Forging genuine connections with your clients is the backbone of customer service. And you might feel like you have good relationships with most, if not all, your clients. But are you missing key opportunities to turn good relationships into great ones? As an agent, if you’re not reaching out to your clients early and often, you could be missing out on sales, referrals, or worse—losing customers who don’t feel engaged. You need a post-enrollment communication plan.
Many beneficiaries who choose to disenroll from their current Medicare plan cite “problems getting needed care, coverage, and cost information” as the reason. The world continues to experience the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, sharing information should be a top priority for agents. Even though you may be limiting your in-person conversations, you shouldn’t be limiting your communication. You still need to connect with clients on a personal and professional level.
What is proactive communication?
Proactive communication anticipates your clients’ needs instead of just responding to them. It’s connecting with them before they have a question or concern to establish a line of communication and a relationship based on trust. Agents who use proactive communication build a loyal and lasting book of business. Their clients are more satisfied with their plans, more knowledgeable about their benefits, and know they have a reliable partner in their healthcare journey.
#1. Improves customer satisfaction
The more members know about their plan, the more satisfied they’ll be. You may spend quite a bit of time up front explaining and answering questions about the inner workings of their plan. But if you anticipate their concerns by pulling from past interactions with other members, you’ll be able to get ahead of potentially confusing information.
When the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) released their 2020 Star ratings for Advantage Plans, a full 57% of the metrics used were customer-experience related. Communication with members matters! If they feel they’ve had a good experience, they’re more likely to recommend their plan to someone else and stay loyal to their provider.
There is a balance to be struck, though. There are many benefits they need to know about, but don’t overload clients with information. Keep your communication warm, simple and direct.
#2. Provides education and serves as a resource
Yes, you want a friendly connection with your clients. But your primary role is to provide seniors with comprehensive and comprehensible information about their healthcare options. If you’ve used proactive communication, when questions and concerns do come up, the client will be much more comfortable turning to you as a trusted source. And by receiving regular education, resources and reminders from you, they’ll be more likely to remember plan features and how to access them. Your clients are empowered, and your relationship is strengthened.
Reach out before enrollment periods to provide information on services like prescription drug choices or new OTC benefit options. Create a monthly newsletter, make phone calls or send texts regularly with helpful, relevant resources. Whatever method you choose, get out there early and often while ensuring you’re following appropriate rules of marketing and non-marketing communication.
#3. Keeps the relationship warm to facilitate sales when the time comes
Personalizing health plan information has lasting effects. If you know what’s important to your clients, you can tailor your post-enrollment communication plan to focus on how their plan can best address their needs. And the only way to truly get to know your clients is to talk to them! According to a 2020 study, only 25% of health plan holders viewed their plan as a “trusted partner” in their overall wellbeing. We can do better than this. Consistent, authentic and proactive communication shows your customers you have their best interests at heart. And they’ll trust your advice and recommendations when the time comes to decide on a health plan.
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