February 22, 2023 by Adam Mitchell
People love their smartphones. And even those who claim they don’t still spend hours using them every day. A study last year by cybersecurity company NordVPN found 66% of Canadians even use their phones while in the washroom.
I’ve always wondered what someone’s price would be to stop texting forever. In late 2022, I posted a LinkedIn poll asking, “If I gave you $1 million, would you give up texting for life?” Over 130 people submitted responses and 26% said ‘No.’
As brokers, knowing how ingrained texting is in people’s daily lives means we can absolutely leverage the technology to meet clients – both existing and prospective – where they are.
It’s challenging to make a sale if you can’t get hold of someone. And these days, the easiest and fastest way to reach them is by text.
Don’t believe me? Think about it this way: how many unread emails do you have right now? Now compare that with your unopened texts. If an email isn’t urgent, people often figure it can wait. And, unfortunately, many of those messages won’t get revisited after new ones come in.
Calling isn’t any more reliable. People don’t always answer, and voicemails get forgotten. I’ve stopped picking up calls from unknown numbers, and I know others do too. Want to speak with me? Send me a text.
While stats differ based on the source, text open rates are consistently tallied at over 90%, with most messages being read within minutes. This doesn’t change much among age groups – Grandma now texts you while she’s waiting for her Amazon order.
Texting lets you create active communications channels with your clients. Texting is personal, conversational and timely. It’s a two-way interaction that’s concise and non-intrusive.
That means busy brokers can quickly type or dictate texts to clients while in meetings, traveling or even exercising. Many insurance consumers, especially in personal lines, might be looking for quotes during the day while at their own jobs. Being able to communicate by text while they’re at work is advantageous.
Have commercial clients with more complex needs? Texting is still a useful tool, even if it’s just to arrange a time to call. You’ll likely get a quicker response by text.
Want to leverage texting more in your brokerage? Start with a good phone system. RingCentral is worth considering and allows you to have a single number that clients can interact with however they want – by phone, text or fax.
A strong lead management system is also important. We built our own and it automates texting, emailing and phone calls, among other things.
One thing to remember is that Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) applies equally to text messages and emails. So be sure to follow the same rules when communicating with prospective and existing clients to ensure you’re compliant.
As the larger society increasingly shows a preference for texting, there’s no reason insurance shouldn’t follow the trend.
Texting won’t fully replace phone calls and emails, and all three should be used to create awesome client experiences. But it’s a solid third leg to this stool that helps keep customer communications functional and accessible.
Adam Mitchell is CEO of Mitch Insurance, a Whitby, Ont.-based insurance brokerage. This article is excerpted from on that appeared in the February-March, 2023 issue of Canadian Underwriter. Feature image courtesy of iStock.com/FreshSplash