Why I Wrote A Social Media “Dear John” Letter To My Insurance Agency

Social media dear John letterCall me crazy, but I just broke up with my insurance agency over irreconcilable social media differences.

Truth is, I had been lusting in my heart after another insurance agency for awhile … since Hurricane Sandy, in fact.  But last month, when another agency owner shared some upbeat agency news on Google Plus (Google Plus!),  I decided to do the right thing and end it.

Like any breakup, there is anger on his end, a tinge of sadness on mine, especially at the end of a 23 year relationship.  But business is business, right?

Here’s the letter I wrote him.*

*names changed to protect the business owner

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Subject:  I Owe You An Explanation

Dear Sam,

Your insurance agency has always served me well.  I can’t complain about the service I received, ever.  You are nice people.  You are in my town.  So I apologize if the following explanation doesn’t make sense to you (and it won’t).

Here’s why I moved my business.

My entire life is online, and social media is where I get my information.  As I interact on social networks with people in ways both business and personal, relationships that begin there became stronger until they become hard to ignore.

In that realm, I have gotten to know a nearby agency owner who is very forward thinking and active in social media.  She won me over, 140 characters at a time.  Last month, I decided to give her a shot at my business.

Not that you weren’t helpful when I reached out and called you …you were!  But when I am connected to a business online, the connection feels stronger and more personal.   I like the way their useful information finds me.  It’s why I moved to Agency X. 

It might not make sense to you, but I just like having an agent who is connected to me online, and it feels better to use an agent that values the same type of communication that I do.

I am sorry I broke up a business relationship for what must seem like a trivial reason.

 Goodbye,

 Rhonda

P.S.  After Hurricane Sandy, I suggested to your agency’s owner that it would be helpful if you guys had a Facebook page, so we could connect in an emergency and get information the next time we lose power.  At the time he was not receptive, and I see the agency still doesn’t have one.

************************************************

I may have exaggerated slightly, but this is a true story.

Does it make me cold-hearted?  Crazy?  Would you ever break up with a business over irreconcilable social media differences?

Next week, I’ll tell you why I changed my oil company after 15 years …  first, I’ve got to check Facebook.

Make my day … leave a comment! And, stop by and say hi on my facebook page, where I share marketing tips, opinions, stupid cat photos, and more. Thanks!

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About Rhonda Hurwitz

Rhonda Hurwitz is a content strategist and marketing consultant who helps mid-sized businesses develop more effective online strategies. @rhondahurwitz on Twitter, and on Forbes.com: http://blogs.forbes.com/people/rhondahurwitz/
This entry was posted in blogging, content marketing, Social Media Best Practices and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Why I Wrote A Social Media “Dear John” Letter To My Insurance Agency

  1. As another insurance agency who is a very active participant in SM, this makes my heart happy! It’s taken a long time to convince others that being part of SM isn’t just for the “kids”! Thanks for sharing…

  2. Jill Schachter Levy says:

    Rhonda, just happened upon your letter, having had a dispute with an insurance agent, it caught my eye! Here is another reason: I left Chappaqua, phone number changed, but my email is same since before I had kids! Loved your letter – witty, charming, well penned!

  3. Mitch Rezman says:

    Personally I feel it was a bit harsh I left Allstate because they canceled me after a $20,000 claim years ago. We’re with State Farm now and they didn’t cancel me after pay a six figure claim (business burned down) – their social media sucks and I did talk to my agent about it She explained their hands are tied by corporate in terms of what and how they post.

    As a caveat – I met one the the social media mangers from Allstate (didn’t handle “Mayhem”) everything was her way or the highway – she was quite acerbic

    • Mitch, your comment gave me pause. Was it harsh? or natural and human nature?

      I am sure my ex-agent built his business with an individual and personal approach, at the Rotary, thru local community involvement, etc.

      But the fact is, I don’t go to the Rotary anymore, or run into him in town … I am online, and my business and personal relationships have shifted online … so when the time came to reevaluate a business need, who do you gravitate to … the guy who sends you a bill once a year, and handles the infrequent claim, or the gal who you connect with online every day?

      My former agent should realize that the “small town rules” approach really serves his business goals … but that the tools to build these relationships have changed. Instead,he is feeling unappreciated, and blaming technology.

      Harsh? We are all human and we use our relationships to help us make decisions … we spend more time online … and each social media interaction is like a mini sales conversation you don’t even realize you are having. That’s the reality of new media.

      My new agent gets it … I was pre-sold on her agency before I even knew it … and her business growth is proof.

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