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About Face

Helping a major insurance company transform how it serves customers


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Abstract

Over the last 80 years, this insurance company grew from a small auto insurer into a multifaceted major national insurer with more than 10 million customers. Unfortunately, its data systems and processes did not keep pace, and customer service suffered. Customers had to navigate a maze of phone numbers when they called for help with their policies; no one person could provide support for their total portfolio. With dwindling market share, the company’s leadership looked to Deloitte to help them change direction by transforming a product-focused company into one that excels in building and managing customer relationships.

The Challenge

The company had grown through mergers and acquisitions, accumulating more than 140 affiliates with many retaining their original systems and processes. This approach may have worked 30 years ago when customers looked to their local insurance agents as their primary contacts, but expectations have changed. Leading companies across all industries have raised the bar on service; customers today expect to find reliable help and information with one phone call or web search anytime, anywhere.

The company’s patchwork of customer call centers fell far short. Ironically, their best customers — those with multiple policies — often received the worst service. Since the customer service representative (CSR) could not see a customer’s entire portfolio of policies, even an address change was a complicated transaction. Cross selling was also ineffective because a salesperson had no idea whether or not a customer had responded to a policy quote or product offering. It’s no wonder customer satisfaction sank as employee frustration surfaced.

How We Helped

Leadership recognized that they needed to turn the company around to meet customers’ expectations — fast. Their goal was to deliver an exceptional customer experience that would rival the best in any industry. They formed an internal customer solutions team that possessed deep industry knowledge and a broad understanding of marketing and technology. But accelerating the company’s transformation also required strategic insight across industries and specialized support in customer analytics, customer contact center design, technology solutions, and change management. Leadership tested the waters by hiring Deloitte to provide leading-practices, advice and solutions for collecting data that would provide insight into their customers’ expectations. This six-week assignment turned into a three-year customer transformation engagement, spanning our capabilities in strategy, human capital, and technology.

Customer experience assessment. The first step was to understand the needs of the business and its customers. We interviewed executives and customer-facing employees to understand their aspirations and frustrations. Deloitte’s proprietary tools were used to evaluate the company’s business processes, people, and technology across all channels — contact centers, local agency offices, and online — as well as across all touch points, including sales, enrollment, billing, and claims. We compared their results with other companies’ to identify gaps and opportunities. And we worked with leadership to refine their end-state vision of the customer experience their company would provide and developed the strategic plan and business case to secure funding for the transformation.

Customer information management. The company’s data problems were massive. The systems were designed around product silos, with no interconnections that allowed a consolidated view of a customer relationship. We identified specific changes required across many areas of the business, and helped the customer solution team create the execution roadmap, including establishing a program management office (PMO) to manage the transformation. The PMO confirmed that systems and processes were integrated across the product lines, tasks were executed on time, and cross-functional teams worked together toward the common goal of providing a high-quality customer experience.

Contact center transformation. Our assessments pinpointed the contact centers as an epicenter of customer dissatisfaction. Contact center employees lacked access to integrated customer information, which was a huge barrier to providing excellent service. But beyond accurate data, they also lacked effective processes, technology, training, and incentives. We helped the customer solutions team revamp sales and service delivery systems from top to bottom, and followed through with employee-related initiatives that encompassed selection, empowerment, monitoring, and training.

Solution

The company is well on its way toward realizing its customer experience vision. Contact center employees now have a full view of each customer’s profile and portfolio so they can provide personalized, efficient service. Methodical analytics and insights created through the customer information management program provide the information that agents and customer service representative need to identify and follow through on cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

Customers appreciate the change, creating an increase in retention and satisfaction ratings. What’s more, the little things that count most — like correct customer addresses — are under control. But a massive transformation doesn’t happen overnight; many changes are still being implemented. Leadership projects the first year’s benefits to total $17 million, with cumulative benefits exceeding $200 million over the next five years. And they expect to provide a customer experience second to none.

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