It’s that time of year: the leaves are changing, football is back… and the busy renewal season is coming up fast. In our last blog, we shared some insurance renewal strategies to combat the chaos that is annual renewal season.
This blog dives deeper into one of those renewal strategies: anticipating challenges and creating preemptive solutions. Embracing this insurance renewal strategy will streamline the entire process and save you (and your clients) valuable time. Here, we’ll list common renewal roadblocks and share ideas for how to make this year your smoothest yet.
Problem: A small segment of clients took up a disproportionate amount of your time.
As you reflect on last year’s renewals, did you have any particularly “needy” clients? We’re talking clients who required too many meetings, bombarded you with emails or phone calls, took forever to settle on a decision, etc. Or perhaps you have several small group (low revenue) clients that you simply can’t justify the same time investment you give to your bigger employers. How can you make them all feel valued while protecting your time?
Solution: Prepare in advance to save everyone time.
For your most time-consuming clients, think about how you can make those renewals run smoother. Perhaps they requested a lot of additional information; can you anticipate those questions and provide the answers ahead of time? To reduce time spent on your smallest groups, can you conduct some meetings virtually? This may also be an option for your neediest clients. A quick 15-minute conference call could move the process along faster while addressing client concerns.
Problem: There were disruptions or log-jams in your internal processes.
An efficient and effective renewal season depends on many processes and people in your agency. Brainstorm within your agency if any areas of the renewal process could be streamlined. Maybe you struggled to move the process along when a key team member was out of the office. Perhaps producers were inundated with questions that account managers could handle. Consider all areas of your internal operations related to the renewal.
Solution: Adjust processes and resource allocation
This isn’t meant to be a blame game, but rather an exercise to ensure processes are as efficient as possible and appropriate resources are assigned where needed. If you identify opportunities to improve, make those changes now to make this year’s renewals run smoother. Solutions may include hiring temporary help for administrative tasks, reallocating certain tasks, or creating new processes.
Problem: Several clients were frustrated with the process or struggled to make a decision.
Offering a quality, competitive benefits plan is important to your clients, but that doesn’t mean they enjoy the annual process of picking one out. Did you notice any points in the renewal where clients seemed frustrated? Or did you have multiple clients struggling to make a final decision?
Solution: Upgrade your renewal process and presentation.
Examine your current processes with a critical eye on client satisfaction. You may even want to send out a client survey asking how you can improve their renewal over last year. One area to consider is your presentation: did clients have trouble dissecting all the plan options and making an educated decision? Perhaps you can make your presentation more visual or interactive, provide more information up-front, or find ways to help the decision-making process.
Problem: Questions unrelated to the renewal slowed down your process.
Employers look to their benefits broker for more than just choosing a health plan. So when they get in a room with their broker, it may spark questions about compliance, ACA, enrollment strategies, HR challenges or other concerns. Of course, these various topics and tangents can slow down the renewal and eat up valuable time.
Solution: Be more proactive.
You likely know the types of questions that will come up from clients; use this time before the renewal season to prepare. Can you provide educational information up-front (or have it prepared for when a question arises), so you’re not answering the same questions over and over? Can you direct non-renewal related questions elsewhere, or suggest an additional meeting to discuss concerns after the renewal rush?
These are just a few of the challenges you may encounter during the upcoming renewal; do you have any insurance renewal strategies to add? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Interested in more ideas for maximizing efficiency within your agency? Take a look at this free ebook on the topic.