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How client service pays for itself
March 28, 2022
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How client service pays for itself

“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” — Walt Disney

Seniors trust you, their Medicare agent. You’re independent. You represent many companies. And you’re focused on building long-term relationships.

At Spark, our mission is to serve seniors by giving you — the independent agent — a bigger role in the healthcare ecosystem.

Trapped in the cycle of success

Your high level of client service is what sets you apart from the call centers and other agents. But, at a certain point, you’re spending more time servicing clients than helping new ones.

We know we should be calling clients after they receive their insurance card, sending birthday cards, and notifying them about AEP. But three touches a year across email, mail and calls for 500 clients means 5,000 individual actions per year.

And that doesn’t even include inbound calls and emails! For an agent at Spark with a book of 300, we’re seeing an average of 60 inbound calls per year outside AEP. When our service team jumps in, it takes around 2 hours to solve a request. That means if you’re going above and beyond by calling the provider office, insurance carrier, or Medicaid on behalf of your client, you can be taking up an entire month of work.

Eventually, the system starts to break down. You add a CRM, but you see tasks pile up. Maybe you hire an assistant, but spend all your time training. Growth slows as you shift your time from servicing to selling.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s a dashboard showing the types of request we’ve received and resolved in the last month on behalf of agents. Clients run into a lot of billing issues!

A new type of partnership

We’re lucky to partner with some of the best agents across the country (read more about Sarah, Chris, and Lori!). We work with them to ensure each client is getting all the support they need year-round.

Independent agents, embedded in their local community, focus on selling and helping new clients, while Spark supports their existing book of business. We’ve pioneered this unique partnership model that enables agents to grow and get credit for their service work.

We’ve built a phenomenal US-based support team averaging over 10 years of experience, overseen by a leader who managed service call centers at Clover and Cedar. We deliver the agent’s three outbound touchpoints and year-round inbound support — all in the agent’s name, because it’s always about the agent’s relationship.

Best of all, we offer our partnership at no cost for agents because it’s powered by a proprietary technology platform, built with collaboration, personalization, and efficiency in mind.

The results have been tremendous. Agents feel relieved and empowered to do what they do best, and we’ve done life-changing work for tens of thousands of clients across the country. In a short period of time, we’re already seeing legacy agencies attempting to offer similar service commitments. We hope this becomes the norm. The industry needs it.

A visual of our support request feature. Agents simply submit a request and our team keeps the agent updated in a 2-way chat system.

Client service pays

Over 70% of our partners’ income comes from renewals, and for our top-producing agents, over 50% of new growth comes from referrals. In this rapidly changing market it’s never been more clear: clients are an agent’s most important asset, and client service must be a strategic priority.

Let’s make the value of client service more concrete: assume you improve retention from 80% to 90% for an agent with 300 clients. That equals 100 more clients after 5 years, or nearly $28,000 in additional renewal income every year. And that doesn’t include the value of getting more referrals and hundreds of hours of time savings.

Client service is not only the right thing to do, it’s good business. In an increasingly competitive industry, we need to change the conversation about client service and push our industry in a new direction.

Special thanks to all our partners who’ve made this possible, and welcome aboard to all of our new ones!

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