The current system of “set and forget” with client relationships and consulting is broken. The status quo isn’t cutting it anymore. With millions of options just a keystroke away, brokerage firms need to do more if they want to drive world-class organic growth.
Loyalty, fidelity, and trust are still vital for retaining clients, but they are insufficient as primary business-retention strategies. Clients need to be reminded (regularly and consistently) that their broker has their best interest in mind. Not just annually. They need to know that you’re there, year-round, keeping an eye on markets and trends to ensure they get the plans best-suited to their needs. Data-driven content is the way to make that happen.
Let me repeat, though: reminders should be focused on your client’s specific needs. A quarterly newsletter that goes out to everyone on your list isn’t enough. If you don’t have a process for delivering customized content, thought leadership, and reporting on a consistent basis -- someone else will.
It may seem like a tall order to cater content to each client on a list of (hopefully) hundreds -- and, frankly, it is. It won’t be easy. There isn’t a solution out there that you can just set on auto-pilot and walk away. They all require work (even Code SixFour), but you can develop processes that will make it possible to regularly deliver powerful content.
With a standardized process for delivering content and insights to your clients (and prospects), you can dynamically change your business. Creating such a process can take many forms (and we have some excellent recommendations on how to go about it), but, in essence, you’ll need to:
- Define your steps and content deliverables,
- Brand your process, and
- Make it part of your firm’s DNA.
Only after you take the time to define what your process is will you be able to maximize the power of the client deliverables your agency brings to market.
“So,” you may be wondering, “once I have a process in place, what does this customized content actually look like?” Below are a few examples of custom, relevant content you can deliver to your clients:
- Demographic analysis on plan participation
- Contribution modeling on cost structures with consumer-driven health plan designs (HRA and HSA funding)
- Plan design and premium contribution benchmarking
- Claims reporting and analysis.
As a broker, you have the data to make these reports robust and useful to your clients. In a cost-containment analysis for a client, you can offer comparisons of your client’s inpatient costs and utilizations set against national benchmarks. You can then offer insights based on the data, and Code SixFour can help you generate those reports in a dynamic, systematic way.
Are a client’s admissions and days per admits unusually high? Perhaps it’s cancer driving costs. Cancer is often misdiagnosed or mis-staged, leading to unnecessary treatment for the employee and increased expenses for the employer. Your client may want to consider targeting Centers of Excellence providers, since COE programs include oversight of cancer cases by speciality oncology case managers.
Another example is providing benchmarking data to guide decision making. The below report reveals that the client is funding the benefits below their market peers. This drives low plan participation, causing the employer to question the value and impact of their benefits investment.
Source: BenchmarkEdge Report by Code SixFour, 2018.
By highlighting areas of improvement with competitive data points, you can help influence your client to make informed, data-driven decisions moving forward.
This is just one example of how you can leverage data to serve your clients, and in doing so, keep them on your roster. Over time, the content and reporting that an agency provides will become integral to the sustained financial success of their clients - and this is how you achieve the status of a true trusted advisor.
To make this all possible, you’ll need the right tools. Brokers will need to select the proper technology partner to create these deliverables consistently, and Code SixFour is an industry leading option. With a standardized process and insightful content backed by powerful technology, a benefits agency can deliver a level of service that dominates its competitors.