It’s no secret that the health insurance world is rapidly evolving, and has been for years. The explosion of technology has introduced many changes into the industry, for all parties involved in the process. Health care reform and other market changes have also added disruption and change, not to mention continually rising health care costs that brokers and employers must contend with.
So what does this mean for you and your clients? To be successful, insurance brokers can’t do things the same way they’ve done them for the past 20 years. They need to adapt to the changing environment. In this blog we’ll explore what the past looked like, and how brokers should adjust their approach to client service to fit today’s realities.
The traditional approach
Building client relationships in the past usually meant afternoons playing golf with clients, or taking clients out for nice meals. Your clients valued face time, and that was an effective strategy for building long-lasting client relationships.
When it came to renewals, information was presented using a complex spreadsheet full of data. Everyone in the room would page through the information, trying to make sense of the numbers and come to a consensus. The process typically took several meetings, because if the employer wanted to make a tweak to one of the plan options, the broker needed to go back to the office and draw up a new spreadsheet to present.
The new reality
We highlighted earlier many of the industry changes that have created a new environment for brokers and employers alike. With this new climate comes some new realities that brokers should pay attention to, for an optimal client service experience.
- Your clients are busier: Although employers still value face-time, few have time to spend an afternoon on the golf course anymore. It’s important to balance great client service with respecting the time of your client. Look for other ways to build relationships or ask your client what fits best for their schedule if you’d like to have a meeting or social get-together. They may prefer to just have a check-in phone call or webinar meeting.
- Your clients want more tech: The spreadsheet method of delivering annual renewals is frustrating for employers, to say the least. Luckily, there are many technological alternatives today, that allow you to present plans visually and dynamically. This makes the process easier on clients, while also shortening the number of meetings necessary to make an informed decision.
- Your clients need more guidance: As the health care market becomes more complex (and costs continue to rise), employers are in need of a broker who will offer a consultative approach, and help them evaluate options more comprehensively. Taking advantage of technology tools can help you do that efficiently and effectively.
Want more tips for adapting your client service experience to today’s digital age? Be sure to check out our e-book, Client Relationship Building: Adapting to the Digital Age.