Using Technology to Serve Clients, Expedite Cases
Technology plays an important role in the sale of Small Group Health Insurance. It’s a part of so many different facets of the prospecting, selling, quoting, and enrollment process. Are you making the most of the technology available to build your business, quote and enroll your groups, and fulfill the needs of your customers? Consider the following.
Prospecting and Lead Generation
There are many digital methods to generate interest in your insurance brokerage business. Email, social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), and even SMS (short message service, also known as texting). What’s important is that you do what you can to get your name out to prospects who may be shopping for (or considering) health insurance for their businesses or their families.
We won’t attempt to get into detail about how technology like marketing automation can help you build a stronger connection with current clients and prospects. However, you may want to read our prior posts: Attracting Business Online and Generating Leads as a New Insurance Broker.
Effectively communicating with your target audience – and using technology to assist you – will help you take your business to the next level.
Researching Providers and Generating Quotes
Word & Brown’s integrated provider search with WBQuote gives you the power to search, confirm, and build quotes that include the hospitals and doctors your clients want. Gone are the days when you had to visit individual health plan websites to use their provider search tools. All of our medical carriers are included in our provider search – and information is based on carrier-supplied data, not a third party. That means you’ll see which medical groups, doctors, and hospitals are available with each plan your clients are considering.
On-the-fly adjustments are no problem. Our integrated solution allows you to input a new or update a provider in real time – and you’ll immediately see available plans that offer your clients access. You don’t have to worry about wasting time on a quote that doesn’t include preferred providers. It’s built-into WBQuote, and it’s easy for you to identify the lowest-cost package with the most contracted providers with one click.
Health plans also offer online search tools to help covered employees and dependents look up doctors, medical groups, and hospitals during the year to find a specialist or identify an in-network facility for a planned treatment.
With changes in workplace demographics, including millennials (those born 1980-2000) representing more than one-third of the workforce, and Generation Xers (born 1965-1979) accounting for a similar number, there’s a growing trend toward online enrollment. Paper-based processes no longer work. Online enrollment platforms make it easier to enroll your groups, access health-related information (like provider networks and prescription drug coverage), and track enrollments to drive participation.
Because employees enter much of their own information when enrolling online, it can reduce errors and help expedite a group’s review by underwriting – delivering a more satisfying experience for you and your clients.
Word & Brown stands by the belief that even the best technology is only as powerful as the service that backs it up. That’s why we’ve partnered with two platforms to give you and your clients a choice for online enrollment and employee onboarding: Ease or GoCo.io.
In addition, our WBQuote engine integrates with the CaliforniaChoice private health insurance exchange, so you can start your online enrollment directly from a quote with a simple click of your mouse.
Decision Support Tools
Consumers are used to being able to look up service providers using Yelp, Angie’s List, and other online tools. There is no reason why health care should be any different. Many of Word & Brown’s carrier partners offer cost estimators and decision-support tools, so your clients and their employees find the right coverage to match their needs and get an estimate of their potential annual costs for health care.
One such tool is the Automated Choice Profiler available through CaliforniaChoice. This online tool gives enrolling employees the ability to review premiums, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs (like copays and co-insurance) to estimate total annual health insurance costs. Employees can compare plans side-by-side based on costs, risk, and quality.
The independent Kaiser Family Foundation introduced its own inactive calculator in 2019, giving users the ability to develop a cost estimate based on different scenarios, including income, family size, insurance source, and health.
Another useful tool is Online Rx Search, where employees can look up a health plan and see what prescription drugs are covered. Word & Brown’s team can also research Rx benefits in advance of your quoting to ensure your clients have coverage for the medications they and their employees want and need in the plans they are considering.
Service After the Sale
Technology can help you in your post-sale support of your customers, too.
Whether you’re using video-conferencing to connect with customers to discuss ongoing service and support needs, or you’re communicating primarily via email and phone, technology is still what is keeping you connected. Facebook Messenger and Slack are tools gaining popularity as far as having an almost-instant connection. HubSpot even offers a shared inbox tool that allows all of your incoming messages, across channels, to be collected and assembled in one place.
Offering forms to clients on your website, whether password protected or not, can streamline customer service and keep things moving around the clock, not just doing normal business hours. Self-service is increasingly important in today’s online world. (Word & Brown offer brokers access to an online forms library and other tools and resources 24/7.)
Tech Alone Is Not Enough
In spite of the increasingly important role of technology, personal support is still vital to good customer care and relations. “Service of Unequalled Excellence” is a hallmark of Word & Brown, and we are committed to developing new technology to support you and your customers – backed by people who can research and answer any of your questions.
If you are already working with us, we thank you, and we look forward to continuing to prove our value to you every day. If you’re not doing business with us yet, we hope you’ll give us the opportunity to show you how we can help you grow your business. Contact your Word & Brown representative to learn more, or visit our website to find the phone number of our nearest office.