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Sad to See You Go: Should Agents Follow Up on a Request to Cancel?

When a customer sends you a cancellation request, do you follow up with a letter asking if there is a problem?
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Q: When a customer sends you a cancellation request, do you follow up with a letter asking if there is a problem?

Response 1: You can, but they might not answer the letter. You could call confirming the request and ask the question.

Response 2: Having a practice of following up on cancellations is a management decision for each agency. I'm not sure a letter will solicit much response, as it would take some effort on the part of the customer to respond. 

If the customer calls you to ask for the policy to be canceled, it should be an agency practice to ask the reason why when they are on the phone. Also, a personal phone call may be a better way to obtain the reason than a letter. In its place, some agencies send a quick, easy survey, like Survey Monkey or Zoho, to simply ask them to share the reason for leaving. 

Don't be surprised if the majority of those who answer say “price." There is a reason for that. Although the price might be a contributing factor, a small price difference would not make them move if they loved you. On the flip side, most people are non-confrontational and will not come out and tell you that your service is horrible, or that they can't stand the person assigned to handle their account, so they will just answer “price." 

It is up to management to determine if this information is needed and how to obtain it. If you do get responses, what will you do about it? If your goal is to continue to maintain a relationship with that customer, hoping they will be back in the future, then a letter would probably not accomplish that.

Some agencies send a letter about four months after the customer left the agency saying, “We miss you and want you to know we would love to have the opportunity to serve your insurance needs." Once again, this is a management decision.

Response 3: If you want to know if there is a problem, pick up the phone and call the customer.

Response 4: This is more a marketing question than a coverage or legal one. If you are happy to have this client go elsewhere, you process the cancellation and send them an email or letter confirming you have complied with their request.

If it is a client you would like to retain, you contact them, preferably by phone or text for expediency, to see if there is anything that has disturbed them and try to rectify it. You then either continue coverage or process the cancellation as directed.

One thing to consider: When you lose a client, you should keep a specific-as-possible record in your agency management system as to why they left. That way, management can know why clients are leaving and act accordingly.

This question was originally submitted by an agent through the Big “I" Virtual University's (VU) Ask an Expert Service, with responses curated from multiple VU faculty members. Answers to other coverage questions are available on the VU website. If you need help accessing the website, request login information.

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Friday, November 13, 2020
Sales & Marketing