Running a successful insurance business requires maintaining, renewing, and servicing those relationships. When done correctly, it elevates your client (group) retention and loyalty, and generates revenue growth for your insurance book of business.
However, the bar for clients (groups) satisfaction is constantly rising. According to Gartner, Inc. 89% of business owners expect to compete primarily based on their employees experience in enrollment, onboarding and benefit administration. Given the labor shortage and baseline difficulties your clients (groups) face with an hourly, distributed workforce, you not only need your service for the clients (group) stand out… you need it to push your business ahead of the competition.
So how does you as the insurance agent or broker fit in? Long gone are the days where an insurance agent or broker was just the “middleman” to provide insurance carriers’ quotes and compare various plans based on cost. More than ever, HR professionals need their insurance agents and brokers to step in as their advocate in achieving overall human resource objectives. Agents and brokers are now taking a much more consultative approach in clearly understanding HR needs in providing solutions as trusted advisors.
To a great extent, the key lies in the hands of the service you provide to your clients (groups) HR department—and by extension, in the effectiveness of your service.
WWIS members have with White Wings’ Third-party HR SaaS provider, Harmony Roze, a fully integrated software solution which provides 360* offerings like Payroll Service, Enrollment Service, Online Learning Management Solution (LMS), Benefit Administration and Hiring Solutions for maintaining and growing your clients (groups) satisfaction.
Why your Service Success is a glimpse at the future of your Client (Group) Retention?
Well, there is no silver bullet, but in the last decade of both building and growing teams has shown that there’s a fundamental parallel between Customer Success, employee engagement and client (group) retention — Employee Success.
Fewer assumptions, and a better understanding of each clients (group) employee throughout their journey, just as we do with our customers within White Wing, will provides crucial insights into areas of friction. (The meaning here is unclear)
Further, viewing strong client (group) retention as not a destination, but a pathway y— just as we view reducing customer churn in a growing SaaS product — can give you the incentive you need to evolve as an insurance agent and broker.
And that’s what’s going to keep the sky above your heads!
Customer Success: A brief primer
At a SaaS company, Customer Success is a function of the business designed to maximize customer value through technology enablement, support, and relationship building.
Now, the concept of Customer Success isn’t new. Decades ago, financial institutions recognized that taking customers away from their competitors needed to be a key part of their growth strategy. While hunting for the right tactics to coerce those customers into defecting, smart institutions realized that when their competitors disgruntled customers who didn’t feel they were supported or valued, those customers would seek out alternatives — and eventually leave. These smart institutions doubled down on providing a best-in-class customer experience, and essentially created a product differentiator that would keep their existing customers and also help act as a magnet for new ones.
Today, every successful SaaS company understands this payoff, and knows the concept of Customer Success is a fundamental component of growth. Since 2008, when the term ‘Customer Success’ caught on, it’s grown by over 900%.
Why the jump? By design, SaaS companies don’t have the luxury of hoping someone stays with them out of habit — instead, they need to present their customers with payment renewal option every month or year. With each occurrence the customer will ask the question
“Do I really need this service enough to pay for it again?” Successfully navigating these decision points is key to retaining customers and maximizing business profitability, and that navigation gets a lot easier when you’ve built a strong personal bond with them throughout the subscription cycle.
While the precise nuances in execution for businesses managing these perpetual customer retention intersections vary, those who succeed understand the overarching idea: Outstanding customer retention isn’t just about a great product, it’s about building relationships.
"The ultimate measure of successful agents is how well they help attract and retain customers (groups) and improve their satisfaction"
At 10,000 feet, the Customer Success lifecycle looks like this:
Customer Success lifecycle
And it’s the framework for a holistic lifecycle that White Wing believes we can apply to your clients (group) HR departments, as well — Employee Success.
The acquisition stage gets a lot of attention in both SaaS and HR. Filling the funnel is a prerequisite to any successful sales strategy and ultimately talent acquisition is all about sales, right?
Of all of the stages in the lifecycle, this is the one HR has the best grasp on right now. Discussion of the importance “employer branding” and “candidate experience” is nearly as common as conversation about millennials, so we won’t spend any time rehashing what we already understand.
This is the stage where HR and Customer Success tactics begin to diverge, as it stands. It’s also where we can start learning.
