A broker’s ability to personally connect with clients is a key factor in improving enrollment and retention rates. Brokers fill the gap between health issuers and clients, and much of their success depends on client perception. Establish a communication plan well before open enrollment to contact clients at every stage of their enrollment journey. From policy updates to personalized reminders , a robust communication plan helps to convey broker value and get responses.
In addition to selecting the right messaging and communication timeline, brokers must also have a multi-channel approach that makes the most of the technology available. The utilization of various communication channels targeting specific groups provides the additional level of personalization that clients seek.
1. Email and Mail Outreach Allows for Higher Levels of Automation
Sending notices through email and mail may seem like a no-brainer for brokers with experience under their belt; however, are these common channels always being used to their full potential?
Emails are an effective and easy tool to send automated reminders, including regulation changes, open enrollment updates, and standard noticing. Consistent reminders and nudges towards action compound in effect and may lead to client action.
Personalization of written communication may further increase enrollment and retention rates. Establishing personalized information fields or linking a quote generator to your email effortlessly conveys a sense of sincerity to clients while ensuring the call-to-action is clear. Simply including personalized cost information in outreach may lead to a larger conversion rate when compared to only directing clients on how to access their quote information.
The demographics of your client base who prefers email or mail may differ, but consistent and personalized messaging will help brokers get the most out of these communication channels.
2. Phone Outreach Targets Higher-Risk Populations
Outreach via phone may be the least time-effective communication method but shows success in reaching at-risk populations. A Health Affairs study based in California found that personalized phone calls worked well for Spanish speakers and those with incomes below 150% of the poverty level. Phone calls are also more effective for older demographics that possess a lower level of comfort using online communication.
Taking the time to identify populations that do not benefit from written notices due to language barriers allows brokers to adjust their communication plan and find workarounds to common problems. Coupled with a broker interface that mirrors the enrollment journey, phone conversations allow brokers to walk clients step-by-step through the enrollment process. Questions can be answered immediately instead of waiting for email responses delayed due to client procrastination.
During these phone calls, brokers should use simple language and begin with a clear value proposition. For example, brokers should lead with the information that clients can save on their health care costs by taking advantage of newly reduced plans.
While phone calls may seem outdated for some, they are an effective channel for those most impacted by health literacy barriers.
3. New Clients Prioritize Efficiency and Prefer Communication Via User Portals
Young adults with no pre-existing conditions contribute to a large portion of the uninsured population. Traditional outreach methods and messaging have not been effective in enrolling the new generation entering the workforce.
Individuals with no dependents and no chronic-medical conditions tend to pay less attention to their insurance coverage and don’t fall for the same marketing tactics. Prioritize efficiency and transparency when communicating with younger clients.
Sending messages through a portal interface prevents the dreaded spam folder or junk-mail pile. Keep messaging short and sweet with a focus on value and use a communication channel that doesn’t leave room for procrastination. Communicating with clients directly through their user interface allows them to take immediate action. The tactics of automation and personalization, commonly featured in emails and mail, can also be achieved through a portal.
Barriers to coverage go far beyond affordability and differ based on demographics. Ensure you are using a multi-pronged approach towards outreach to cater to all your clients.
For communication plans to succeed, brokers need an organized view of all their client information. Look towards W3LL for your one-stop platform to quote, enroll, and track clients.
With nearly two decades in health insurance, Pete English’s diverse experience makes him uniquely qualified to help health plans and brokers leverage innovative technology in partnership with W3LL. From growing sales staff by 126% over 4 years at a large health plan, to building his own health insurance brokerage firm with over $7.2MM in annualized premium, Pete has done it all.