Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Perhaps the only thing keeping up with the pace of consolidation in our industry today is the record money that is flowing into new technologies.
Companies are buying insurtechs, insurtechs are buying companies, and brokers are everywhere in between. A recent CB Insights report found that digital health startups in the United States amassed $37.9 billion in funding in 2021, up a whopping 75% from 2020. Health technology companies in particular (this is our healthcare issue, after all), are closing at much higher numbers.
The customer experience is everything, particularly in the employee benefits space, and your clients are demanding that you respond in kind.
Technology, though, is only a tool to give your client a tailored solution. For brokers, what matters most is everything you provide in addition to the tech processes—the real consultative advice that positions your client for success. That’s how you win in the first place. There may not be a need to chase that proverbial shiny penny.
As you’re already likely experiencing and as you’ll read more about in this month’s feature “No Going Back,” digital platforms and self-service portals are proliferating, making healthcare more accessible, adaptable and understandable. I applaud the ideas and advancements we’ve seen across the industry.
But I think brokers have an opportunity to go beyond these gains by integrating their human touch with all that the technology is presenting them—better data, streamlined insights, a smoother overall experience. There are five workforce generations in our midst right now. Without brokers on hand to help them process and make decisions on a trove of highly complex issues—each unique to their life stage—then employers paying a pretty penny in the name of their workforce’s health and well-being aren’t going to see the ROI.
Customer experience no doubt gets a boost from advanced technology—and I don’t mean in any way to discourage innovation—but let’s not forget how integral it is to bring together tech and human service. With each new tool, brokers have an opportunity to help the client and its employees understand the advantage of its uptake. Brokers have the ear of the client, even if carriers have the products. That’s where I believe the rubber will continue to meet the road.