Building a strong relationship with members can dramatically increase retention rates. Constant communication and a positive user experience permits members to discover answers to their queries, view transparent pricing, and gain a better understanding on coverage choices; however, cookie-cutter messaging and inconsistency when it comes to member communication can cause more harm than good.
Members continue to partner with brokers because of their health insurance knowledge, advice, and the trust built over time. Improving messaging allows brokers to learn more about members and use this knowledge to craft support strategies that meet members’ changing healthcare coverage needs. More particularly, those of your clients who might fall into at-risk categories will require unique communication strategies and messaging.
Add a Sense of Personalization to Every Message
Engagement and member communication should be rooted in understanding the people behind the policy. Brokers are in the people business and need to find the best way to convey their services.
Brokers must construct a personalized engagement strategy to avoid treating members like a number or a policy folder in the drawer. Review past plan preferences and conversations to offer a customized value statement.
Don’t just prepare to review Mr. Smith’s plan. Prepare to review John Smith’s plan as it relates to Mary, Susie, and John Jr., too. Catering to your client’s entire household will continue to reinforce your position as an advocate, not just an order taker.
Reviewing member metrics before contact allows brokers to target their messaging and identify those at risk for termination. Brokers should not be afraid to speak to members like real people with other issues outside of their insurance coverage. Events outside of a broker’s typical understanding of the member might impact coverage. Creating a safe space that encourages members to voice what is impacting their coverage may provide the clarity that brokers need to propose a tailored solution.
Another improvement brokers can make to client communication involves the little things. Including details, like a client’s birthday and sending a card, will reinforce the relationship. Anniversaries, wedding days, new babies are all great reasons to connect while treating your members like people.
When composing these messages, brokers should always keep in mind the unique relationship they have with members. A casual but informative tone is best for member communication. Avoid complicated and formal language to establish a sense of familiarity and trust with members.
Gentle Reminders Year-Round
Consistency is key when communicating with at-risk members. Gentle reminders regarding tasks needed to stay enrolled can be the push members need without the broker appearing overbearing. Finding the sweet spot regarding communication frequency allows the broker to set the pace while achieving an increased response rate.
Beyond simply ensuring coverage does not lapse, you should communicate all changes likely to impact clients. Show clients that you care and try to keep them fully informed. Important healthcare appointments, plan renewal timelines, qualifying life event eligibility, new plans, and treatment options are great reasons to communicate about coverage.
Brokers should identify those in their roster who fall into the higher-risk health segments and initiate several outreach initiatives every few weeks or months. Checking in, even when they don’t need you, will signify an investment in members’ health and well-being, ultimately building trust and loyalty. Frequent communication allows brokers to identify any new needs members might have.
Automate Where You Can
Personalized and frequent messaging does not have to be a massive undertaking for brokers. Consider developing an automated communication strategy designed to offer reminders and stay connected to your clients with minimal effort. Personalized fields and an integrated member dashboard would help brokers increase messaging output with minimal effort.
A Broker Portal allows brokers to compile and organize all their members’ detailed information on a single interface. Knowing who lapses or has an important life event approaching at the touch of a button makes it easier for brokers to select who to target. Taking the time to compose templates based on information obtained through member information will save brokers large amounts of time down the road.
Expand your toolset to seamlessly communicate with, provide quotes to, and support members. For example, W3LL’s functionality requires limited information from the broker and is designed to scale. An integrated quote tool ensures that brokers are linked to members’ enrollment status and retain their members. Quick notifications sent to members through an integrated platform allow for a speed of communication not commonly seen in the insurance industry.
Keep in mind a customer-first philosophy when investing in new tools and ensure that every change you make to your offerings directly links to the member experience. The more control brokers have over the shopping and enrollment process, the more communication and guidance can be tailored to the member.
Consider these suggestions and tips for improving your messaging. When you need more tools in the toolbox, you can always look to W3LL for innovative resources and helpful clarity for all-things health insurance and enrollment.
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.