Insurance carriers were skeptical of health maintenance organizations (HMOs) when they were introduced in 1973. Brokers smart enough to get in on the ground level reaped tremendous rewards for doing so. Today, HMOs represent the standard of American health insurance.
Lessons learned from that experience can be applied to becoming a digital broker. For starters, digital technologies are transforming the benefits business. As an independent broker or agency owner, you face digital choices every day. How you address those choices determines the course of your business in both the short and long terms. We say all this to say that becoming a digital broker will set you up for a brighter future.
What is a digital broker? It is nothing more than a broker who fully embraces all available digital technologies to build a better business. The smartest brokers embrace the digital world because they know it has the same potential as the HMO to completely transform the benefits environment.
Online Quoting and Enrollment
There are lots of ways to take your business digital. One of the most visible is to adopt an online quoting and enrollment platform. We have such a platform, by the way, and we call it Agency Workspace. Regardless, switching to online quoting and enrollment streamlines both processes. It also wins clients.
Quoting and enrolling online eliminates paperwork. It improves accuracy. It also makes both processes more efficient because you spend less time talking on the phone, sending documents back and forth, and chasing down signatures.
As a side note, digital platforms for brokers do not have to be limited to online quotes and enrollment. Agency Workspace is an all-in-one platform that lets you manage virtually every aspect of your agency from a single online location.
Marketing in a Digital World
If nothing else, it is imperative for today's brokers to fully embrace digital marketing. That's where it's at. Forget about advertising in newspapers and phone books. They will be extinct before long anyway. Likewise, cold calls are not nearly as productive as they used to be. Your clients want to be contacted online. They expect to see marketing materials online as well.
The great thing about digital marketing is that there are so many ways to do it. Maybe you start with a website and some social media channels. From there, you might expand to email and newsletter marketing. Then you can try pay-per-click ads. Digital marketing offers unlimited possibilities for reaching your clients where they are.
Other Ways to Become a Digital Broker
Becoming a digital broker is really about utilizing the latest technologies to enhance your business. Here are a few more possibilities to go along with digital marketing and online quoting and enrollment:
- More Products – Taking your agency into the digital era should result in access to more products. You can never go wrong offering your clients a greater selection of choices.
- Go Mobile – At the very least, your website should be mobile friendly. Take it one step further by having a mobile app developed for your agency. Mobile is the new way to connect.
- Connect to Carriers – Even with a general agency like BenefitMall by your side, interacting with carriers comes with the territory. Connecting with them digitally leads to greater efficiency.
Becoming a digital broker is not optional if you want to compete. Our industry is embracing digital technologies at a fairly fast clip. If you don't get on board now, you're going to be left behind. On the other hand, going digital will set your agency up for a brighter future.