There is much discussion regarding the significance of customer experience management (CEM) and how important it is to a successful business strategy, but few organizations can deliver effectively at every interaction and touch point. What does it mean to your company – and most importantly – what does it mean to your customers?
The Contact Centre is the Hub
As consumers consider various product and service offers, the decision to do business with any company is generally based on the real and perceived value of both tangible and soft benefits. The combination of price, reputation, and service are among the primary factors in choosing insurance. Reputation can only be established over time – while price, for any specific customer and insurance product, is relatively inflexible for a given risk profile. Therefore, customer service is a means by which an insurer can stand apart from the competition to effectively build loyalty and win new clients.
A knowledge management strategy is critical in order to successfully implement a business model predicated on customer service differentiation. Best practices and processes are needed to identify, capture, enhance, organize and distribute knowledge and content vital to delivering truly personal service to the customer and to successfully enable agents. MORE TH>N, the Direct UK insurance brand of RSA Insurance Group, has implemented a strategy of personalised service by instituting their Personal Customer Manager Program.
While striving to deliver highly individualized service to their customers, MORE TH>N also discovered the need for proactive and personalized communication and knowledge delivery for agents in order to be effective.
Volumes of information magnified by the complex interrelationship of processes and technology present a tremendous challenge within a tightly regulated – yet ultimately personalized industry – such as insurance. In today’s competitive marketplace, it is a requirement to respond to dynamic changes in products and services accurately. This can easily lead to information overload, inaccuracy, and inefficiency where agents are increasingly likely to provide out-of-date information or put customers on hold. Clearly, this is counterproductive to a satisfied customer experience.
“We were faced with a challenge of being able to provide our Service Centre with the right information regarding our products and propositions, plus be able to push communications and messages to the right people at the right time”, said Andy Hobbs, Capability Development Leader at RSA.
Analysis of the root causes of inconsistent information and confused knowledge delivery was found to be due to a variety of applications as well as a lack of personalized knowledgebase content for agent needs.
Customer Managers were bombarded with knowledge from a multitude of information channels and repositories including email, multiple intranet sites, and company briefings. Most of the information needed in order for successful customer contacts existed, but resided in multiple applications and repositories and was not personalized to the context or needs of the customer .
This necessitated that Customer Managers wade through different areas of the intranet, and or emails for updates, and sift out those things which were not relevant for their job, or the specific calls they were dealing with. Often with information overload, they turned to experienced technical customer managers to help answer their questions, while putting the customers on hold. Not only did this create unsatisfactory customer experiences, it required duplication of efforts of highly skilled resources.
“The key element of our challenge was not just that we were able to make sure that people had received the information but also to identify where we had knowledge gaps and be able to target and direct our training and coaching resources to close these,” stated Andy Hobbs. With aggressive growth plans, MORE TH>N was looking for initiatives that could deliver results rapidly.
InStranet’s Contact Centers In-Line
InStranet’s Contact Centers In-Line (CCIL) Knowledge Application, provides a robust platform to insure proactive knowledgebase content delivery and personalized communication for each individual agent while insuring awareness and comprehension. InStranet’s experience, rapid implementation, and hosted solution services, proved a winning combination. Utilizing InStranet’s proven step-by-step methodology, MORE TH>N was able to assess the critical issues, pilot a solution and fully roll out CCIL across their contact centres in a matter of months.
Andy adds, “To ensure that we really stand out from our competitors in relation to customer service, it is vital that our people are confident that there is a single hub where there is just one version of the truth. To then be able to tailor this information and subsequent training and development to the individual is something very special. We are looking forward to working with InStranet on these key areas of our business in our continued quest to delivering the best customer care for our customers”.
Personalised Knowledge Management has not only enabled MORE TH>N to address the issues of communication and knowledge, but additionally has allowed more strategic information to be provided to the Customer Managers, empowering them to answer customer questions and increase sales. Implementation of an effective knowledge management strategy has allowed MORE TH>N to implement the processes and communication needed to respond and innovate in the highly competitive UK Insurance Industry.
Widening the Vision
The news of success within MORE TH>N has been picked up by other areas of RSAs insurance business, most recently the rapidly growing Affinity business. Servicing multiple brands by one Customer Manager increased the complexity of products and services while placing additional demands on the knowledge management application.
InStranet’s CCIL has the ability to personalize the knowledgebase view and information context for the Customer Manager for a specific brand with one click. This, in addition to other benefits already realized by MORE TH>N have made the application an imperative for this side of RSAs business.
Since RSA had chosen InStranet’s hosted solution, with point-and-click flexibility, the many business dimensions and layers of RSA’s insurance business can be supported in a single repository. The expanded requirements of the Affinity business have been met without the need for any additional infrastructure or development.
About RSA and MORE TH>N
With an almost 300 year heritage, RSA is one of the world’s leading multinational quoted insurance groups. It has the capability to write business in over 130 countries and with major operations in the UK, Scandinavia, Canada, Ireland, Asia and the Middle East and Latin America. Focusing on general insurance, it has around 22,000 employees and, in 2007, its net written premiums were £5.8bn.
Within the UK, RSA is the largest commercial lines insurer, covering the insurance and risk management needs of a significant number of FTSE 100 companies. It has a full multi-distribution capability, writing business through brokers and corporate partners, direct and online. RSA is also one of the UK’s top three personal motor and household insurers.
MORE TH>N is the direct financial services arm of RSA. It offers motor, home, pet, life and travel insurance by phone and via the Internet. It also offers van, shop, office, business car, hotels, property, club and contractor insurance direct to small businesses.
In December 2006 MORE TH>N, together with its parent company Royal & SunAlliance, became the first insurer in the UK to be carbon neutral. The company has cut its carbon footprint by over half since 2000 and has offset the remainder by purchasing voluntary carbon reductions.
InStranet is a leading provider of multi-channel knowledge applications. Global 2000 companies rely on InStranet’s solutions to automate content and knowledge delivery for contact centres, field sales, and Web self-care, for servicing and sales initiatives. InStranet’s Multi-Channel Knowledge Applications enable businesses to securely create, manage and deploy critical profile-based content for enterprise channels, and to analyze results to identify key successes or areas for improvement.