As a restoration contractor, working with insurance carriers is a highly beneficial way to grow your restoration business. The fact is, insurance carriers need your services as much as you need their referrals. Your partnerships with carriers can boost profits, and help build a lasting referral network that continues to reward you with successful growth.
In fact, you may be surprised at just how lucrative this type of partnership is. Research has found that:
- Satisfied customers in the U.S. will share their positive customer experience with at least 11 other people.
- 77% of customers have stayed loyal to the same brand for a decade or more.
- A 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 75%.
- 90% of people trust recommendations from their family and friends.
It’s easy to see just how pivotal the right kind of partnership with an insurance carrier can be. So with that being said, how do you get started?
How Can insurance carriers help you grow your business?
You already know how valuable your services are to helping insurance carriers help their customers. But how can they help you? First, it’s important to remember that an insurance agent is often the first person that the homeowner calls when disaster strikes. The homeowner understandably wants to be sure that their coverage is going to kick in and how much they can expect to be reimbursed for the damages.
Because the insurance company and the homeowner already have an established relationship, the homeowner has a certain expectation of how their claim will be handled. Considering that 85% of homeowners have homeowners insurance, having the insurance company recommend you for restoration work practically guarantees you’ll get the business.
The trust that the homeowners have placed in their insurance company then extends to you as well. When you can respond at the point when the homeowner needs you most, much of that goodwill from their relationship will automatically extend to you. It’s then up to you to build upon it and keep the foundation of your referral network secure.
Your first steps to working with insurance carriers
Now that you understand the importance of partnering with insurance professionals in your area, the real question is: how do you do it? Follow these tips to make sure your restoration company’s name is the first in the insurance carriers’ minds when it comes to making sure their customers get quality, affordable work done by a reputable restoration contractor.
Show them how you’re different
Why should these insurance carriers pay attention to what you have to offer? One of the first steps to making them pay attention is to promote your unique value proposition—the differences you bring to the table that set you apart from the competition. Your UVP isn’t just a matter of saying that you have the best service or the most affordable prices, but rather what you do better than anyone else in your industry.
If you’re still not sure, go to local industry events and network with insurance carriers or consider co-sponsoring local events or online webinars. The idea is to not only get your name out there, but also to see what kinds of trends are making waves in the world of homeowner insurance. Ask yourself how you can uniquely position what you have to offer to fit in seamlessly with those trends and shifts in the market.
Deliver an incredible customer experience
Customers are looking to their insurance company to help them in a time of dire need. The insurance company, in turn, is looking to you to provide an excellent customer experience. During this time, people are vulnerable, afraid, and upset. When you go the extra mile, you make the insurance company look like a winner in their client’s eyes, and this ensures you’ll continue to receive their highest recommendations and referrals.
Don’t forget to show your appreciation!
It’s also important to show your appreciation to the insurance company for referring you. Even small tokens of appreciation like a phone call, a thank you card, or even a small gift can demonstrate how much their referral matters to you.
Referrals go both ways!
If you have clients who are looking for a reputable and helpful insurance company, why not direct them to the carrier(s) you’re working with? A poor customer experience can send many users looking for alternatives, and since the insurance and restoration industries are so closely intertwined, it makes sense that they’d ask you who you might recommend.
Even if you don’t get asked by your customers for referrals, you can always help promote the insurance company by sponsoring local events or sharing their contact information with your network.
Maintaining the relationship with TPAs
You may be inclined to think that the referral relationship ends once the work is done, but nothing could be farther from the truth! These days it’s more important than ever to take steps to build better relationships with insurance agents—primarily because so much is handled by third-party administrators (TPAs).
When surveyed, contractors noted that 80% of their work was contract work, with the remaining 20% being TPA work. The TPA figure increases considerably—up to a third—when dealing with franchises. Contractors note that one of the key factors that stands out about TPA work is tighter regulations and restrictions, making compliance a number-one priority. With more and more insurance carriers relying on TPAs to handle their administrative workload, contractors who take steps to forge relationships with these TPAs will have much greater referral success in the long run.
By understanding the TPA model at a deeper level, you can uncover some gold nuggets that will significantly enhance your own business, including:
- Greater cost efficiency – TPAs were originally formed to help make the claims process more cost efficient. This helps eliminate discrepancies and waste, and prevents price from being the only determining factor in choosing a restoration company.
- Faster service – TPAs are required to track response times and progress, which means that they’re more likely to partner with companies that can get the job done quickly while setting efficient and timely deadlines.
- Improved customer service – TPAs also regulate how quickly claims are responded to, as well as how quickly estimates are provided and work is completed. All of this reflects on the insurance carrier and makes an impression on the policyholder.
Just imagine if you could reach and grow your TPA relationships—what would an extra 20% mean for your bottom line and your business success?
The best platform for keeping adjusters in the know
It’s one thing to share tips and advice, but it’s another thing entirely to actively manage these relationships and keep everyone on the same page with restoration progress. Fortunately, there’s help: DASH is Next Gear’s job management platform designed exclusively from Next Gear to keep insurance adjusters and contractors continuously updated on a job’s progress, so that the TPAs can, in turn, advise their policyholders in a timely and efficient manner.
Adjusters can get on-demand details on the job’s progression in order to provide prompt communication to their clients. And this is just one of the many features available as part of the DASH system. Together, the referral network tips shared here, along with the system to help manage them more effectively, creates a win-win situation for both parties and ensures a prosperous business relationship for years to come.
Start building referral habits that deliver a steady stream of leads today!
By keeping these points in mind and following these steps, you’ll be able to start building a strong foundation and a referral network to continually reward you while creating a win-win-win relationship between you, local insurance carriers, and homeowners in need.