Building Brand & Customer Loyalty: Insurance

Building Brand & Customer Loyalty at an Expanding Insurance Agency

Client Case Study

Situation

With a strong base of operations on the West Coast, this leading Insurance Group focused on growth through geographic expansion. The company first entered the Midwest, Texas the next year and three Eastern states two years later. With a core philosophy built around customer service, they have carved out a market niche by offering insurance directly to consumers, providing a wide array of insurance products and 24-hour telephone access to licensed insurance professionals.

As the company began to enter new areas of the country, they were quick to realize that the game had changed. Accustomed to having strong name recognition and a good reputation, they were now faced with being the “new kid on the block” in a highly competitive industry. Also, their research showed that consumers were becoming increasingly dissatisfied with insurance providers in general. It was in these market conditions that they saw opportunity. By leveraging their customer service strengths, they could win over customers and build market share.

 

Complications

  • New Market Realities: Intense competition, commodity-driven product offerings and rising acquisition costs are driving new ways of thinking about—and executing against—a customer-centric business strategy.

Approach

  1. Create a crystal clear vision.
    To build a performance culture focused on the customer, your people first have to “see it.” Everyone must share the same vision and buy in to what success looks like for your company. The company’s  philosophy was to treat every customer interaction as an opportunity to beat out the competition.Call center agents get this message from the moment they enter the organization. Even the new hire training program is customer-centric. Immediately after they become licensed agents, call center representatives are introduced to the company’s customer-driven business model. This is done early on so that they see how every aspect of their job ties back to the customer. Even as they learn company policies and procedures, they see it from the customers’ viewpoint. New hires come to understand that the quality of their interactions with customers is what drives the company’s success.
  2. Adopt a measurement system everyone can embrace.While there are many approaches, the company chose the Net Promoter® score as the metric to gauge their overall customer effectiveness. The score is calculated by taking the percentage of customers who are promoters (those who are highly likely to recommend your company or products) and subtracting the percentage who are detractors (those who are less likely to recommend your company or products).
  3. Align your processes to succeed.Process alignment is the backbone of any strategic initiative. The management team took a hard look at their processes to be sure they aligned with their vision for an exceptional customer experience. They adopted our Call Strategy™. The service model applies behavioral psychology to help representatives develop the skills to effectively navigate through customer conversations. The discrete steps in The Call Strategy are based on meeting the customer’s emotional needs throughout the interaction, thereby getting predictable responses that enable the agent to lead the conversation to a successful conclusion.

Approach (cont)

4.  Invest in your call center agents.When service is your competitive advantage, you need to invest appropriately in the people interacting with your customers. In the insurance industry, the call center agent is often the primary customer touch point. The company saw the strategic value of their call center agents and viewed them as the mechanism for delivering the brand promise—day in and day out. With more than 300,000 monthly calls coming through the call center network, there was little margin for error. Every interaction was looked at as an opportunity to improve or detract from the quality of the customer experience.The company rolled out training from the Senior Vice President level on down. The training develops decision-making and advanced customer interaction skills needed to consistently excel in every customer conversation. The staff learned to take control of the call regardless of the customer’s situation or level of emotion. This can be essential when dealing with customers on insurance matters, which can often bring a lot of personal frustration that presents itself early on in the phone call. An insurance representative that is not equipped to deal with the complexities and intensity of that situation is at risk of losing a valuable customer.

5.  Live and breathe a performance culture.The organization is passionate about the value of coaching and makes it a top priority. Without effective coaching, you just won’t reap the benefits of any skills training you have provided your team.It’s interesting to note that the company took the issue of time management head on. By performing a time and motion study, they were able to illustrate there was indeed time in a manager’s day for coaching. Once people understood the value and were given the right tools, the momentum shift began.

6.  Build support up, down and across the organization.To ensure consistent results were achieved, the company identified champions in each call center location. Each is a certified master coach who is intimate with The Call Strategy service model and the approach to providing Focused Feedback. Each champion is held accountable for ensuring that the coaching process works effectively and consistently in the call center. This infrastructure has brought a degree of camaraderie and creativity into the process. For example, the team has developed a call library that showcases examples of quality customer interaction. Supervisors and agents can access this learning tool as a way to get some fresh approaches to common customer situations.In addition, master coaches function as the conduit to senior management, bringing success and challenges forward. They make it their business to demonstrate the impact this initiative is having on the growth of the business. With the measurements and processes that have been put in place, it is easy to translate quality customer interactions into organizational benefits. It’s the master coaches’ role to make those links for the executive team and shine a light on the results that are being achieved.

Results

  • 24% increase in rep satisfaction
  • 25% increase in net promoter scores

Related Information

We partnered with LSA Global to help us provide the most effective customer service skills for our associates. Guided by our Service Promoter and Customer Service Satisfaction scores, we sought to partner with an organization that could provide customer service training and consulting programs for a diverse set of employees, communicating with customers via phone, email and in person, and with varying levels of knowledge and tenure. I’ve already gotten emails from customers saying that they’re seeing a change.

Radiology Field Service Leader

ge-healthcare-large

LSA was very thorough during all phases of our customer service strategy process: the pre-meeting, the meeting and post-meeting. Their time spent with management and our employees went very well. LSA’s write-up of what was said was very insightful. Their suggestions for the future were also very valuable. I can’t think of any phase of the process that wasn’t first class.

