Following the recession, Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY) felt the need to refresh its customer experience efforts. Consumers and prospects had more questions and concerns than ever before, compromising market share in today's competitive landscape.
Thus, PHLY recognized the need to design and implement a customer experience program that provided insight into every step along the customer journey in order to transform the entire brand into an effective, efficient customer-centric business.
Because PHLY has multiple sources of customer feedback flowing into the organization, leaders found it difficult to develop an enterprisewide analysis of the customer experience. However, PHLY wanted to translate information routinely mined from its agent network into meaningful improvements for both customers and the company. Thus, PHLY underwent departmental structure changes in order to advance its account management team and expand consistency throughout the company. Seth Hall, senior vice president, customer service for Philadelphia Insurance Companies, explains that, prior to this initiative, PHLY was regionally aligned across its 49 locations nationwide, sparking the need for centralized operations throughout the company. Instead of conducting business 13 different ways, PHLY wanted to ensure the customers across the country had the same experience no matter the location.
PHLY also outlined its top three priorities for bringing its "Focus on things that matter, we'll handle the risk!" motto to life. Leaders wanted to establish an outside-in perspective that used customer feedback to drive improvements, capture feedback from those directly on the frontlines to determine direction, and gather feedback from PHLY's executive leadership team to assess their perspectives on goals and objectives. For customer experience to truly succeed across the organization, PHLY knew it had to listen with purpose.
"We wanted to make things easier on our customers," Hall adds. "We wanted them to know we'll be there if they need us-that we've got their back. Our industry has become increasingly commoditized, but at the end of the day, if we're focused on the right elements, great experiences will put customers at ease and help us stand out above the competition."
By integrating sophisticated reporting dashboards from Confirmit, PHLY can now parse customer data by product, geography, or business process, thereby enabling the prioritization of open items, providing the team with the information needed to take corrective actions, and elevating the customer's voice.
With feedback in hand, PHLY created a central repository of information for agents in order to leverage the power of the group. Hall notes that, in the past, agents working in the same room together would simply turn to their co-worker when they had a question. However, there was no guarantee that this response was consistent or correct. Now, however, with dashboards in place, agents can put their question out there and get a response from their peers, which will then be saved for future reference, thereby supporting the underlying desire for consistency. Such collaborative tools not only further service initiatives, but also enable agents to unlock insights into the customer experience.
Since the initiative's launch, PHLY has unearthed numerous issues that irritate and dissuade clients and prospects. For example, the customer feedback program revealed that both agents and policyholders were frustrated by the "black hole" into which insurance applications entered and lacked confidence about their next steps. In response, PHLY implemented an automated response process that provides key contact information, building a new level of trust. PHLY also launched its new billing system because related issues accounted for 33 percent of incoming client complaints, highlighting the need for improved system efficiency.
To expand beyond the traditional bounds of customer experience, agents also make business personal by sending handwritten thank-you notes to customers. Employees do so at such high volume, that thank-you cards are now on back order with the supplier, in fact. While it's not required, employees feel strongly about maintaining personal connections with their customers. Many clients have been so moved by such gestures, that they send handwritten notes in response. PHLY's bottom line has also seen quite an impact, experiencing an overall customer service satisfaction score of 94.6 percent, an account retention rate of 90.8 percent, and an overall revenue retention rate of 93 percent in 2014.