While workplace benefits brokers are increasingly embracing their roles as advocates for employer clients, a new study by Wellfleet and EIS found that legacy technology systems are holding them back. Wellfleet and EIS’ 2021 Workplace Benefits Broker Survey examines the factors that impact broker satisfaction and how they can successfully partner with carriers in the current workplace benefits market.
Here are the top five misconceptions that carriers have about brokers, according to the survey, and lessons that benefits providers can learn from them:
1. Workplace benefits brokers are happy with carriers’ product offerings.
Forty-two percent of brokers surveyed noted limited plan customization as one of the biggest pain points they experience with their carrier partners. Thirty-one percent of brokers cited flexible products as one of the top features they want, but aren’t receiving, from their carrier partners today. To positively impact their clients, and help HR departments retain talent amid the pandemic-fueled “great resignation,” carriers need to be more flexible with their product offerings.
2. Workplace benefits brokers have the technology they need.
The survey found that brokers’ five biggest pain points are all technology related. These include commission structure (52%), billing errors (48%), lack of real-time data insights for the broker and client (44%), time to underwrite the group (43%), and slow data processing (42%). Carriers who are able to provide a better technology experience will excel in today’s workplace benefits marketplace.
3. Workplace benefits brokers are receiving the technology needed to support their clients from their carrier partners.
The survey found that brokers aren’t receiving adequate technology support from their carriers, hindering the client experience. Brokers cited a lack of self-service capabilities for their employees (41%), taking a long time to pay claims (37%), and billing errors (35%) as major pain points in their client experience. Better technology helps ensure efficient and error-free carrier processes that improve satisfaction and meet client needs.
4. Workplace benefits brokers are getting the marketing support they need.
At minimum, brokers expect carriers to provide digital marketing support in the form of email communications, a client portal, and a digital app. However, only 36% of brokers surveyed are getting that level of support from their carriers. Better digital marketing efforts can both increase enrollment and build loyalty.
5. Workplace benefits brokers are happy with their commissions.
Commission structure was the No. 1 pain point for brokers with carriers they work with. Improved commission structures mean that brokers won’t have to spend extra time reconciling for themself and their partners.
Above all, the survey revealed that carriers who are able to provide meaningful IT solutions will succeed in today’s workplace benefits marketplace. Wellfleet’s flexible products, focus on servicing and digitally-forward Lighthouse administration platform powered by EIS make the company uniquely positioned to deliver those solutions today and into the future.