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Old Mutual Insure celebrates the customer this International Customer Service Week

23 October 2019 Old Mutual Insure

Since the United States Congress instituted Customer Service Week as a national event in 1992, Customer Week, celebrated annually on the first week of October, has, today, become a global celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers every day.

In 2014 Old Mutual Insure recognised the role that Customer Service Week could play in helping employees to understand the critical importance of service in maintaining and deepening our relationship with customers and broker partners.

Central to Old Mutual Insure’s efforts to place the customer at the heart of its business is, “helping employees recognise that customers are not just a policy number, but real people who, when they deal with us, are generally going through a challenge, a loss or a trauma,” according to Christelle Colman, insurance expert at Old Mutual Insure.

In support of the insurer’s ongoing commitment to keep the customer and brokers at the heart of what it does, the company adapted this year’s global Customer Service Week’s theme – the Magic of Service – into a week-long programme of magic-themed events built around customer service. These events took place at Old Mutual Insures’ headquarters at Wanooka Place, Park Town, Johannesburg as well as at all regional Old Mutual Insure offices around the country.

• Monday celebrated ‘the magician in you,’ as a real magician visited all the floors of Old Mutual Insure, “encouraging employees to understand how their interaction with customers can transform an experience of loss or trauma, into one of transcendence, resolution and new hope,” explained Colman
• Tuesday’s theme, ‘creating magical moments,’ built on an existing programme already running at Old Mutual in which, “we encourage customer and broker-facing employees to refer customers who have had a particularly traumatic or life-changing experience or loss, as a magical moment lead,” said Colman.
• For example, if a customer has suffered a loss of a loved one or lost their home to fire, “we use Magical Moments to connect with the customers on an emotional level and engage both the customers & brokers to personalise the care packs according to the customer moment”
• On Wednesday Old Mutual expressed the theme of ‘flexibility in teams,’ by encouraging employees to play Twister, demonstrating teamwork, adaptability, flexibility and the ability to go an extra mile for clients, “even if you have to do new things and stretch yourself creatively,” said Colman.
• Thursday’s theme, to ‘listen attentively and with presence,’ saw the company provide tips about how to be an effective listener when communicating with customers, brokers and colleagues. As Steve Jobs once said: “get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they will need well before they realise it themselves”.

Friday saw employees embrace the magic of sharing and helping. As part of your daily activities, share knowledge and ideas with your colleagues, share updates with our customers and maybe, share a chocolate here and there. But most importantly, lend a helping hand to those who need it, especially our customers.

Service Ambassador Initiative

Old Mutual Insure also used this years’ Customer Service Week to highlight its existing Service Ambassador Programme which acknowledges & rewards those employees who go the extra mile in delivering exceptional service.
Colman is confident that, cumulatively, all these initiatives are succeeding in driving higher levels of customer satisfaction at Old Mutual Insure.

Customer service accolades

Apart from the improved customer and employee sentiment, Old Mutual Insure has, once again, maintained its ranking as ‘best insurer in meeting customer expectations” and most ‘value for money insurer’ in this year’s independent South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi). Old Mutual Insure was won the Sunday Times Top Brand award for the Consumer category, “which speaks directly to the hard work that has gone into putting customers first in everything we do and confirms that customer sentiment continues to strengthen.

The importance of Customer Week for Old Mutual Insure, however, is that it provides a formal event to recognise, celebrate, measure and assess the broad range of tools that comprise Old Mutual Insure’s customer experience practice. Cumulatively these practices, “enable us to deliver the most human, efficient, and sensitive service – recognising each customer and partner broker as an individual with real challenges that we need to resolve together,” concluded Colman.

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