As a broker, you know that having good communication with your clients remains an important part of the job year after year. But how to best execute that changes with the developments of each year. Challenges, successes, first-hand experiences, and client feedback can all play a part in how you shape your communication strategy for the following year.
Based on some lessons learned in 2018, here are five communication trends brokers can expect to see in 2019.
A focus on HSAs
The “How Health Savings Accounts Measure Up” showed that majority of employees still are not clear about how HSAs work, and almost half of eligible employees never contributed to their account. Be sure to communicate the benefits of an HSA, including the ways to use it and the tax benefits. This focus will not only help enrollment numbers rise, but will educate people on this important benefit.
Offering Benefit Administration Software for All
In previous years, benefit administration software was typically only discussed with larger clients who could easily afford it. However, the landscape of benefits technology has changed drastically, and small-medium sized businesses can now benefit.
No matter the number of employees, all of your clients can benefit from having decision-support tools, enrollment platforms, and an easy access to supporting materials readily available to their employees.
Asking More Vendors for Assistance
Major insurance carriers were previously the only vendors willing to help brokers offset their technology costs. However, brokers can be smarter about this. Ask all the vendors you work with for help—medical, dental, life, critical illness… all of them. Some may say no, but some may agree. You never know until you try. Expanding your communication with your vendors can lead to some unexpected assistance.
Include Voluntary Benefits in More Conversations
2018 saw an exponential growth of voluntary benefits being selected by employees. Things like student loan assistance, and financial wellness tools are all gaining popularity as employers understand how important these are to their employees.
Although they’re growing in popularity, don’t assume that all your clients know about all the possible voluntary benefits they could offer. Include these in conversations frequently and there’s a good chance that at least one voluntary benefit could meet the needs of their employees. For example, if you have a client that has an office in a major city, commuter benefits should be mentioned often.
Evaluate as You Go
Don’t think that just because you have a strategy going into the new year, that you have to stick with it until December. The end of the first quarter is the perfect time to pause and reflect on how things are going for the year so far. Evaluate your clients—see where they need the most assistance. This puts you in a great spot to offer the best strategies and technologies for your clients.
Remember, communication is always going to be the most important part of a broker-client relationship. But this can take different shapes as technology, benefits, and regulations change. Be sure to keep yourself updated and with any questions.