Have you ever encountered a company that completely blew you away with the quality of their customer service?  If you have, I bet you still remember that experience and how it made you feel. And more than likely, you've been a loyal customer ever since. There are a number of companies such as Zappos, Nordstrom, or Trader Joe's that have managed to consistently exceed their customers' expectations and have developed a near cult following as a result. Beyond these usual suspects, last year brought us countless, often poignant, examples of outstanding customer care, with teachers finding creative ways to connect with students remotely, delivery drivers going out of their way to get packages where they needed to be, or frontline health care workers putting their own well-being on the line for their patients. These radical examples of member care, experience and service are an inspiration, but also show us that customer experience matters in every industry.

Unfortunately, the health insurance industry does not have a great track record of customer service, with a net promoter score that is consistently one of the lowest among consumer-facing industries; even lower than traditionally poor performing regulars like wireless, cable and satellite television. It's time we change that — and I believe it starts with benefits brokers.

Benefits brokers are uniquely positioned to lead the way in demanding higher levels of customer service from health benefits providers.  As trusted and skilled advisors, they can help their clients identify health benefits partners that they know go above and beyond to take care of their members. When brokers present plan options that will dazzle their clients with radical customer service, everyone wins. So how do you identify plans and providers that are likely to exceed your clients' expectations? Below are a few places to start:

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