Brooks Brokers is an insurance provider. They offer a wide variety of products ranging from car and home insurance to pet and marine cover. The company advertises nationally in the media and works closely with most price comparison sites. As they invest heavily in search engine optimisation and pay-per-click keywords, most of their customers come either from their own website or from comparison sites.

About a month before a policy is about to expire, they send out a reminder to their customer informing them of the premium for the coming year and advising them that the policy will renew automatically, unless instructed otherwise. The envelope also contains a glossy colourful leaflet informing the customer of all the other fantastic products that Brooks Brokers provides. 

The letters and the leaflet tend to have a counterproductive effect as they simply serve as a reminder to their clients that it may be time to look for a better deal elsewhere. The leaflet ends up in the recycling pile and the letter functions as a scratchpad for jotting down competitors’ offers. As a result, Brooks Brokers loses about a third of their customer base each year and has to replenish that shortfall with new customers by continuing to invest heavily in advertising and attractive introductory inducements.

In a change of strategy, Brooks Brokers’ marketing director decides to use their call centre to make a personal call to each customer prior to sending the renewal notification.

The call is not just intended to inform the customer of their renewal date and new premium, but also to learn about each customer’s personal circumstances and detect opportunities for augmenting their existing level of cover with other insurance products which would not only deliver important savings to the customer but also extend their association with Brooks Brokers for many years to come.

In order to achieve this, the call centre works closely with the marketing department to produce sophisticated call scripts which would prompt the agent to ask the right questions and construct appropriate individual offers for each customer. The scripts reduce the need to re-train the call centre agents and the data collected from them allows the Brooks Brokers marketers to refine their product strategy in a virtuous cycle of improvement. 

As a result, when the renewal letter lands on the customer’s mat, it isn’t just a reminder, but simply a confirmation of the new deal discussed and agreed upon over the phone. Not only is customer retention dramatically improved, but the average revenue per customer is also largely increased. New customers are now net contributors to the company’s growth instead of just filling the gaps left by the ones who used to leave each year. A timely, well-structured telephone conversation has made all the difference.