The Shine of Service Never Wears Off
Since December 2021
Customer and Account Support
Voice and Email
For more than a century, our client has provided its customers with the peace of mind of knowing that their family heirlooms, gemstones, and jewelry pieces are covered in case of theft, damage, or loss. The company’s insurance plans are backed by a high commitment to customer service that was usually handled internally. As the business grew, the company added an external partner to help the in-house team manage the increased service load, but the experience was disappointing.
Part of a successful outsourcing partnership is finding a provider whose view of the customer journey aligns with those of the business. Successful relationships go beyond the transactional level, treating customer care as a core business strategy and a means of increasing customer retention and loyalty. The client believed in outsourcing but wanted better results, so the incumbent provider was retained, and we were brought into a champion/challenger environment that would allow for an analysis of money spent vs. value delivered.
Part of a successful outsourcing partnership is finding a provider whose view of the customer journey aligns with those of the business.
Supporting Two Groups of Customers
01 The Challenge
Providing scalable support with minimal attrition and a strong emphasis on the user experience.
02 The Solution
Teams in two onshore locations interacting with individual and business customers through multiple channels.
03 The Results
A growing program, improved CSAT, and high schedule adherence resolving thousands of issues per month.
01 The Challenge
- Reliable staffing while minimizing attrition
- A continuity & disaster recovery plan to maintain operations
- Treating customers as guests whom agents wanted to delight
The program has more layers than might be visible at first glance. For instance, there are two groups of customers – individual policyholders and jewelry stores. Each has its particular unique questions, priorities, and expectations. Jewelers typically need help in managing their platforms. They are a smaller segment of the customer base and a high-worth market due to the inventory they carry. Customer inquiries, meanwhile, center on policy matters, such as additions to or changes in coverage to fit evolving user needs. We have industry experience, which is not a requirement, but having some working knowledge of what different sectors look like is a plus. In addition, our work with healthcare providers also entails dual customer groups – care providers and patients – so we are familiar with this sort of dynamic.
02 The Solution
This is a high-volume program with thousands of customer contacts per month, and it entails a multi-channel service delivery approach centered around voice and email. Performance expectations involve resolving voice-related issues in seven and a half minutes or less. The program has many moving parts, so training spans a six-week cycle. The first two weeks are instructor-led and focus on the client’s service line, culture, and methodology for working with customers. The four weeks after that are a nesting phase that applies the classroom lessons with subject matter experts nearby to render assistance if needed.
The work is more complex than it might seem. It’s not just a matter of quotes, payments, or facilitating repairs. For example, if a customer moves, the work goes well beyond updating an account to reflect the new address. Agents must also account for each item that is covered and every person who is listed on the policy, and resolve questions about things such as security alarms in the home since having them leads to a customer discount.
03 The Results
This program has steadily grown from its launch to the point where the incumbent provider was not needed. Schedule adherence is at 93% and the commitment to staff reliability was a significant factor in the client’s decision to work with us. A coaching program is in place to help new agents get acclimated or resolve issues. Another bright spot is the quality assurance calibration meetings, which are essential for helping us and the client be on the same page about judging performance.
Among the key metrics in this program is after-call work, the time in which agents work through the administrative tasks that arise from each interaction. The benchmark is five minutes. That can be an ambitious standard, particularly for new agents, but with experience, it becomes more attainable. Other critical KPIs include call handle time, availability, quality, and schedule adherence.
As the program grows, it presents built-in career advancement opportunities for agents, which is a valuable anti-attrition tool. For every 15 agents, a supervisor is needed, and the preference is for that supervisor to emerge from within the agent corps. We take pride in fostering the promote-from-within approach as it benefits personnel retention and program continuity, along with living up to our pledge of providing people with career paths rather than simply filling job openings. Almost every recruit asks about opportunities for advancement, and a program like this makes them possible.