First insurer launches customer experience system to provide real time feedback to staff

11 January 2011 Metropolitan Retail
Deidre Wolmarans, Senior Manager: Complaints and Conservation at Metropolitan Retail

Deidre Wolmarans, Senior Manager: Complaints and Conservation at Metropolitan Retail

Metropolitan Retail recently became one of the first financial services provider in South Africa to implement a state of the art customer experience management system that enables the company to identify and address customer issues in real time.

It’s only been a few months since the implementation of the solution but customer feedback through the new system has resulted in numerous improvements throughout the business. As a direct result of customer feedback the company is busy creating a self-service capability for the issue of ITC tax certificates. Deidre Wolmarans, Senior Manager: Complaints and Conservation at Metropolitan Retail says the system has become the backbone of the company's customer experience management strategy, which is designed to improve all aspects of the company from the customer’s interaction with a consultant to the time it takes to process a claim.

Wolmarans believes it’s likely the new system will become an emergent new trend, providing competitive advantage in the life assurance industry and expects competitors will be forced to follow suit. Amid the recession, in 2009 Metropolitan Retail developed a new strategy focused squarely on customer centricity - exceeding customer expectations and improving customer experience.

The new solution, called Attentive ACE®, is a proactive feedback solution which allows Metropolitan Retail to interview its customers directly after they've engaged with the company. This event-driven feedback can then be used proactively to ensure that the company improves the customer's overall service experience through immediate response and escalation. A pilot project was launched in January 2010 at numerous offices throughout the Western Cape. The pilot project proved to be a huge success and has been rolled out nationally. Wolmarans says in an industry where there are major cost pressures, it's a business imperative to get things right first time and adapt rapidly to customer’s needs.

The new system enables Metropolitan Retail to conduct flexible, intelligent interviews with randomly selected customers within 48hours of an interaction. Intelligent interviews give Metropolitan Retail the opportunity to modify questionnaires and zone in on specific issues or trends at any given time. The system also gives management real time information about staff performance in relation to customer perception which promotes staff involvement and ownership in the cycle of continuous improvement. Ultimately, says Wolmarans, the new system will raise the benchmark for customer service in the life assurance industry. "Not only will we retain our customers, but they are likely to become our biggest brand ambassadors."

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