The saying “You only have one shot to make a first impression” is incredibly true today. When the average American’s attention span is only 7 seconds you don’t have too much time to get their attention. In insurance there is no shortage of competition and when Geico is spending over $1 billion in marketing this year there is a heck of a lot of buying attention you need to compete with. So the question is what kind of impression is your agency making to your customers and target market?
Many insurance agencies haven’t given much thought to building a brand. You networked, had a sign and sponsored a few community events and the phone rang. But in today’s world where the first thing we do is check Amazon reviews, we have to build brands that build trust and likability. Your brand extends past your logo, it’s everything from how you pick up the phone, your website’s look and feel, your social media and even your business cards. Everything lends to an impression on how you do business.
Let me take you through an exercise on branding that helps connect the dots. Let’s think about if you ran a dentist’s office. Let’s face it, no one is excited to see you, you have to touch base with them twice per year and generally no one ever flosses enough (similar to insurance where rates rarely go down). So let’s tell the tale of two dentists one that has invested in branding and one who just focuses on being a dentist and misses the customer appeal.
Dentist 1: Average Dentist
You need a new dentist so you call the one someone refers to you. They have had the same dentist forever, so it has to be good right? Plus your dentist expectations are low. You get to the office and it’s ok – a little drab and the magazines are a few months old. You proceed to wait the standard 20 minutes because no doctor is ever on time. Finally when you get in there the equipment looks a little dated but you just need a cleaning. They proceed with the normal set up, give you a toothbrush and you head on your way. All and all nothing memorable, but on your way home you drive by a new dentist and think… what would it be like there?
Dentist 2: Modern Dentist
You drive by this office that has an outdoor electric sign with a funny saying on it and you immediately smile. When is the last time the dentist made you giggle? The office has plenty of parking, bright colors and there are kids coming out with balloons. When you get home you hop on their website and it’s modern, fresh and engaging. There are actually pictures of the team on their site. You can actually schedule an appointment online. Which you do for your next cleaning and you get a friendly text confirming your appointment. They also send you a follow up email introducing you to your hygienist. You already feel great.
The day of the appointment you get a text reminder with a link for directions – handy! You get to the office and it’s modern and there are 3 people there to greet you. It’s like their website is an extension of their office. Your name is actually on a sign in the lobby welcoming you. Low and behold, after you fill out the details you need on an iPad you are quickly escorted to a room. No wait! The room is bright and comfortable. The hygienist comes in and introduces herself and you already know she likes dogs because of the email they sent you. So no awkward conversations.
You look up and there is a “Where’s Waldo?” poster on the ceiling! Yes! Something to do while getting a cleaning. They offer you an electric toothbrush head or toothbrush. What a difference! A day later you get a survey on your experience and immediately leave a review.
So the question is which dentist would you prefer? One with an intentional brand or one that looks like they don’t really care? When you invest in your agency’s look and feel it’s contagious to the rest of the business. Your customer experience and brand go hand and hand! Build your brand and your customer experience will follow.