Good things don’t come to those who wait—they come to those who are consistent. That’s how Brent Thurman has approached running his agency, Keystone Insurance, for more than 16 years. “We’re playing the long game,” Brent told us. “A lot of agents try to get as many reviews as possible in a short amount of time, but that fizzles out pretty quickly.”
Brent started in the days of the Yellow Pages and MSN Messenger. He saw early on the value messaging could bring to his agency. But those days were different. No one expected you to respond immediately. Now, we live in a world of Amazon and on-demand everything. With Brent’s foresight, Keystone adopted messaging long before the competition.
Keystone now uses messaging to get customer reviews on a consistent basis. “We just try to get five reviews every week,” Brent told us. “I don’t want to get 200 reviews in two months and then not have anything, because my experience has been that Google sees through that.”
Brent doesn’t use messaging just to get reviews. His business revolves around messaging. “I always have my phone and—when I get a message–I text back wherever I am,” Brent told us. “Then, I can pass the conversation to another agent.”
Listening to Brent, it sounds like Keystone has had no problem implementing messaging to keep up with consumer expectations, right?
Wrong. It wasn’t always this easy.
Email vs. Text
Keystone used to send out review invites through email. While it helped them get some reviews, the invites would often get lost in the client’s inbox. It’s much harder to lose a text than it is to lose an email. Since implementing Podium, Keystone has gotten more reviews in five months than they had received in the previous five years.
The conversation shouldn’t end when they leave the website.
Collecting leads from their website hasn’t always been easy, either. Keystone had tried five different live chat solutions on their website. They stopped using the last one because it was too hard to manage. It required having someone logged in at their desk in order to respond to customers. More often than not, the customer would drop before someone responded.
“Customers are online looking for you because they want to take care of their problem right then,” Brent told us. “Sometimes we wouldn’t respond until hours later. By then, they’d gone to one of our competitors.” With Podium, Keystone no longer loses potential leads—they turn them into new contacts who they can text immediately.
Meeting—and exceeding—modern consumers’ expectations.
With Podium, Brent has made messaging part of virtually every aspect of his business. “It’s the perfect solution for making it easy for our employees to look for those opportunities to get reviews and to communicate with each other,” Brent told us. “We have clients all the time that text—even during business hours—rather than calling us. Whether they want a copy of their ID cards or whatever, they just start a chat.”
Brent’s clients appreciate these consistently convenient interactions, but the benefits don’t end there. As a result of implementing Podium, Keystone has increased website clicks from their Google listing by nearly 70%, calls by 45%, and indirect search results by nearly 30%. Brent and his team are proof that convenience can be the rule rather than the exception.