The Stewardship Review…Your Systematic Approach to Client Engagement
Do you have a process for “checking in” on your treasured clients? Maybe you send them an email around the holidays to see how they are doing. Perhaps you have a note in your agency management system to reach out on their birthdays. Realistically, you may just schedule a meeting a few months before their renewal. If you struggle to maintain a consistent approach, consider implementing a formalized process—or Stewardship Review—to ensure you have an accurate pulse on how your client is progressing. Making an effort to show how much you care about their continued success creates a differentiated customer experience.
At Beyond Insurance, we host yearly Stewardship Reviews for each of our Beyond Insurance Global Network partners. They, in turn, use a similar process with their clients. It’s just one example of a process you can use to assure you are always exceeding client expectations, maintaining long-term relationships and assuring loyalty. Check out how our leadership team devotes time to the agency’s management team to add value to the relationship and consider a client review of your own to determine the following:
- How is the client doing? It seems like a basic question but we make sure to take an active listening approach. Our goal is to hear about them, not to talk about us. We continue by asking probing and open-ended questions, such as “How has your agency growth been?,” “Are you meeting the goals you’ve set for the firm this year?,” and “What have been your greatest achievements since we last spoke?” Business leaders appreciate the opportunity to share about their success and challenges, especially when they feel that the other party is genuinely interested in what they have to say. Letting the client know that you’re here to listen—not product or solution dump—is critical to opening the dialogue.
- What challenges are they facing? We ask this question not only to see how we can help, but also to encourage the client’s leadership team to take a step back and think, “How can we be better as an organization?” Management, especially in smaller organizations, can be so entrenched in the day-to-day operations of a business that they don’t always take the necessary time to reflect and recognize what challenges may be impeding their growth. Create an environment where your clients see you as a trusted confidant and sounding board.
- How can we be a better partner? We save this question for last, after we’ve heard their successes and challenges. The purpose of the Stewardship Review is to listen, so it’s important to establish and maintain that credibility throughout the meeting. However, you want to make sure you’re adding value to the client and continuing to be a resource as they work through the challenges they mentioned. The key is to be genuinely open to the feedback and take it to heart. They may be disappointed in the level of services you are providing, which is better to know now rather than when it’s time to renew. The goal is to maintain a long-lasting relationship that leads to mutual growth opportunities.
The Stewardship Review demonstrates that you have the utmost concern and respect for your clients and ensures that they are receiving the level of service that initially led them to select you as their risk advisor. By implementing this systematic client-satisfaction review, you will identify and address concerns, increase loyalty, and reap lifelong mutual rewards.