LIMRA research finds branding and reputation play a big role when it comes to brokers recommending carriers to employer clients. Ninety percent of brokers believe a carrier’s reputation is an important part of the recommendation. Additionally, 76 percent believe that name recognition is important in recommendations. However, brokers place the greatest emphasis on how carriers treat their clients in general (strong customer service) and during claims processing.
While reputation plays a large role in the recommendation process, it had less importance when it comes to why brokers recommend replacing a carrier. Only 31 percent of brokers consider carrier reputation is a major factor when recommending a carrier change to their employer clients. Additionally, just 2 percent of brokers say that reputation is most influential. Instead, cost, flexibility and better customer service drive these recommendations.
Marketing and communications also play a role in brokers’ relationships with carriers. Two-thirds of brokers use the marketing materials the carriers provide during their sales process (with even higher adoption by brokers who sell in smaller case size markets). Eighty-five percent of brokers believe that their employer clients are looking for more help in communicating their benefit plans to their employees compared to three years ago. When it comes to social media, only 21 percent of brokers believe carriers are doing a good job utilizing the medium to encourage interest in employee benefit products. Brokers rate their own social media effectiveness only marginally better.
Overall, brokers are very satisfied with the personal relationships they have with their carriers. Almost nine out of 10 brokers highly value their connections with account managers and sales representatives.
For more information on the impact of marketing and reputation, LIMRA members can read, Partnering with Carriers to Connect with Clients.