How an agency can differentiate services in today’s market

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Whether you’re an adviser, employer or employee, keeping up with the changing healthcare landscape can feel like a momentous and intimidating task. The future of American healthcare holds a great deal of uncertainty, with promises of healthcare reformations and bills continuing to emerge. Amid the changing landscape, we need to actively work toward becoming better advisers in order to be better equipped to help our clients, put them at ease and provide creative solutions to help them confidently navigate their plans.

Companies should divide up responsibility, develop a communications plan, contact their insurer and be supportive of employees.
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Advisers who have the constant desire to learn and adapt are the ones who will achieve the greatest professional growth and the highest client satisfaction during such uncertain times. One of the best ways to gain exposure to innovative ideas is to become more involved in professional associations, like the Million Dollar Round Table, National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors and the National Association of Health Underwriters. Learn from your peers at seminars, conferences and networking events through these organizations. Young advisers should focus on acquiring certifications and continue their education. Advisers who fail to keep up with industry and government changes will not have the answers their clients need and undoubtedly push them to go elsewhere for answers.

Competition has made differentiating yourself and your business an important aspect of an overall business model. Many companies offer employers free solutions, such as free payroll, technology or software to try to win their business. However, what they tend to lack is the insurance industry experience that a well-rounded employee benefit adviser can offer. You can prove your value and show that your clients are in good hands by showcasing your knowledge and experience. My agency has found success through proactive communication and relationship building. We utilize technology for efficiency to alert our clients of important policy changes in regard to health insurance and employee benefit plans to ensure that they know we are always looking out for their best interests.

Be the expert
Another way to differentiate your agency while providing tangible value to clients is through hands-on client education. One option is to host a seminar or Q&A session with employees at your client’s office. If your agency has the proper resources, you can also host events that multiple clients can attend. My agency hosts a yearly event where we invite elected state officials to speak on state and federal policies that may affect local business owners. The reception to these events has been positive and clients often walk away saying they learned valuable information that they didn’t even realize they were missing. These educational perks show clients that they can use you as a resource and that they don’t need to navigate the world of employee benefits alone.

For advisers who work in the healthcare space, it’s key to understand that policies and options will always change. Maintain an open mind and be willing to learn and adapt for the sake of your business and your clients. As new challenges arise, it is our duty to think of creative solutions for our clients while offering the support and guidance they need to feel confident about their choices.

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