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Like any business owner, you want to increase the amount of money your agency makes. And to do that, you need to not only bring in new customers but also retain the ones you have. What you may not know is the right tool can play a major role. It’s time to learn how your agency can make money with a mobile app…

Understanding the Value of Mobile Apps

Until now, you may have only thought of a mobile app as a necessary expense to stay “in tune” with the digital world and compete with digital-only agencies. But maybe you’re ahead of the curve and realize mobile accessibility is table stakes – something you need to meet minimum customer expectations. If you have, you’re on the right track. The fact is, moving your agency into the mobile space is necessary in today’s world.

However, it’s not because it keeps your agency “relevant” in the 21st century. A mobile app is necessary because it helps you retain your customers and increase productivity. After all, connectivity and ease of use are key to the policyholder experience.

When a huge chunk of your business comes from customer referrals (and we all know it does), you want to retain as many customers as possible. That means you need to stay connected with them and make it as easy as possible to do business with you. And that’s where a mobile app comes into play…

Make Money with a Mobile App by Engaging, Containing, and Retaining

Here’s the thing… Your agency can retain customers AND make money with a mobile app. If you think this is a pretty bold statement, you’re not alone. Many insurance agents are just as skeptical. Right now, you’re probably wondering, “How does that even work?”

I promise, the formula involved isn’t nearly as mysterious as you may believe. It’s actually pretty simple. It comes down to engaging your customers and containing them within your agency, which ultimately increases the likelihood of retaining their business.  

Engage + Contain = Retain

Let’s break that down…

Engage

The first part of the formula (and of the way you make money with a mobile app) is engagement. You need to keep customers engaged in a practical way. And what is the one thing people always have with them? That’s right – their smartphone.

Most people are not only attached to their phone but also comfortable doing virtually everything on it. From paying bills to submitting change requests, people expect to be able to do most tasks on their device. That’s because today’s insurance ads make mobile access an expected level of service.

So, it only makes sense to take advantage of this! When you let customers get things done easily, it makes them happy. Plus, it saves your staff members time, allowing them to work more productively.

Occupying real estate on someone’s smartphone is huge. And if you aren’t doing so already, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity. 

Here’s another way of thinking about it: The longer you demand that customers engage with you on your terms, the quicker you’ll lose them. The key to engagement lies in anticipating your clients’ needs and interacting with them where they are. We already know people love using their phones. So, why not be where they want you to be when they need you.

Don’t force them to come to you. Go to them!

The insurance industry as a whole can do so much better at engaging with people where and how they want to be engaged. Get clients to their information – such as agency details, forms, policy data, change requests, and IDs – quickly. In doing so, you can look forward to higher customer satisfaction and greater engagement.

And it can start with something as simple as a mobile app.

Contain

The second part of the formula is containment. More specifically, it’s about containing your customers within your agency. Unfortunately, this is the part that tends to create the most confusion when learning how an agency can ultimately make money with a mobile app.

Let’s look at how having your own app can help contain customers in two ways…

1. It ensures your agency, not the carrier, stays front and center. 

Once you understand how important a mobile app is, you may assume any mobile app will do. You may be thinking, “The insurance companies I work with have mobile apps. Perfect. I’ll just have my customers download their mobile apps. It’s cheap and easy, and it’ll make them happy.”

The problem is that you’ve just made yourself and your agency irrelevant. You’ve just given up your chance at establishing prime mobile real estate to a carrier. Every time they tap their phone and see that insurance company’s app icon, your customer won’t be thinking about you. The truth is that most policyholders see the carrier logo more often than yours.

However, when your customer uses your app to pay their insurance bill, file a claim, use their POI, build a property inventory, send you a change-of-policy request, or even call you, they will see your branding and think of you. This allows you to be the connector – not the carrier.

Having your own mobile app makes you relevant. It makes you necessary. It keeps you in between the customer and the carrier (and maybe even other agencies). Further, it gives clients a way to experience insurance beyond an insurance bill and a declaration page they don’t understand.

2. It keeps your customers away from Google.

There’s one more pressing, but slightly technical way in which an agency mobile app can help you contain your customers: It keeps them away from Google. Although this may not seem like a big deal, the reality is that Google is where your customers become fair game to other insurance agencies and companies.

How? Cookies. Specifically, the digital cookies that sneakily embed themselves in your browser.

Here’s how it works…

  • When a customer performs an insurance search, they’re cookie-d as an “insurance consumer.”
  • That cookie then alerts relevant businesses (i.e., other insurance agencies or companies) to show your customer their advertisements.

Without an agency mobile app, your customers will probably Google you for whatever information they need. And your website cannot give them the advanced tools and technology they want. So, you risk them venturing out and being snatched up by one of your competitors that can deliver.

Google is a digital battlefield. It’s where you have to be to attract new customers, but it’s not where you want to send your current customers.

With a mobile app, you put a nice wall around your customers that shields them from the onslaught of online insurance advertisements. Essentially, you keep them contained in your agency.

Retain

This brings us to the last part of the formula – retention. When you combine customer engagement and containment, you get retention. And it’s that retention that allows you to make money with a mobile app.

  • Mobile app engagement keeps your agency at the top of your customers’ minds.
  • Mobile app containment makes you necessary and leaves your customers less vulnerable.

When you’re engaging with a customer in the way they want and decreasing their exposure to your competition, you’re much more likely to retain their business. You lose fewer customers to the competition. Plus, you spend less bringing in new customers, as many who are happy with your service will go on to refer your agency to others! 

Takeaway

By now you should have a better understanding of how you can make money with a mobile app – specifically one that’s unique to your agency. By engaging and containing current customers with your app, you can increase retention. The more customers you retain, the more cost-saving opportunities you create, the more money in your pocket.

Engage + Contain = Retain

It’s as simple as that.