How can you improve customer retention year over year? Last week we identified five of the top ten customer retention strategies for digital employee benefit and enrollment services. (View Part 1 here.)

These included:

  • An elegant online experience
  • Timely notifications and reminders
  • Gathering customer data with surveys
  • Integrating multiple digital platforms
  • Providing year-round decisions support tools

Year-round engagement

As previously mentioned, customer retention depends on year-round engagement and support efforts. These next five strategies highlight additional ways to keep your clients and their employees engaged.

6) Notification. Welcome communications are not new, but they can be modified to work better by leveraging the speed and flexibility of digital communications. Customers should be able to choose how they receive your communications: snail mail (least favored because of the expense and necessity for providing proof of delivery), e-mail or texting. All communications should be timely and targeted to the specific individuals or groups of employees that are enrolling. Personalized text can promote additional engagement.

7) Wellness programs. These present employers with an opportunity to reduce healthcare costs for themselves as well as their employees. Similarly, employees benefit from the incentives to improve their health. Questions remain over how to track, measure and enforce these programs—including whether they could be viewed as punitive—and wellness programs may not be the right fit for all organizations. Regardless, brokers should be ready to discuss and implement an appropriate wellness strategy based on a client’s particular demographics and organizational culture.

"Creating more and better opportunities for consumer engagement will provide the year-round connections that keep your customers returning."

8) Rewards programs and discount shopping. During the past few years, rewards programs have emerged as a relatively new trend in the employee benefits space. As technology platforms add functions for managing employee benefits and enrollment, companies can offer employees additional rewards that are unrelated to traditional insurance benefits. For example, these might include reward points for discount shopping or purchasing through retail outlets and could be offered directly through the employer portal. Brokers will play an important role in discovering and integrating these additional programs.

9) Gamification. This is the practice of turning benefit management into a game with points and rewards. By gamifying how employees can make use of their benefits, companies are more likely to grab their attention. For instance, setting up a weight-loss challenge between departments offers a great incentive for folks who might not otherwise participate in a wellness program. Gamification is not just for wellness, however; the practice of providing challenges, achievement levels and rewards helps individuals with any goal (such as raising funds for a non-profit or volunteering for community service) and can be applied in a variety of ways to modify behaviors.

10) Beyond onboarding. Ideally, enrollment software and employee benefits administration services should be fully integrated, beginning with an improved onboarding experience. Benefit education and management should be provided through a single portal that also offers information ranging from the distribution of safety and HR manuals to the collection of data about emergency contacts, allergies and any other environmental issues for individual employees.

Remember, whether it’s increasing the number of touch points, improving the quality of the interactions or offering a more seamless experience, creating more and better opportunities for consumer engagement will provide the year-round connections that keep your customers returning.

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