As a Nationwide agent, you understand the power of a recognized brand and providing a superior customer experience to your customers at all times. But now that you will no longer be an exclusive agent under the Nationwide umbrella, you have the opportunity to define your agency’s own custom brand and design a unique customer experience journey. There are several components of this brand building that you’ll want to tackle first:
1. Define Your Agency Logo
If you don’t have a logo for your agency already, it is suggested that you work with a professional graphic designer to develop a custom one for your agency. There are a range of options for finding someone to help you in this area from online graphic design services to working with a professional advertising firm. Another advantage of working with a graphic designer to develop your agency logo is that they will be able to provide it in a variety of formats for any web, print or signage needs you may have later. You will need to determine what is best for your budget and needs but the ultimate goal is to have a logo that represents the overall image you want to portray for your agency.
2. Co-Brand with Trusted Choice®
As a Nationwide agency, you’re familiar with the power a recognized brand has with consumers. The unified consumer brand for independent agents is Trusted Choice®. What’s unique about the Trusted Choice® brand is that it doesn’t replace an agency’s own brand but is there to compliment and strengthen it. Co-branding with Trusted Choice® allows an independent agency to maintain their own unique brand but tie in with a brand that is promoted across the country. If you make the decision to join AIIA, your agency will benefit from co-branding with Trusted Choice® and the many available marketing resources including customizable design materials (print, video, social media graphics), consumer content for various platforms, training on advertising and customer service, etc. Even better, Trusted Choice® can customize their materials for you for free AND they offer money back through the Marketing Reimbursement Program to help offset expenses for co-branding with the logo in your agency’s advertising, signage and promotional items. Learn more here.
3. Establish Online Presence
Using the Internet and social media is key to enhancing your agency’s visibility to consumers. The first and most important part of building a strong online presence for your agency is to make sure that you have a website that will both attract prospects and also provide valuable customer service to your existing clients. With over 80% of insurance consumers today beginning their search for insurance online, the quality and curb appeal of your website, and its visibility in search engines is critical to your agency’s success. There are many great companies and web designers you can engage to help you build a new website. However, we recommend partnering with a company that specializes in building websites specifically for independent insurance agencies as they understand the functionality and consumer needs that are specific to insurance.
Once you have built a website for your agency (or updated your existing one if it’s time for a refresh), you should also consider incorporating social media and digital advertising into your overall marketing strategy to enhance your agency’s visibility online and in your local community.
Trusted Choice® also provides two great resources to help its member agencies with improving online presence. The Digital Review provides a one-on-one consultation and detailed report on how you can improve your agency website and social media outlets with actionable steps. The Marketing Reimbursement Program also provides money back to help offset the cost of making a digital upgrade to your website, social media or mobile app.
4. Customer Acquisition and Servicing
It goes without saying that you need to have strong tools in place to help acquire new customers to grow your agency while also providing an exceptional customer experience to retain them. You may have many options for customer acquisition – from the traditional methods of advertising and referrals to online tools like SEO and purchasing leads. You will need to identify the tools that are right for your agency but a successful plan may include several of these. As you transition into the independent agency system, we strongly encourage you to incorporate online tools as the number of consumers searching for insurance online increases every day. For online customer acquisition, www.TrustedChoice.com is the leader for driving personal and consumer insurance shoppers to independent insurance agencies with exclusive, qualified referrals. There are several different packages available with varying levels of service and benefits.
To ensure you maintain a strong client base, you will need to provide the experience that today’s modern consumer has come to expect with around the clock service and access to your agency. This is a great opportunity to create a customer journey that is unique to your agency and allows you to differentiate yourself from the competition. Some of the tools available to help you meet today’s demands of providing exceptional customer service no matter the time or day are a custom mobile app for your agency, AI-powered chatbot for your agency, and after-hours answering service to help with calls that come in to your agency when you’re closed.