During onboarding, the primary role of the Customer Success team is to encourage ambitious new users in two complementary directions:
- Completion of the foundational steps that make them successful users
- Entrance into an early relationship with the team and — by extension — the product
Consequently, Customer Success teams provide direction by giving customers:
- A plain line of sight to a human resource to help answer questions
- Introducing them to some form of open channel for feedback.
Early data shows us that offering low friction, lightweight, in-app chat options like Intercom, plus integrations with internal real-time collaboration tools like Slack, offer a lot value in these areas. They help us improve the quality of relationships early in the process.
It’s also common for onboarding sequences to introduce simple ways to invite friends and/or colleagues to sign up, capitalizing on the new customers’ early sense of excitement. When they work, these social hooks can create network effects — which have exponential growth potential.
The key to this stage is getting through all of it with zero friction and as little effort as possible on behalf of the customer. Once it starts to feel like work for them, you’re already moving in the wrong direction.
Engage vs Nurture
While most companies call this stage engage, White Wing refers to it as nurture. Nurture begins as soon as the customer is up and running, moving through the motions of day-to-day product use.
Effective nurturing involves strategic communication; you’re constantly thinking ahead to make sure you deliver relevant information, at just the right time, at every point in the cycle. What you’re saying can come in different forms — a product update, a feedback request or (even better) just a simple “hello.” But nearly more important than what you say, is when you say it.
In Customer Success, we actively look for the perfect “when”. We find the early pain points of our customers, and we monitor changes in their behavior that correlate with later stage dissatisfaction and/or churn. Using this data, we can jump out ahead of potential roadblocks with a related, proactive message — “Hey, is everything ok? I noticed…”
These tactics, whether you deploy them manually or with an assist from fine-tuned automation, help you build and maintain stronger customer relationships earlier. Stronger relationships have a direct and measurable impact on retention and overall customer lifetime value — why couldn’t the same hold true for Employee Success?
Leveraging the signals gathered throughout the Nurture stage, we can identify customers who are at risk of churn, as well as what’s leading to their possible change of heart. It’s an essential component of the Customer Success lifecycle for good reason; understanding what’s going wrong on a deeper level and taking the appropriate corrective action has a powerful upshot.
When we can discern and react to these signals effectively, we find that they serve as the transformational points for the product. These signals, then, not only help retain existing customers, but they also inform overall product development for future users:
“Hey, we saw you’re using a workaround to accomplish X, just letting you know we added a Y feature, so you don’t need to do that anymore. #ThisIsTheFuture”
By actively looking for patterns and taking dedicated action on customer behavior findings, you’ll find yourself inherently solving the problems that matter inside the product itself. In turn, you’re expanding your product to fit the needs of future customers, and improving on their eventual overall satisfaction in advance.
Customer Success closes the loop. It helps us build and retain customers, but more importantly, it helps us improve and evolve our product or service.
Of course, like Customer Success was to SaaS, the concept of Employee Success is new to HR … but we think it’s going to prove just as critically important. It will provide a new set of signals for a better understanding of the goals and motivations of your clients (group) employees and will inform the strategies we use to retain them and improve upon them.
In the coming years, the businesses who invest in Employee Success earlier — from start to finish, without clinging to the habits of the past decade to inform the one coming — will be the ones leaving their competitors to trail in the dust.
We suppose it goes without saying, that with the recent explosion in conversational AI and machine learning, there’s a huge opportunity for you to utilize the White Wing Partnership Harmony Roze technology to create new and better services for your client (groups), as well as generate new income streams for your business.
White Wing is a world-class multicultural team of experts focusing on helping people secure their financial future by reducing risk. Through innovative digital access White Wing agents make over 4,000 product options available to clients, delivering peace of mind to clients. White Wing built on a strong foundation to help clients to get their financial house in order, by providing objective advice and creating comprehensive plans.
Phone +1(310) 620-7971 White Wing Insurance Solutions, LLC License #0L11386
8549 Wilshire Blvd. #1084, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Article credit UKG by way of Harmony Roze. ©2022 CCH Incorporated and its affiliates. All rights reserved.
I am Mona Golden-Brown I will ensure that White Wing members can offer now a HR solutions to remain at the forefront of the insurance industry, providing digital accessibility and services to clients and their workforce. You can contact me per email. Ramona@whitewinginsurance.com