The broker business relies heavily on relationships. Face-to-face presentations, lunches and meetings are at the heart of a broker’s business model. While many brokers were exploring digital tools to expand their access to clients and prospects, everything changed once COVID-19 hit.
Here’s how insurance brokers have digitized their work to better serve their clients, and what the future might look like for the profession.
Client and prospect meetings are virtual.
Despite everything moving online for the foreseeable future, the value proposition for clients remains the same. They want a trusted advisor to offer security during this uncertain time. Clients are looking for someone to provide the resources they need to protect their employees, their families and the business.
The challenge for brokers will be maintaining strong client relationships across virtual channels. Many agencies differentiate themselves with strong customer service, often through on-site and/or in-person meetings, and will need to learn how to translate that service over digital channels.
Some of the ways insurance agents are successfully working with clients remotely include:
- Offering to hold quick phone calls - or even better, video calls - with clients to talk through any concerns
- Using food delivery services to send clients lunch during a virtual meeting
- Sharing weekly updates explaining how new regulations might impact clients
- Hosting webinars and Q&A sessions to discuss updates and community best practices for both the employer as well as the employee and their dependents
- Mailing materials to clients and prospects—even in the move to go virtual, brokers are supplementing online connections with old school snail mail
Although the channels are changing, clients and prospects always want to know how they can improve their business operations—but they need help. If insurance agents can keep finding new ways to serve clients, clients will see why the relationship is so valuable.
Agencies are adopting digital tools.
The demand for digital tools for end-users is at an all-time high, and your clients expect you to have these solutions. Even when restrictions are lifted, many consumers will remain wary of unnecessary face-to-face meetings for the foreseeable future.
Some of the tools you can use to serve clients digitally include:
- Secure messaging and video conference applications
- Self-service portals for both agents and clients
- Mobile apps for client services and claims
- Fast, responsive customer support available through multiple channels, including call centers, email and chatbots
Cybersecurity remains a top priority.
Part of the resistance to digitize healthcare has centered on justifiable concerns about patient privacy. The rapid and unplanned shift to moving insurance operations to become almost entirely digital has brought cybersecurity to the forefront.
Brokers must protect both their customers’ personal data as well as their own internal data. This will require researching software to ensure the strongest security protocols as well as fully utilizing security features like encryption, password protection, two-step verification and more.
Future digitization plans are a top priority.
While everyone has had to make large changes to adapt in the short-term, you also need to consider your mid- and long-term plans.
- What tools do you need to continue doing business and serving your clients?
- How well are you prepared for an economic recession?
- What projects can you fast-track to help your business adapt to consumer needs?
One unexpected benefit of this crisis is that healthcare industry stakeholders have an opportunity to consider how we can better serve our customers. This crisis will change the future of healthcare, and how brokers respond matters.
To learn more about how HPS can help you provide your clients with the tools they need, contact us.