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Are you giving them what they need/want?

WE ALL KNOW THAT selling voluntary benefits is a multi-step process. Carriers have to sell their products to brokers, who then have to sell to employers and ultimately the employees. It's this last step that is often not given enough attention, but until an employee buys something, none of the selling before that makes any difference. Understanding what employees need in terms of insurance coverage is important to achieving good enrollment results. Too often, we design our enrollment approach around what we are comfortable with, or we are reluctant to tell an employer that their preferred method of enrollment is not going to work for many voluntary benefits. In both of these situations, we are not focused on the end-buyer.

Let's put it in the context of a different setting--the automobile industry. Say you're looking to look to buy a new car.

SCENARIO 1: The first dealership doesn't allow test drives because it interrupts the day. Instead, you are given a brochure and asked to contact someone if you're interested in purchasing a car.

SCENARIO 2: At the second dealership, the salesperson says he prefers small cars, so that's all he shows you. However, you have four kids and need more room.

Both scenarios are ridiculous, but not far from what we do when we let our own comfort level or the employer's initial preference completely dominate the enrollment approach.

Consider two common enrollment methods used in the voluntary market--paper enrollment kits that the employee completes and returns (usually to HR) and an Internet-based enrollment. As indicated (left), employee satisfaction is much lower when they are left on their own to complete paper enrollment forms.

Before your next enrollment evaluate whether the methods you are considering will address employee needs for a quality enrollment process. If not, it may be time to try something new.

Give 'em what I they want

Research SHOWS THAT WHEN IT COMES TO VOLUNTARY, EMPLOYEES ARE LOOKING FOR!

1)

Helpful and needs-based presentation of the product

2)

Adequate information on the product

3)

Adequate support and advice

4)

Proper type of product available

5)

Appropriate amount of insurance available

6)

Helpful and adequate technology

7)

Simple application process

BenefitsPro.com

Read "6 voluntary benefits brokers must offer in 2016."

Gil Lowerre can be reached at (860) 676-9633 or glowerre@eastbridge. com. Bonnie Brazzell can be reached at (803) 738-1236 or bbrazzell[R] eastbridge.com.
EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION WITH THE ENROLLMENT
PROCESS BY METHOD OF ENROLLMENT
(PERCENT RATING SATISFACTION AS 4 OR 5 ON A 5-POINT SCALE)

RESPONSE                                    ON OWN/PAPER   INTERNET

Presentation was helpful and explanatory        64%          95%
Adequate Information                            73%          96%
Adequate support and advice                     61%          94%
Type of product needed was available            75%          93%
Amount of insurance was appropriate             63%          91%
Technology was helpful and adequate             54%          93%
Application process was simple                  68%          92%
Overall satisfaction with enrollment            61%          92%

Source: MarketVision: The Employee Viewpoint 2015TM, Eastbridge
Consulting Group
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Title Annotation:what's next
Author:Brazzell, Bonnie; Lowerre, Gil
Publication:Benefits Selling
Date:Mar 1, 2016
Words:485
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