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Delivering Exceptional Experiences for Every Customer

Posted By American Insurance Marketing and Sales (AIMS) Society, Friday, February 1, 2019


Delivering Exceptional Experiences for Every Customer


What's the key to creating outstanding customer service?

According to Nicholas Webb, a corporate strategist  and thought leader in the areas of customer experience design and innovation, the key is to build an exceptional experience for customers.

He maintains this success comes by following these principles:

  • Understand your customers by learning what they love and hate.
  • Invent human experiences across five touch points.
  • Express these experiences through digital and nondigital means.

In his book, What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint, Webb defines the five touchpoints at which to invent human experiences:

1.The Pre-Touchpoint Moment
This is the research phase where potential customers explore your business via websites such as Google or Yelp. In addition to an online search, some customers may assess your physical location by driving by to look at the outside or even walk in to critique your office space and staff. Basically, potential customers are taking this time to educate themselves about you — and your reputation.

2. The First Touchpoint Moment
This sets the tone for how customers perceive your service, brand or product. It is the point when customers actually engage with you — and the point where first impressions really do matter.

Webb offers Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa as an excellent example. As guests enter the hotel, they are immediately greeted by enthusiastic, friendly staff and treated like royalty. The hotel’s goal is to help guests get in the vacation mood and jumpstart an amazing visit to the “happiest place on Earth.”

3. The Core Touchpoint Moment
Webb describes this phase as consistently reinventing great ways to serve customers. While your customers may have been happily using your service, you can’t become complacent. Instead, you need to find ways to keep them coming back. This means continuously delivering.

He highlights Trader Joe’s grocery chain as a good example of the core touchpoint. The store’s attention to detail translates into offering pumpkin spice cookies and coffee in the fall, as well as fresh vegetables and flowers in the spring. Trader Joe’s focus is always on the customer.

4. The Perfect Last Touchpoint Moment
This is the final moment that a customer has with your service or product. At this point, you must provide a memorable goodbye — one that makes them want to come back. This is your opportunity to say, “Thank you, and I hope you valued the experience enough to return."

5. The In-Touchpoint Moment
After a customer’s experience has ended, it is very important to stay connected. According to Webb, “You must approach this with an absolute commitment not to sell them anything, but rather to consistently and pleasantly provide them with ongoing value. You want them to willingly come back to you of their own accord, not because you’re shoving some One Time Only shenanigan down their throat.”

The bottom line, insists Webb, is that customer experience is more than just treating customers well. “It’s about architecting a machine that serves others,” he explains. And Webb’s five touchpoints allow any organization to create a customer experience that does just that.

Tags:  AIMS Society  email marketing  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  self-improvement  sellability 

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Should You Advertise on Facebook?

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, January 4, 2019

 

Should You Advertise on Facebook?

During the third quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.27 billion users who visited the site at least monthly, including 1.5 billion users who visited the site at least daily. If contacting a huge number of people is in your marketing plan, then Facebook is a good bet.

 

The social behemoth makes very clear that advertising is its lifeblood. But figuring out how to target, place, budget or measure the effectiveness of Facebook ad campaigns can be confusing.

 

Making an impression. Facebook advertising is more about setting a budget for how much you’re willing to spend per impression instead of paying a set amount to showcase your product. Should you advertise on Facebook? Start by asking if you have the type of advertisement that will draw the attention Facebook seeks. Your ad will compete in an ad auction with every other advertiser on the site, and the amount you pay to advertise will be based on the number of impressions or actions users take when they view your ad. This includes when your ad shows up on users’ news feed or when a user clicks the ad to go to the advertiser’s website.

 

The most successful ads are:

  • Videos
  • "Carousels" with multiple images
  • Those with very little text
  • Flashy

An ad based on a stock photo isn't a good choice for Facebook advertising. Neither is an ad with 100 words describing what you're trying to sell. It matters what the ad looks like, so it's important to spend time with a creative or design team to make something worth spending money on.

