If your business has SME clients, here’s what you can learn from the 2016 Index:
1 – Increasing costs, an economic downturn and an increase in competition keep SMEs awake at night
Of the 1,526 SMEs we spoke to:
47% are worried about an increase in costs
42% are worried about an economic downturn
34% are concerned about a competitive activity increase
This concern opens up an opportunity to discuss costs with your clients - what information can you provide to help mitigate their concerns? Are you able to advise them on strategies for streamlining their upcoming costs? If the cost of your service is going to increase, it’s important to have a conversation about this as soon as possible so clients are prepared and don’t feel blindsided. Equally, if you are able to help them make a saving, share this news with them so they understand the value your business delivers.
2 – Online dominates when SMEs are looking for a service provider
When SMEs are looking for an insurance broker, 64% turn to the internet.
Unsurprisingly, 35% went straight to Google, but other sources of information frequently referenced included comparison websites and product review websites, along with online forums and social media.
Of those who used Google, the top two search terms were ‘insurance broker’ and ‘insurance broker (state or local area)’ (e.g. insurance broker Melbourne).
Is your website optimised for SEO? Have you included your location in your optimisation keywords? Maximum visibility online is a key driver of business growth that is showing no signs of slowing down.
3 – Referrals and testimonials are critical for driving new business
While 64% of SMEs looking for an insurance broker turned to the internet, 57% also sought recommendations from colleagues, friends and family (30%) or other business advisors such as their accountant or lawyer (27%).
Having an active referral strategy at work within your business is critical for attracting new business without expensive marketing costs. You can achieve this by asking current, satisfied clients to write you reviews and testimonials; and by mentioning to current clients that you’d love it if they could refer you to their friends, family or colleagues. Sometimes a reminder is all it takes.
4 – Regular contact with relevant content drives client satisfaction
Thirty eight per cent of surveyed SMEs want to hear from their insurance broker via email every few months – with an extra 13% wanting email contact every few weeks! This means that over 50% of broker clients expect regular email contact.
In addition to the expectation of regular contact, 75% of highly satisfied broker clients say their broker provides them with in-depth information an analysis of the options available to them; and 81% of highly satisfied broker clients say that their broker provides them with general information about insurance that may affect them in the future.
By providing your clients with more than just the basics you have an opportunity to evolve your relationship from being transactional to being a trusted partnership. You will drive client retention, and increase their perception of your business as a source of trusted advice – ensuring you are top of mind next time they need the services you offer.
The Vero SME Insurance Index 2016 is a valuable research tool for helping brokers understand their clients and exceed their expectations; and implement strategies for strengthening their business.
The 2016 Index is the fifth Index BrandMatters has developed in partnership with Vero. The purpose of the Index is to help insurance brokers to by identifying insurance industry insights; shedding light on the attitudes and behaviours of SMEs with regard to insurance; and highlighting challenges and opportunities in the SME insurance sector.
For more industry insights, we invite you to download a copy of the Vero SME Insurance Index 2016.