Knock Three Times for Customer Success


There’s lots of folklore and superstitions out there about knocking three times. And then of course there’s the Tony Orlando song from the 70’s (am I showing my age yet?). But when it comes to customer satisfaction in the group insurance industry, three is the number most carriers want to hit. The “Rule of Three” in project management jargon means that most projects have three basic constraints – quality, cost, and time – and that results can have the best of any two, but never all three. If we blindly apply that framework to customer satisfaction, we can swap out the constraints for the industry’s three distinct customers, i.e. employers, employees, and brokers. In this scenario, you may assume that you can only please two of them, but you would be oh so wrong.

Group insurance has always had the unique challenge of having to appease the three customers critical to its ecosystem. Satisfying everyone can be a challenge, but with a simplified and enhanced user experience it can be done. In this customer satisfaction approach – Vitech calls it the “Virtuous Cycle” – satisfied brokers recommend the right products to employers, employers use carriers’ tools to help employees engage in increasing their financial and physical health and wellness, and employees access information to select the right benefits choices for them, with quick claims processing and enhanced support when needed.

Virtuous Cycle Basics

The Virtuous Cycle has four major steps, with granular reporting, analytics, and audit capabilities ideally embedded to enable continuous improvement in the customer experience.

  1. Broker/Sales/Underwriting Enablement.
    • In this stage, brokers rely on group insurance company benefits expertise and consistent pricing strategy to win and retain employer customers.
    • Brokers can then access the insights required to offer employer-tailored benefits solutions for their employees.
    • With these insights, brokers can best recommend the group insurance company and products to employers.
    • Brokers can expect a smooth, timely transition for the new group insurance company to administer the benefits.
  2. Employer Implementation.
    • The new case (with accurate employee data and plan rules) is installed efficiently on the group insurance company’s policy administration solution.
    • Employers use tools provided by carriers to help employees become engaged in increasing their financial and physical health and wellness, while increasing work productive, or returning to work faster in the case of a disability.
    • Employers can easily update employee information to best fit their preferences, while increasing efficiency and data accuracy.
    • Employers can access and use multiple channels to access the information they need, helping them feel supported by the group insurance company, and resulting in a positive impression of the carrier and their broker.
  3. Employee Enrollment.
    • When it is time for annual enrollment, employees have the information to make the right benefits decisions, increasing their satisfaction with employers and employer retention.
  4. Employer/Employee Administration.
    • Through the ample insurance benefits information provided, employees can easily understand their benefits and coverages and be quickly approved for additional coverages or make changes, saving time for employers, including avoiding time-consuming eligibility verifications.
    • Employees feel supported during the subsequent claims process, with simple claims paid automatically and expertise provided to advise them during more complex claims situations.

Accompanying Value-Adds

Within the cycle, important value-adds for each customer group combine to enable a chain reaction of customer-centric steps that result in an optimized experience for all. At the start, broker/sales/underwriting enablement is fully supported, with informative marketing and educational materials for sales and enrollment events to inform the employer client. For brokers, multi-tier commissions and bonus compensation plans include industry-standard commission methodologies and broker and product incentives. Innovative quoting and underwriting processes satisfy all market segments, inclusive of straight-through processing and self-service quoting, as well as the flexibility to support larger customers.

For efficient employer implementation, robust data intake capabilities enable traditional implementation methods (online, paper, phone) as well as seamless integrations with underwriting applications and HRIS systems. There is clear and dependable communication with employers and brokers throughout the process.

For employer/employee administration, open connectivity supports various HRIS platforms for automatic adds/changes/delete functions, with exceptional access to coverage levels for employers and employees. At the same time, accurate, timely, and flexible billing options support employers and individual employees, while flexible payment acceptance is readily available and adaptable to new digital payment methods.

When employees need to process claims, communication tools support information to the claimant and the appropriate point of contact. Claim intake is flexible, with progress monitoring and historical information made available via multiple channels. When claims are fully processed, an advanced payment engine can disburse payments in formats selected by claimants.

Final Thoughts

To satisfy group insurers’ three distinct customers, approaches like the Virtuous Cycle incorporate next-generation technology and well-choreographed operations, to enable customer satisfaction for all. So, whether you’re superstitious or you just like the song, make sure you’re knock-knock-knocking your customer satisfaction out of the park.

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Team Vitech