 

Invest in the metrics. One of the most essential aspects of this process is figuring out the metrics to understand if your ad is reaching the users you want. If not, then you need to replace the ad, tweak it, or start from scratch. If you don’t have the time and inclination for the process then you may need to hire a firm that does. For a small or medium-sized business, you’re probably getting into expenses you don’t want.

 

Who’s your prospect? Before setting off on this advertising journey, you need to decide who you’re selling to. A small business needs to put its advertising with its current customers, says  Dave Lavinsky, writing for Forbes in the article, “The Hands-Down Best Place to Advertise Your Business.” He says your own customers will buy from you more often, buy higher priced products and will spread the word to their friends about the quality of your service you deliver.

 

Engagement is everything on Facebook. A series of positive comments on an ad or post can go a long way toward helping someone who is researching an insurance product or agency. It is the new word of mouth — just the electronic version.

 

So if you’re just starting to consider and navigate the Facebook advertising world, start with some research. Identify and develop your target audience and curate creative ads that will catch people in their news feeds.

Tags:  AIMS Society  Facebook Ads  insurance marketing and sales  Networking  sellability  Social Media  Technology 

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Top 10 Productivity Tools for Sales & Marketing Professionals

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, November 16, 2018

Top 10 Productivity Tools for Sales & Marketing Professionals

Orchestrating a team can be challenging. Whether you have a team of five or 20, every member has a unique personality and preferences. You also may have a host of processes and systems that you're using in the office.

When was the last time you looked at how you're getting work done? Are you being as productive as possible?

When you use the right productivity tools, your team's efficiency and collaboration will increase — resulting in more sales and better organization. there are a host of technologies, apps and systems out there that are designed to improve workflow.

Here are the top resources for insurance professionals:

  1. DocuSign: Incredibly popular in the insurance industry, DocuSign is an e-signature service that helps reduce inefficient paper processes and email contracts in record time.

  2. Slack: If your team is wasting time with inefficient communication processes, consider using Slack. It’s one of the most effective ways to instantly communicate and message your team members — and it works on both desktop and mobile. You can create “Channels” for specific purposes like marketing and only invite those on the marketing team.

  3. Google Docs: This is one of the most user-friendly tools out there for document collaboration. Think of it as a free online version of Microsoft Office. You can create and share word, spreadsheet, forms and presentation files (like proposals, pitches and sales letters) with other team members in real time.

  4. CamScanner: Download this app to easily scan any document and save it as a PDF. It will even enhance the scanned images and lift out important pieces of information like dates, titles and prices. You can also add notes and drawings to your scanned images.

    Note: If you have the Google Drive app on your phone, you can not only access your Google Docs but scan receipts and documents. You can share files immediately and access them later.

  5.  Trello: This collaboration tool helps you organize and prioritize projects and tasks. You can see who’s working on what, where something is in a process and what the next steps are for each prospect. Trello is great for delegating tasks, creating automatic to-do lists and keeping things transparent.

  6. CRM: You’re in a customer-centric business, so it makes sense to have an effective customer relationship management (CRM) system. It’s essential for growing your agency and managing leads and customers every step of the way. HubSpot has a free CRM, but if you’re looking for something personalized, consider Salesforce, Insightly, Zoho and Infusionsoft.

  7. SignOn Once by ID Federation: If you struggle with maintaining passwords and IDs, you’re not alone. It’s one of the biggest pain points among carriers and agencies. SignOn Once enables one identity to replace multiple logins for insurance system users. That way, you can spend less time resetting passwords and more time focused on serving prospects and clients.

  8. Evernote: This is the system for someone who loves sticky notes and keeps infinite tabs open in their browser. With Evernote you can take pictures, save websites and write to-do lists. It’s like your very own digital notebook. You can create different sections for different areas of focus and tag each document or idea — keeping everything you may need in one spot.

