Right about now, you may be breathing a sigh of relief that the 2017 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is behind us, but, there is more that can be done to ensure your clients remain happy throughout this benefit year. For many brokers, the focus will shift from selling health insurance and related benefits to encouraging clients to use their benefits and taking on a more supporting role.
Have you thought about this, yet? If you answered no, don’t worry, our benefits team has created a list of the top 5 things you can do now, that can help you achieve success.
1. Get Feedback
Obtaining feedback from your clients is an important part of your job. Following each OEP, it is good practice to initiate an informal debrief to gain insight on your client’s satisfaction, areas they thought you excelled at, in addition to those where improvement may be needed. This is not the time to gloat or stress over your weaknesses, but rather a medium that can assist you in better strengthening your skill set as well as help you to continue to do the things your clients were fond of. Many clients may hesitate to tell this information to you directly, therefore, anonymous paper or online surveys are a great way of collecting this information.
2. Make Improvements
With the influx of newly emerging technologies, brokers have begun to shift their focus from manual administrative tasks to enrollment platforms that offer streamlined processes. Trading in stressful hours of paperwork for systems that can improve the once paper-driven processes has taken the broker industry by storm. Most benefit administration platforms on the market today are merely front-end solutions that transfer data between brokers, employers, and employees – and this is simply not enough. What was once only achievable by joining a large brokerage is now in reach through adopting the proper tools and business models for operating in today’s market. The key is that you must insist on a benefit administration solution that allows you to build and scale your own business. Current broker technologies have also had a momentous impact on customer experiences and satisfaction. With access to the tools needed to best assist consumers at any time or location, broker platforms have significantly improved upon the experiences delivered to clients – thus allowing brokers to deliver seamless ‘customer journeys’.
Brokers are finding other unique ways of providing value and strengthening their client relationships. For some, hosting lunch and learn sessions for employees and employers has become a staple of reinforcing their commitment and expertise, while others have found that providing tailored recommendations can help businesses attract and retain talent. The takeaways here involve thinking outside of the box and understanding the importance of establishing creative communication and marketing tactics.
4. Provide resources
Most people are open to learning, and when it comes to healthcare, there is even more interest among consumers to take on a consumer-centric or hands-on approach. This can range from understanding the benefit options available to them, selecting coverage for themselves and their family members, or even determining their primary care physician (PCP). Sharing your expert advice, experiences, and best practices could also include resources on how to understand plan structure, out-of-pocket costs, and when benefits should be utilized (i.e. when to go to the ER, physician’s office, urgent care). Try creating fact sheets, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and/or office hours to help communicate these topics.
5. Set up Appointments
Quarterly meetings are a good way of strengthening your relationship with clients. This will help you remain top of mind when it comes time for renewals, as well as changes to policies following life changing events. As we discussed earlier, these meetings can become great opportunities to provide resources, educate, and speak about ancillary or supplementary products that may compliment their current health benefits.
The views and opinions expressed by the authors on this blog website and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Softheon, Inc. (dba Welltheos) or any employee thereof.
I earned my BAA from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and MBA in Healthcare Administration from the University of Ohio (Athens). I was born and raised on Long Island, NY and enjoy capturing what the island has to offer through photography.
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