Many of us make resolutions at the beginning of each year, with the goal that it will be better than the last. 2016 was undoubtedly filled with challenges, from figuring out new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations, to adjusting to the fact that the ACA is on the chopping block once again. As a broker, there are many issues to stay on top of throughout the year, which can sometimes distract you from doing your very best work. If you’re looking to start the new year off right, here are a few helpful resolutions to take into consideration to set you up for success in 2017.

Be different – Stand out from the pack by leveraging new technology to differentiate yourself

Most seasoned brokers know that one of the most effective ways to be successful is to differentiate yourself. There are a number of ways to do this, from offering master strategic benefit planning services, to developing skills that allow you to consult on a broad range of business issues. These are both strong avenues for differentiation, but on top of everything else that needs to be managed, these can be a lot to take on.

A more efficient and productive way you can differentiate yourself is by leveraging new technology. By effectively streamlining processes for your clients, allowing them to get things completed in just a couple clicks in most cases, you’ll stand out from your competitors. It will also make your job easier and beneficial overall for your agency. A good resolution for this year would be to take the time to research and discover solutions that are a fit for you and your agency’s needs. To help you start, here is a list of the top insurance agency products.

Stay in touch – Check in with your clients on a regular basis to stay mindful of their needs and sentiment

While tech tools are helpful for logistics, keeping your clients happy is another critical component to being a successful broker – because a happy client is a loyal client.

Try to keep a constant pulse on how they are doing by checking in regularly to understand their needs. Schedule time to meet in person or give them a call to figure out what is working and, maybe, not working. If they have any dissatisfaction, this gives you an opportunity to get ahead of it before it manifests into a bigger issue. Now is a great time to start doing this as you meet to kick off plans for the New Year.

In addition to engaging in regular conversation, you can also send yearly surveys to all of your clients so you have data that you can track over time and learn from. You can also use this as a method for performance reviews to discover strengths and weaknesses about your employee’s that you may not have known otherwise.

These things can definitely take time and energy, but it will make your clients feel valued, help you build a strong relationship, and ultimately have a positive impact on the retention of your clients.

Help them, help you – Empower clients to help themselves by creating new revenue streams

While having regular contact with your clients is important, you may not want them reaching out to you every time they get stuck on a minor issue. Help enable them to find quick and easy solutions so they can resolve some challenges on their own. Many brokers will provide these solutions and bundle them into the client’s service fees. However, clients are less likely to use tools when the fees are bundled this way, because they tend to forget about the resources at their disposal.

We’ve found that separately billing clients to use solutions like these increases client engagement with products since it provides a monthly reminder that they have – and are paying for – the services. This will make them more inclined to use the tools at their disposal while ultimately helping them be more productive, and in return creates a new revenue stream for your agency.

You can also use this as an opportunity to develop paid training programs or webinars to educate your clients on how to use products. Potentially, some clients may not be using available tools because they don’t know how to navigate them. Educating your clients will enable them to help themselves and also create another revenue opportunity for your agency.

If you’re interested in learning more on this topic, join our webinar on the winning strategies of top brokers who use ThinkHR at discovery.

While they can be hard to stick to at times, resolutions are great for refreshing your mindset and giving you a positive outlook. We hope these will help you start your new year off on the right foot and set you up for long term success.