. Each visitor left with a very small bag containing a few pieces of chocolate and a card describing their services. The brokerage had a retention strategy of which the Valentine’s appreciation day was just one of the elements. Through implementation of their unique strategies, retention levels increased quickly.
A company that I worked at before joining Keal used another idea to show their appreciation. Every Valentine’s Day the Management served a full breakfast to the employees. I cooked eggs to order, someone was on the bacon and toast, fresh juice was pressed by others, service was done at the table. That and a few other ideas they utilized benefitted them such that the employee retention peaked to 99.5% for the last three years I was there.
Why not use the occasion to send a letter to the family of your employees saying how much you appreciate the work that Mom or Dad do for your company. Someone I know keeps $50 per employee from the salary pool to offer $50 movie pass to the employees’ family on the occasion. What a nice way to build a strong relationship; it reminds me of the days when my Dad would come home with a turkey from his boss; we were excited. Why wouldn’t a family appreciate an event at a local movie theatre at the expense of the boss?
Finally, never forget the importance of the community you work in. Spring is at our door; why not ask the employees to bring an article of clothing or two to give to those in need.
Whatever you decide to do, one thing is for sure; we at Keal love our Broker partners from coast to coast. So much that we are investing a large portion of our revenue listening to you and understanding your needs. In 2017 in addition to our regular updates we will introduce three new products we are adopting from our parent company Vertafore to help you better serve your customers, thereby allowing you to obtain better retention and the power to attract new customers.
We love serving you!
Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Client Solutions