Agents Buying Into Gold
It’s not the economy that the Independent Agent (IA) is worried about, it’s growing their business. And to help achieve this growth, they’re buying Safeco Gold Service. A new high for Safeco Gold Service was recently attained when the premium for policies serviced reached $1.5 billion!
“It’s pretty amazing how the amount of booked business has doubled in size in the last four years. We are currently ahead of our forecast for this year,” said Dave Peirce, director, Business Development and Marketing. “If this trend continues, we could double the business again in five years. Gold Service now accounts for 26% of all Safeco business— up from 17% only four years earlier!”
Why Safeco Gold?
One could assume that the value of Gold is rising, and, as a whole, you’d be right. But there are several factors contributing to Gold’s success. Existing IAs are reaching a point with their business that, in order to grow their book, they have to off-load the day-to-day management so that they can focus on maintaining their existing customer business as well as pursuing new business customers.
“Several factors contribute to Gold’s success. Gold agents, as a group, perform better than non-Gold agents, and generally have higher renewal retention. Gold CSRs also help cross-sell accounts, growing the agents’ book of business and driving growth for Safeco,” said Josh Stirpe, director, Licensed Sales. “We have also just gotten better at articulating the Gold Service value proposition to the agent.”
Working with Licensed Sales there is a constant referral and cross-sell of services with Gold Service. One out of every 10 calls that comes into a Safeco customer call center is an opportunity to sell. To identify these opportunities more precisely there are more metrics available from which to make informed decisions as to where, when, and how to target IAs for these cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. “We’ve been successful in bringing a suite of products and tools to help them grow in this space,” adds Josh Stirpe.
“We’re proud of the fact that Gold Service has reached this milestone. Through better communication and a continually improving level of collaboration between our teams, we are achieving even greater results,” said Carly Wells, site manager of the sales center in Spokane, Washington.
The biggest reason for the rush to buy Gold just might be the CSRs themselves. “When an agent comes to visit us at our site and I get to speak with them, they continually comment on how the Gold CSRs make the program so successful,” said Greg Salsbury, gold customer service manager. “The agents consider the Gold CSR as an extension of their agency and a trusted advisor for their clients.”
The current trend to “buy Gold” looks good, and so does future business growth for Safeco.