Brokers need to engage in new and effective ways of communication with their clients in efforts to increase retention rates. Many brokers are already exploring ways to expand communication channels to include email, online member portals, calls, and traditional mail. But client engagement improvements go beyond what communication channels they elect to use. Here are three ways you can explore creating an effective communication strategy with your brokerage clients.
1. Prioritizing Your At-Risk Members
The ability to initiate and develop lasting relationships with your clients will make or break your career as a broker. Clients continue to come to you because they trust you, your health insurance knowledge, and your advice. In improving these engagements, you’re able to learn more about them and can use that knowledge to precisely create strategies for the continued support that meets their changing healthcare coverage needs. More particularly, those of your clients who might fall into at-risk categories will require unique communication strategies. Here’s how you can help.
Gentle Reminders Year-Round
Identifying at-risk clients allows time for constant but gentle reminders regarding tasks needed to stay enrolled. Beyond simply ensuring coverage does not lapse, you should communicate all changes likely to impact clients. Show clients members 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.
Identify those among your 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 that you’re invested in their health and well-being, ultimately building trust and loyalty. And more frequent communication will allow you to quickly identify any new needs you might be able to help them manage.
Consider developing an automated communication strategy designed to offer those friendly reminders and stay connected to your clients with minimal effort.
2. Personalization and Customization Are Key
As a broker, you understand you’re not in the shuffling paperwork or order-taking business. You’re in the people business. Engagement and member communication should be rooted in understanding the people behind the policy. Here are customization and personalization tips for incorporating into your strategy.
Preparing Before Calls and Meetings
Ensure that you personalize the engagement strategy for each client. You don’t want any of your clients to feel like a number or a policy folder in your drawer. Being prepared means reviewing past plan preferences and conversations and organizing your conversation, so it offers a customized value.
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. Understanding your client’s entire household will continue to reinforce your position as an advocate, not just an order taker.
Another key improvement brokers can make to client communication involves the little things. It’s the details, like remembering a client’s birthday and sending a card, that will reinforce your relationship. Anniversaries, wedding days, new babies are all great reasons to connect, too. Setting up automatic but customizable notices to go out during this important anniversaries or qualifying events both reminds the client of their insurance options while improving their perception of you.
3. Anticipating Challenges
Your ability to stay ahead of your clients’ needs and the curve will ensure continued success. You can’t predict particulars, but you can get better at anticipating trends and shifts that might impact clients. Here are just a few additional reasons to reach out to your roster of valued clients in a preemptive capacity.
Sharing Health Insurance Industry Insights
Everyday consumers won’t typically stay on top of health insurance industry news. There might be new guidelines or provisions announced that show up in your inbox, but not your clients. Consider every headline or insight you come across through the lens of clients. You can then share relevant details that might affect how clients use their coverage or select plans.
With so many health insurance resources becoming available online, brokers can always look to share new tools and support channels as part of their communication strategy. If there are new dashboards or claim processes, share them with your participating clients. And always offer to be available for tutorials to help them navigate and implement these new tools.
Consider these suggestions and tips for improving your member communication. Keep it relevant and look for ways to customize your service and support. 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.