  9. Voice-to-Text: You may not think this would be helpful, but have you ever thought about how much time you spend typing something instead of saying it? Or have you ever had a great idea while waiting and didn’t have time to type a note? Voice recognition software has been around for a while, but the technology is finally advanced enough for the translation to be correct instead of jumbled. Consider a robust software like Dragon or start with a free app like Cortana.

  10. Zapier: If you have plenty of leads coming in but are getting bogged down with the follow-up process, consider an automation process. For example, if you get an email with an attachment, you can set up a “trigger” that copies the attachment into your Google Drive and then alerts you in Slack. You can integrate all of your systems like email, social media, email marketing and so much more.

Tags:  AIMS Society  Branding  business value  efficiency  email marketing  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  sellability  Social Media  teamwork 

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Why You Should Care about Facebook Ads

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, October 5, 2018


Why You Should Care about Facebook Ads

How can your insurance agency drive business with Facebook?

People spend an absurd amount of time on social media. That’s one of the reasons your agency is active on social media.

But Facebook’s algorithm changes have caused organic reach (the number of people who see your content without you paying for it) to drastically decline. This means that only a fraction of your page followers actually see your posts.

Have you seen that “Boost Post” button in the bottom right hand corner of your post? If you’ve tried it, that means you’re interested in getting more eyeballs on your content. But it’s the easy way out. If you’re looking to really target your core audience, increase brand awareness and eventually drive people to your website, you need to dig deeper.

How Facebook Ads Can Help

  1. Use data you already have. You already have a list of people interested and aware of your agency: You have an entire e-newsletter list worth of email
    addresses and data telling you who’s visited your website in the past few months. If you’re trying to boost leads and generate conversions, shouldn’t you focus on them? With Facebook, you can easily upload your email or data lists to seek out the same and similar individuals. A new target list will be created based on common demographic information found in your uploaded data — and voila! You have an audience that is much more likely to move through the customer journey.

  2. You can focus where your content goes. Hopefully you’ve already spent time looking at your current customer demographics or defining your ideal       customers. If you have this information, you can target specific Facebook users by location, age, gender, behavior, interests and connections. See what   we’re saying? For example, you can even get your agency in front of people who have recently purchased or gone through a big life event.

  3. You can test and repeat … and test and repeat. When creating a new Facebook ad, you can choose from a variety of “Campaign Objectives” based on what goals or results you want.

    • Clicks to Website: Targets people who have historically clicked on Facebook links that go to external websites.
    • Page Post Engagement: Aims to boost engagement with likes, shares and comments.
    • Video Views: Shows your video to the people whom Facebook knows are more likely to watch it.

    The beauty of Facebook advertising is that you can test one of these objectives this month and test another objective the next. With an open mentality, you can see what works and find different followers in the process.


  4. Budget friendly. The good news is that you don’t have to spend much to use Facebook ads effectively. But you do need to know what you’re doing. Start by limiting your promotions to one a week while posting regular content. Test your ads on a variety of audiences and objectives to see what works best.  

Remember, kicking off a Facebook ad won’t immediately give you tons of leads and website traffic. It takes time. If you want to learn more, check out Facebook Blueprint courses. It’s a great way to jump in and learn how it works.

Tags:  AIMS Society  algorithms  Facebook Ads  Networking  Social Media  Technology 

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PODCAST - AVA President Craig Most - Time to Reset Your Agency Marketing

Posted By AIMS SOCIETY, Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Agents typically are strong salespeople, but customer and prospect marketing? Not so much. What should they do about that? What resources are available? What is working for smart agencies, such as niches? Listen to this action-packed podcast as Tampa-based agency principal Craig Most walks us through his thought-provoking marketing ideas. Video blogging and co-branded Smart Cars are just two ideas he outlines. Craig also serves as president of the American Insurance Marketing and Sales Society, or AIMS Society, providing agencies a wealth of shared marketing talent and ideas.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

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