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What Do Clients Look for in a Broker?

Monday, April 9, 2018
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Zywave partners who serve businesses may have noticed that the insurance landscape has changed over the past several years. Whether you sell benefits packages or commercial lines, your clients expect more from you. No longer are brokers simple salespeople, finding their clients a good price on insurance products. Sure, you still have your basic, core responsibilities. You help your clients manage costs. You assist with compliance. But these services won’t set your agency apart.

You want your clients to believe you are indispensable. They should see you as a valuable partner in their business, both at the beginning when you close your first sale, and throughout the broker-client relationship. Otherwise, you could see a decline in client retention.

So what are businesses looking for in an insurance broker? What will set you and your agency apart? Fortunately, Zywave has the answers.

Each year, Zywave conducts the Broker Services Survey where we ask employers across the country to tell us what they are looking for in an insurance broker. Here’s what they told us.

  1. Help with compliance. Nearly every business surveyed–97%–want a broker who can answer compliance questions. In fact, this was the number one service that clients expect. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is at the top of every employer’s mind. Though the Trump Administration hasn’t yet succeeded in a total repeal, there is still a lot that we don’t know about what may or may not happen. And not knowing is a major source of anxiety. Fortunately, Zywave’s insurance agency software is a treasure trove of information on the ACA and other compliance issues. We’ve got you covered!
  2. Prompt service and frequent communication. Staying in touch and meeting client needs quickly were big winners in our survey. In fact, 83% of employers said they wanted prompt service from their brokers, and 80% want regular communication. What counts as prompt and regular? Well, 75% of employers want to hear from their broker monthly, and 1 in 3 want a weekly check-in. But here’s the biggie: 69% of employers would change brokers due to infrequent communication or slow service. At the very least, you should be sending monthly emails or newsletters to every client. This is easy with Zywave’s tools, and it could be a huge boost to your business.
  3. Be a trusted advisor. Employers want a broker who does more than sells insurance. 80% of our survey respondents said that they want a broker who is a trusted advisor, rather than just an insurance salesperson. And 42% said that they would switch brokers if their current broker didn’t fit the bill. So how do you achieve trusted advisor status? Make yourself an expert on your clients’ business, and then show your expertise through communication and value-added services. Dig deep to find ways to help your clients save money. Look for gaps in their business needs versus products and services they already have. Show your clients that you have their best interests in mind and that you’re always looking for new ways to serve them better.

The insurance landscape is changing. There’s no denying that. Use your Zywave tools to help your agency stay on top of the changes. You’ll earn more business and have happier clients.

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