How an Agency Management System Aids OEP/AEP
August through December is a busy time for agents. Between your CEs, getting certified with different carriers and plan types, and preparing for enrollment season, you are swamped. However, there is one thing that could help make some of your preparations easier—technology.
Today we’ll discuss how to use an industry-specific agency management system (AMS) to streamline your enrollment season and ease your workload.
1. An AMS Keeps You Organized
With both Annual Election Period (AEP) and Open Enrollment (OEP), organization is essential. Your clients and prospects care dearly about the relationship they form with you and will choose the agent that gives them the most personable and helpful experience. To achieve this, you must be organized.
Being organized means you have quick and easy access to information like:
- Client notes
- Client coverage information
- Prospect information
- Lead information (including lead source)
- Carrier information (including portal links and passwords)
- Group enrollment and elections
- Relationships and (individual to individual, individual to policy, individual to group, policy to carrier, etc.)
Having this information in one easy-to-access, easy-to-use place is crucial. The upcoming enrollment season will likely look significantly different than normal; you need an AMS that has your back so you can more easily pivot. A cloud-based AMS like AgencyBloc allows you to work from anywhere at any time with an internet connection.
"I looked at several agency management systems and selected AgencyBloc because of the price, it's industry-specific, it's easy to use. I can access my data anywhere, do business anywhere, and the system keeps things fast and in order for me."
—George D., Danielhealth
The major benefits in using an industry-specific AMS vs. generic CRM software or a homegrown solution are:
- Everything is built specifically for your industry; therefore, you have fewer workarounds and don’t have to build out as many customizations.
- It’s a one-system approach. You can track policies, clients, prospects, leads, agents, carriers, and commissions all in one localized system instead of running a CRM-solution parallel to a commission-specific tracker.
- It helps you work smarter. With built-in capabilities like workflow automation and industry-specific reporting, you can automate some daily, repetitive tasks and better analyze your overall book of business for a smarter, more informed approach to business management.
- Everyone can have access. Some homegrown solutions and generic CRMs aren’t built for your entire team and their specific roles. Most industry-specific AMS solutions can be leveraged for any role within your agency to provide the individual with reporting, task management, and streamlined tracking to help them master their job. Learn more in our blog: How to Integrate Your AMS into Every Role at Your Agency.
With a cloud-based AMS, you have quick, on-the-go access to all of your files and necessary information whenever you need it.
Image Source | AgencyBloc
Having your client and prospect information organized and easily searchable will help you stand out from your competition. When it comes to insurance, what sets you apart is the service you provide. Provide optimal service, and you’re more likely to keep your clients, grow your book, and bring in referrals.
2. An AMS Streamlines Policy Renewal Communications
Although AEP and OEP seem like old hat to you, your clients won’t always feel that way. Even if they’re sticking with the same/similar plan, it’s still necessary to give them a heads up that the season is approaching and give them guidance on any changes or updates.
Streamline this communication by utilizing workflow automation in your AMS, like Automated Workflows in AgencyBloc. Set up an Automated Workflow to trigger when a client is 90 days out from their policy renewal date. Here’s an example of how a client-facing communication scheme could look:
- 120 days before expiration: Have an email triggered to send to the client to let them know their policy will be expiring soon.
- 90 days before expiration: Have an email triggered to send to the client to remind them of the expiration date and steps they should be taking.
- 30 days before expiration: Have an email triggered to send to the client to remind them of the quickly approaching expiration date and steps they should be taking.
- 14 days before expiration: Have an email triggered to send to the client to remind them of the renewal deadline and what they need to do.
Automated Workflows allow you to send emails to the client/policyholder, send emails to the agent of record, and create task assignments for the agent of record. Create your own timeline of when you want to communicate what message to personalize the approach.
Following Medicare Guidelines, agents and agencies are not allowed to market AEP before October 1. This includes using the verbiage Annual Election Period and AEP. You may reach out to clients and alert them that their policy renewal date is approaching, but you cannot include anything AEP related. This rule does not apply to Open Enrollment or OEP.
3. An AMS Simplifies Communications Regarding Carrier & Policy Changes
Provide fantastic customer service to your clients by helping them prepare for change. You are their source of industry information, and they’re trusting you to keep them informed and covered.
If a carrier or coverage type is changing, let those affected know ahead of time so you can plan for what’s to come. With an AMS like AgencyBloc, you can run a quick search to see which of your clients have a certain coverage type or carrier so you know who will be affected and how you need to proceed.
With AgencyBloc, you can run this search in two ways: a quick Saved Search or in the Email Campaign builder. If the list of those who will be affected is lengthy, a mass email may be your best route. For a shorter list, you might opt to call each one individually.
Use enrollment season to further service your clients by ensuring they have no gaps in their current coverage. Run a basic cross-sell report in your AMS and quickly identify clients who have X-coverage but not Y-coverage. This is how the Cross-Sell Report builder looks in AgencyBloc:
Image Source | AgencyBloc
Take it a step further and send a mass email to all of those you’ve identified in your report. Not sure what to say? Download our free Cross-Sell Email Templates for Agents & Advisors.
5. An AMS Can Help You Manage & Work Your Leads Efficiently
Enrollment season is a great time to cross-sell to your current clients, improve client retention, and increase your likelihood of future client referrals. It’s also a fantastic time to build your book of business by bringing in new business.
When it comes to lead conversion, speed-to-contact is essential for improving your chances of converting that lead. You’ve heard it all before, but these stats create the visual:
However, with all of the other stuff on your plate (like quoting, enrolling, meeting with current clients, answering calls, onboarding, finding a moment to eat lunch, etc.), it can be challenging to nurture new leads effectively—let alone have time to follow up with new leads immediately.
This is where an AMS with workflow automation can help.
Workflow automation simplifies and streamlines your agency’s processes by doing some of the manual, repetitive work for you. It’s like having an assistant always making sure that you don’t miss a beat.
Combine the powers of your website’s lead form with workflow automation to start a lead nurturing process that’s made for conversion. In AgencyBloc, you can build Automated Workflows connected to your customizable AgencyBloc Lead Forms. When a new lead fills out the lead form on your website, that information is directly funneled into AgencyBloc while simultaneously creating a task to alert the agent, team, or sales manager that a new lead has been submitted.
That alone gives you an edge on your competition because you can work that lead immediately, strike while they’re hot, and improve your chances of converting them into a client. The trick, however, is having all of this working in tandem with your industry-specific AMS.
If you’re interested in building out your lead nurturing workflow process, download our free Lead Nurturing Email & Workflow Recipes.
Using the right technology can help you have your most productive and profitable enrollment season to date. It allows you to streamline your client communications, improve lead distribution to your agents, be more organized, and, most importantly, help you work smarter, not harder.
Your agency can save a considerable amount of time and money, make smarter business decisions, and better focus on the heart of your business—your clients. By utilizing an industry-specific AMS during enrollment season, agencies have saved:
Open Enrollment and Annual Election Period are quickly approaching, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to get set up with the right agency management system. Setup time varies agency to agency, but you can get up and running by the start of enrollment season.
Interested in Partnering with an Industry-Specific AMS?
AgencyBloc today to give you time to be up and running before Annual Election Period and Open Enrollment hit. Schedule your 1-on-1, personalized demo with AgencyBloc to see how you can leverage our industry-specific AMS to fit your specific needs.
This blog was originally posted on August 21, 2018 and republished on August 12, 2020.