John Lynch
CEO & President

ESCI

I want to personally thank you for meeting and exceeding our expectations. For giving our consultants something they could walk away from the session with and immediately utilize. And finally, for being so professional, yet fun, to work with.

Jennifer Morgans
VP Customer Experience

Plato-large-gray

We partnered with LSA Global to help us provide the most effective customer service skills for our associates. Guided by our Promoter Satisfaction scores, we sought to partner with an organization that could provide customer service training and consulting programs for a diverse set of employees, communicating with customers via phone, email and in person, and with varying levels of knowledge and tenure. I’ve already gotten emails from customers saying that they’re seeing a change.”

Radiology
Field Service Leader

GE

I see the return on investment coming at several levels. Our line supervisors reported rapid drops in escalated calls after we implemented the call center training programs. Scores on key customer survey questions showed improvement, especially among call centers with less experienced reps. And our turnover costs have been significantly reduced, mainly because the simulations in these programs give our new hires such a clear picture of what it takes to succeed in this job. And, the most important return is that we are seeing more complimentary letters from our customers and service representatives that are more satisfied with their jobs.

Insurance Company
Senior Director

Seagate has always found LSA to be a valuable resource. LSA delivers top quality solutions when we need them with just one call. The recent business sales training programs they’ve delivered for Seagate University have been the right solution, highest of quality and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company interested in offering top notch learning solutions.

Tammy Dujmovich
Sales, Marketing & Customer Service

Seagate

The voice of our customer drives our business. We go to great lengths to understand their level of satisfaction and capture their feedback. Before we implemented these solutions, we sampled a group of customer service representatives. Shortly after implementation, we tested this same group. The average customer satisfaction score improved 129%!

We’ve also used the system with job candidates. It gives them good insight into what they can expect on the job and it gives us insight into their ability to handle the job effectively.

Financial Services Company
Contact Center Director

Our talk times are very crisp. The Contact Center Learning Solutions contributed significantly to our success at meeting or running under our target talk times. That’s important for our costs and, even more, to respecting our customers’ time. We see these two programs helping us bridge more of our service calls into selling calls. We’ve also reduced training time by a day or more, because these programs fulfill certain training objectives faster and better than what we used before. The overall benefit is quality. Quality comes from the way our associates handle calls – their ability to be confident, professional and crisp in their approach. And it comes from great coaching. These solutions have helped make our customer contact experiences the best they can be.

Telecommunications Company
Quality, Training, and Coaching Director

We engaged with LSA Global to train our Call Center Customer Service Managers and Team Leaders how to be effective coaches. We wanted our CSMs and TLs to be able to conduct the “hard” conversations around performance, to create a coaching environment that encourages our agents to be self-motivated, and ultimately to create a better experience for our consumers. LSA’s facilitator was able to tailor the content and deliver it in way that really demonstrated a deep understanding of our needs and left our CSMs and TLs wanting more!

Jane Pearson-Wray
Continuous Improvement Manager

Electrolux

We engaged with LSA Global to support our Customer Service Improvement initiative to develop and enhance the awareness and importance of good customer service within our Corporate Business Services group. We wanted to deliver a solution that would positively influence and shape internal behaviors and customer behaviors.

LSA Global, through their partnership process, demonstrated their value proposition. By first understanding our desired outcomes, only then could an effective solution be designed and delivered. Their consultant was well prepared, engaging and really drove a cross-functional, multi-level audience, to see a “basic” concept in profound and impactful ways.  We will look to LSA Global for these and future needs.

Stanley Newman
Customer Service Manager

Shire

We recently surveyed our agents after their participation in the Contact Center training. The results were impressive: 100 percent rated the overall experience as being “valuable” with 85 percent giving it the highest rating of “very valuable”. Also, 100 percent found this selling model to be valuable with 80 percent rating it as “very valuable”, and 100 percent found the coaching methods and practices featured to be accurate and insightful.

Technology Company
Corporate Training Executive

We engaged with LSA Global to share best practices around Rapid Instructional Design and to develop, design and deliver an education session that taught our property owners the benefits of our Customer Loyalty program.  We found LSA Global’s team to be collaborative, insightful, prepared and nimble, especially given that the time frame for the project became compressed.  We look forward to continuing our strategic partnership.

Annmarie Fairweather
Vice President Brand Service

logo_wyndham-large

We needed a way to improve training with our customers. We had to reach a disparate group of people in a very short period time. LSA gave us a new training methodology and a way to go to market with our training that improved our customer touch. LSA delivered what we needed in the time we required.

Hinda Chalew
Vice President of Marketing

Valchemy-large-gray

Having gone through many leadership development programs it can be said that my approach was reasonably skeptical at first. The analyst in me has concluded it was your method; which was almost conversational and so cleverly delivered I initially missed it, which is the mark of a great facilitator.

In the program several leadership tools were employed, props such as the familiar movie clip, interaction games with peers; the text and reference guides, the analysis and profile of team members by peers and facilitated conversation to name a few. These tools, created scenario based, referenced learning that could be immediately translated into the work place. That coupled with the follow-on coaching sessions have been the key to the development. I am pleased to have attended the LSA Global Program and even more so feel privileged to have had you as teacher and coach.

Edison Stephen
VP Customer Service

Fujitsu

We were all very impressed with LSA’s call center consulting efforts and extremely satisfied with the recommendations. Our intention is to take the many recommendations and implement them in our Call Center.

Ron Shell
SVP Business Development

ESCI

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

icon_expert-blog

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More