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How to simplify your offer

We’re often led to believe that more is better. But, especially when it comes to voluntary benefits, this isn’t always true. In fact, in most cases, it’s far more important to keep your offering simple than it is to offer an overly-broad range of products and solutions for customers. 

Simple solutions

Imagine you’re at a grocery store that has every imaginable food available. If you need to buy milk, for example, you would have every producer offering every single type of milk (2 percent, whole, skim, almond, soy, hemp, etc.). Now multiply that for every item on your list. The size of the store and variety of options would be impressive, but not necessarily practical. Options are good, but too many options become a burden. 

As a voluntary benefits carrier, we have a number of different customers we have to consider – the broker, enrollers, the employer and employees. For all of these clients, you don’t want to overwhelm them with options; simple and effective solutions are preferable to elaborate solutions with inessential components. 

For employers and brokers, straightforward solutions can make their lives easier by allowing them to address their needs more efficiently. For employees, being overwhelmed with too many products at time of enrollment can be confusing. It can also lead to “analysis paralysis;” when people are overwhelmed with options, they choose not to make any decision at all, which could prevent them from getting the protection they need and decreases the success of the enrollment.

Ways to cut down on confusion

Saying that you need a simplified offering is one thing, but doing it is another. Here are a couple possible ways to help make life easy:
  • Bundling products can simplify things for employees by reducing the number of purchase decisions required. For example, by bundling critical illness and accident insurance, employees only have one decision to make instead of two. The obvious drawback here is a loss of flexibility since the employee has fewer options to customize their own plan. Also, there are often restrictions from carriers on how much bundling they can offer and what products can be bundled.
  • If offering critical illness or life insurance, it may be worthwhile to limit the benefit amounts to two or three options. Again, this sidesteps the threat of “analysis paralysis” by limiting to a few reasonable options. Along these same lines, limiting to guaranteed issue policies can clear up confusion that comes with answering medical questions during enrollment.
  • The number of products offered is important to consider, as well. Rather than offering a high volume of voluntary products, select the products that work best for the employee group and stick with those.
  • When introducing voluntary for the first time, starting with one product and then offering one new product per year at enrollment time can be helpful. This approach allows employees and their employers to become more and more comfortable with voluntary products, year after year, one product at a time, without overwhelming them. Once they start purchasing that first product, they may purchase another, but in order to do that, they may need time to learn the benefits and see the need for voluntary products.
How to pick out simple solutions

Going back to the grocery store analogy, there’s a reason that stores don’t offer every conceivable food. But, determining what options to offer consumers isn’t always simple. In the world of voluntary benefits, being able to identify what to offer for a simplified solution comes down to two things: being able to listen and flexibility. Talking to clients and customers, getting an understanding of what their needs are and then having the flexibility to meet those needs are the keys to a more efficient and effective solution.

Posted on December 06, 2018 in Broker News Sales

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