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A binder often including more than one reinsurer.
Insurance Industry News from ProgramBusiness.comBorrowing Some Good Ideas
You never know when or where you'll pick up a good idea -- or from what industry! Too many business people wear blinders and are oblivious to what companies outside their own industry are doing. That's why I am so grateful to earn a living by interacting with numerous industries and experts on a daily basis.
A recent article in Automotive News definitely caught my attention. It was a sampling of ideas that were generated from what are called "Dealer Twenty Groups". These are regimented groupings of similar dealers from non-competitive geographic areas. Once a quarter they get together to share ideas that work for them. Some of the recent ideas are applicable to any industry, including insurance:
POSTAL LABOR FOR FREE. If a company downloads its current customer database onto a disc and brings it to the local post office, the post office will update your information for free. Postal workers will make changes to spelling and zip codes, replacing any old addresses with the correct forwarding address. TOLL FREE TRACKING. 800 numbers have become relatively inexpensive, with some businesses reporting that they get as many as ten toll-free numbers for only $10 per month. When advertising, use a different 800# in each ad or marketing piece. By tracking the calls (your phone bill) to each number, you are able to quantify the effectiveness of each piece. WELCOME WAGON. Believe it or not, the Welcome Wagon is alive and well in most communities. What better time to have information about your agency placed into the hands of a new arrival. OOPS BASKETS. I love this one and it is designed to mitigate damage from situations where the customer became dissatisfied. Send a small basket containing such items as: aspirin, antacid tablets, ice pack, Band-Aids, pain reliever ointment, etc. Along with the basket include a short note to the effect that "We hope that these remedies will help relieve the side effects of our mistake and will serve as our heartfelt apology for any inconvenience or distress you may have encountered." FREQUENT FLYERS. Everyone seems to accumulate frequent flyer miles today. Most airlines will let businesses purchase such miles for as little as two cents per mile for promotional purposes. How about offering 1,000 free miles ($20) for anyone who calls for an insurance review? And I'm sure you can think of many more creative ways to utilize this high profile, low cost tool. DEAR SPOUSE. Employee morale has a lot to do with the morale of the spouses. Next time an employee does a great job, send a letter to his/her spouse. Tell them what a great job their spouse has been doing and that you really appreciate their support which makes it all possible. Sticking with the automotive industry, the retention of good employees seems to be a continual issue for every business -- again including insurance. The Tuttle-Click Automotive Group in Arizona and California has always enjoyed a great reputation as a company that treats employees exceptionally well. When the owners found out that many of their employees were concerned about funding college costs for their children, they started thinking about the issue. A chance encounter with a banking friend educated them to the fact that this particular bank paid college benefits to its employees' children.
Today, the Tuttle-Click organization will pay up to $4,000 per child per year for any employee who has been with the company for at least three years. The money, administered through the Minnesota-based Citizens Scholarship Foundation of America, is available for tuition, books and fees. In 2000, Tuttle-Click helped 55 students for a total of just over $100,000 -- a little less than $2000 each. This can be an excellent employee motivation and retention tool for businClick for the whole story...