Client Case Study
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Customer Service Manager
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.
VP Customer Service
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.”
Field Service Leader
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!
Continuous Improvement Manager
I want to personally thank you. The effective presentations skills and leadership coaching exceeded our expectations.
You gave our consultants practical tools and insights they could walk away with and immediately utilize.
Thank you for being so professional, yet fun, to work with.
VP Customer Experience
We needed a way to improve customer training. We had to reach a disparate group of people in a very short period time. LSA gave us a new training methodology and a better way to go to market with our customer training that improved their experience and our brand positioning.
LSA delivered exactly what we needed and exceeded our expectations. Thank you.
Vice President of Marketing
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.
SVP Business Development
We engaged with LSA Global to share best practices around Rapid Instructional Design and to develop, design, and deliver an session that taught our property owners the benefits of our Customer Loyalty program.
We found their experts 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.
Vice President Brand Service
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