6 Ways to Ensure You’re Prepared for Busy Season

September 29, 2023

As a full-service health insurance broker entering Q4, maximizing your agency’s potential is crucial. With the busy season on the horizon, preparation is key. To support your efforts, here's a curated list of tips designed to ensure you and your staff are at the top of your game. Dive in and proactively refine your Q4 strategies for open enrollment by implementing the recommendations provided below.

1. Evaluate Client Needs

Heading into the busy season, it is extremely helpful to have a good idea of what your clients and their employees want and need from this year’s benefits experience. Identifying gaps from last year along with trends on which non-medical and voluntary benefits are in demand can help you be prepared this year with attractive options. Products such as dental, vision, life, disability, and pet benefits can also be drivers for client retention and revenue growth in the coming year.

Look for opportunities to have conversations with your clients and their employees. Face-to-face meetings are a good option when available, but don't stop there. Consider other tools like focus groups, benefits seminars, and even online surveys that employees can take when they have the time.

2. Maximize Your Technology

Technology is at the forefront in the digital era. Ensure you are using this resource to increase engagement and deliver the secure digital experiences your clients and their employees are expecting. Maximizing technology for your agency improves everything from production to accuracy and can even help increase your lines of coverage and retention.

You spend less time doing mundane tasks like chasing down paperwork and more time helping your clients. Open enrollment suddenly becomes easier with streamlined technology tools.

Be sure you and your team take advantage of technology training and refresher courses. Training can help make you a better tech user, and being more proficient with technology can help make you a better overall service provider and help your agency run more efficiently.

3. Size Up Your Data Security

Hand-in-hand with keeping technology up to date is evaluating data security. What types of technologies do you use to keep sensitive customer data secure and safe? What are your organization's policies for data sharing, access control, submitting case enrollments, etc.?

Evaluating data security before the busy season starts gives you the opportunity to address any areas of concern you identify before you are too busy to do so. Addressing any security gaps will also provide you with peace of mind once you start the busy open enrollment season.

4. Review Communication Channels

Digital technologies have expanded communication options considerably over the years. Email, which was the standard for electronic communication a decade ago, has become just one of many options. What else is on the table for you and your team?

Give some thought to videoconferencing sessions and webinars. Direct mail, SMS messaging, and social media should all be considered as well. Digital documents and channels can be fantastic tools for creating brand awareness, marketing, informing, and educating.

5. Assess Your Client Education Strategy

The more you educate, the better you can serve your clients. When clients and their employees are knowledgeable about their benefits, making choices becomes easier. And when choices are easier, clients and their employees are happier.

Review how you and your team go about educating clients and employees before, during, and after their open enrollment. Perhaps this year, you’d like to try webinars or social media as mentioned above. Once the busy season has passed, take the quieter times of the year to assess what went well and what could be improved upon to develop new or additional educational resources and strategies.

6. Identify Your Resources

Identify your key resources now so you know who you can lean on and where you can go to get the help you need in Q4 to keep your agency running smoothly. This extends beyond your in-house teams to your carriers, general agency, benefits administration providers, and other important partners who all play a crucial role during this period.

Finally, in this digital age, don’t overlook the ability of technology to simplify your operations. Secure digital dashboards that store your entire book of business can be game changers. With such resources, you're equipped to swiftly view client details, monitor upcoming renewals, track case statuses, and even tap into immediate support through instant chat features. Such applications don't just offer convenience; they ensure you always have a complete, real-time view of your book of business.

Being prepared for the busy season helps your business run a lot more smoothly. Preparations now can help minimize disruptions, streamline operations, and make you and your team better at providing the essential benefits your clients and their employees depend upon.

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