• November 1, 2013
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Philadelphia Insurance Listens to Customers

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Following the recent recession, insurance companies came to realize that long-term success required a fresh approach to customer service. The industry as a whole suddenly had to confront hesitancy and concerns from customers and prospects. Market share was no longer guaranteed.

Philadelphia Insurance, which has provided commercial property, casualty, and professional liability insurance since 1962, realized this early on and took immediate action. "We needed a differentiator to set us apart from competitors while adding incremental value to the business," says Seth Hall, the company's vice president of customer service.

About two years ago, Hall and his team turned to Confirmit for a voice of the customer (VoC) program that could provide a quick line of sight into every part of the customer life cycle. It rolled out Confirmit's CustomerSat, a Web-based solution, to listen to, analyze, and act on customer and agent feedback. Confirmit also provides role-based customizable dashboards, alerting, and case management capabilities.

The program started in the call center but has been expanded to include other areas of the company, including underwriting, account executives, marketing, sales, and claims.

"We have the whole customer life cycle covered, from the contact center all the way to claims adjudication," Hall says. "We capture feedback at every major part of the customer life cycle so there are no blind spots."

The program involves post-interaction surveys sent after a customer contacts the company via phone, email, or chat. Five surveys on each agent are sent out daily through a random, automated process.

When the survey results are good, the system automatically sends a "kudos alert" to the agent and his or her supervisor, which Hall says has been a real morale booster. When the feedback is not so good, the system automatically creates a case file and forwards the data to the appropriate parties for a response.

"We can translate information routinely mined from our agent network into meaningful improvements for our customers and, ultimately, Philadelphia Insurance," Hall says. "We now listen smartly, with purpose."

One such improvement was sending an automated response with key contact information once a customer files an insurance form. VoC data collected revealed that customers often feared that their forms entered a black hole once they were submitted, and they did not know what the next step in the process would be.

Hall touts the comprehensive Action Management technology as the most vital piece of the VoC program. With full alert capabilities, advanced case management, and task-centered case processing, the technology arms the company's customer service teams with the information needed to make improvements.

The Confirmit dashboard enables Hall and his team leaders to parse the data by product, geography, or even business process. What used to take three days to analyze is now available with a few mouse clicks, Hall says.

Prior to the implementation, Philadelphia Insurance conducted annual Net Promoter Score surveys and transactional call center surveys. They were done with no set purpose, and the company didn't do enough with the data that came in or share the data across the entire company, which now spans 46 locations across the country.

As a result of the implementation, the company's Net Promoter and overall customer satisfaction scores have risen by about three points. Other benefits have been a renewal rate increase of nearly 3 percent, which is indicative of the success of the customer service improvements. "We can justify a rate increase because our service is so good," Hall says. "When service is not so good, you can't expect customers to pay a rate increase."

Additionally, customer retention is now at 93 percent, up roughly three points. According to Hall, "every percent increase has a direct and positive impact on net earnings."

Based on the success of the program at Philadelphia Insurance, Hall says its parent company, Tokio Marine Group, plans to roll it out to some of its other companies.

"We have derived tremendous value from our VoC program," Hall reports. "This is now clearly part of our DNA."

The Payoff

Since implementing Confirmit CustomerSat, Philadelphia Insurance has seen:

  • its Net Promoter Score rise from 52.7 to 55.3;
  • overall customer satisfaction reach 95.4 percent, up from 93 percent;
  • its renewal rate increase by nearly 3 percent; and
  • customer retention rise to 93 percent, up roughly 3 points.

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