About S&R Insurance
Founded just 8 years ago, S&R Insurance serves a mix of consumers and commercial clients with property and casualty, home, and auto insurance products. Jon Spaugy, the co-founder and president with 32 years of experience in insurance, shared “as an owner, my role is to find tools for the office to help it grow.” Since May of 2019, S&R Insurance has used Podium to boost their online presence with customer reviews and create an easy and convenient way for customers to connect with staff through Webchat. With texting, Webchat, and a focused strategy for their Google Business Profile that includes collecting reviews, the S&R Insurance team has completely transformed how they find and collect new leads and communicate with prospects and customers.
Before Podium, S&R Insurance struggled with local marketing. Scattered tactics made it hard to grow the business and difficult to know what was working. A weak online presence made it hard to find new customers and there wasn’t a good way to communicate with prospects or customers on the website. Altogether, S&R Insurance faced the following challenges:
A local marketing plan that relied too heavily on in-person events
“Most of our marketing [consisted of] going out locally, dealing with our chamber of commerce, dealing with Kiwanis, Lion’s club, real estate agents, mortgage companies, and loan officers.” said Jon. “We were really drumming up business on our own, without any online support.” The inconsistent, in-person tactics made it difficult to scale any marketing efforts and to know which efforts they should prioritize for better results.
A weak online presence and reputation
“We didn’t really have an online presence,” said Jon. The business didn’t invest in any engagement or presence on Facebook, Google, or other platforms. “We had a website. We had Facebook. But we never really did anything with them or got any results from either of them.” Without the knowledge of how to grow the business online, growth was flat. Reviews weren’t a priority and the results reflected that. “I think we had five reviews on Google. We really needed something to change,” said Jon.
A poor website experience with no good way to connect to prospects
The website featured information about the business, but didn’t offer an easy way to get in touch with someone. A phone number was the only option listed as a next step. “People want to communicate through Webchat and we didn’t have that option on our website,” said Jon. Without Webchat, prospects were leaving the website and the business was losing potential customers.
The Podium Solution
With Podium, S&R Insurance built a thriving online customer experience and reputation. They implemented Webchat and added texting to improve customer communication. With these changes, they’ve seen a consistent increase in monthly leads, search rankings, and web traffic. More specifically, S&R Insurance uses Podium to deliver:
A shining online reputation, built one review at a time
With Podium, asking for reviews is easier for the staff. “Podium has been really easy for the staff to adopt. Now, it’s easy to request and collect reviews,” said Jon. Implementing a standard review ask has increased the quality and frequency of reviews. Plus, the business is responding to every negative review to see how they can turn it around and make the customer happy.
The review leaderboard in Podium has added friendly competition among the staff, motivating them to consistently ask for reviews. Now the team celebrates the wins together—when a customer posts a new review or a great lead mentions that they found them through a review.
Reviews have also helped S&R improve client retention. “We estimate that when a customer posts a review, we keep that client 3x longer than we would if they didn’t write a review,” said Jon. The team understands that if the customer takes the time to talk about how great S&R Insurance is online, they’re likely telling their friends and they’re going to be more loyal to the business.
A consistent increase in monthly leads, search rankings, and web traffic
Today, reviews and the S&R Insurance Google Business Profile are the best lead sources for the business. “Even though we still pay for leads through lead services and we’re working in the community, our best lead source is Google. And it’s all from reviews,” said Jon.
Now, customers call in asking to work with specific staff members that are mentioned in online reviews. Plus, the business has seen tremendous growth, even during the pandemic. “We’ve grown 30% during the pandemic, purely because of better reviews,” said Jon. The farthest reaching deal S&R Insurance has seen was from a business out of South Korea. “We got a call from a business in South Korea that was building a factory in our area. They said, ‘we’ve done our research, we’ve read your reviews. We want to do business with you.’ That was pretty incredible.”
Google Business Profile actions have also increased significantly. Clicks-to-call, directions to the business, and website visits have all been impacted by an influx of positive customer reviews. “The best business is referral business, period. We can’t generate that on our own. And today, referral business comes from reviews,” said Jon.
An easy lead management system with Webchat
Adding Webchat to the website has improved communication with prospects and customers immediately. And with real staff members engaging with people on Webchat, customers know they’re not speaking with a bot, which increases trust and improves the website experience.
“People start their search online and the ability to chat back and forth with them, to respond immediately—it’s a huge selling point,” said Jon. And when customers want to carry the conversation to the phone, it’s an easy transition to text or a phone call.
The process for Webchat has been so easy for the team to adopt, the ramp up time and the results were both quick. “When leads come through Webchat, it feels like a freebie to us,” said Jon.
A convenient communication experience with texting
Offering texting has also improved customer communication. “Texting has made it so easy to connect with customers, especially when we convert Webchat conversations to text messages,” said Jon. “It’s so easy to do.”
The convenience and ease-of-use of Webchat has also added to a great office environment. “Webchat makes it so easy to connect to leads, our office morale has really improved. Plus, it was so easy to learn. Everyone ramped up really fast.”
Results and ROI
Since May of 2019, S&R Insurance has used Podium to see results like:
→ More than 1,000 new reviews with an average of 20+ reviews per month
Podium has made collecting reviews easy and convenient—for both the staff and customers. And the results show the team’s success with more than 1,000 reviews collected, averaging 20+ reviews per month with an average star rating of 5.0.
→ More than 700+ Webchat leads in 1 year
Texting and Webchat are creating more opportunities for lead and customer conversations. The team has clock over 700 conversations in just one year, greatly improving the customer experience.
→ 120% increase in website traffic from Google
With more focus on their Google Business Profile with more reviews, the S&R Insurance team has seen direct results in website traffic, profile views, and clicks-to-call. Website traffic has increased by 120%, profile views are up by 72%, and clicks-to-call are up by 44%. Overall, a platform that was once ignored has become a significant source of new leads for the business.
→ 30% revenue growth during the pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the office saw an incredible 30% revenue growth. The growth is attributed to the influx of online reviews, the improved star rating, and the increase in traffic their Google Business Profile is sending to their website.
→ 3x longer retention for customers that leave a review
When a customer leaves a review, the team estimates they improve the retention of that customer by 3x. Asking for customer reviews not only brings in new customers, it improves current customer loyalty and brings in more revenue.
“The whole office believes in Podium. Your customers are your best testimonial for getting business, and your staff is your best testimonial that you chose the right product. I can’t imagine the office without Podium now. I think that’s a huge testament of how important it is to the agency.”
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