Overview

How Multichannel Service Helps Insurers Win New Business

How important is the ability to service and support your customers in a multichannel environment? Below are the results from a consumer survey that were reviewed during a recent Web event, Key 2014 Contact Center Trends and Priorities – How you can be ready. The results clearly show the value of a multichannel contact center. As an insurer, have you given consideration to offering multichannel service to your customers?

Please rate the value of each of the following being available for you to use when you are interacting with that company’s customer service or support:

(Results displayed include a response of [...]

Janet Thalacker

Janet Thalacker

I am currently a strategic business consultant for Interactive Intelligence. My role is to review an organization’s business practices and tools, to promote the awareness of new technologies, and demonstrate how new functionality, processes, and applications could increase customer satisfaction and employee productivity. My career path includes over 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 insurance company. My experience includes work with automatic call distribution (ACD), self-service applications, quality monitoring, workforce management, multi-channel communications platforms, knowledge management, and contact management. I am a very passionate person, enjoy what I do, and am motivated to help others and make a difference in my work and in my personal life. I enjoy music, reading, good friends and laughter. I value my family and friends, and cherish time with them.

Mobile Applications in Insurance – Customer Service is Not a Choice

The latest buzz regarding customer contact channels is mobile applications.  How do you ensure success within this channel?  I recently attended a webinar by Information Week Financial Services called Getting Answers from Mobile Initiatives where they discussed different applications for the insurance industry, metrics that indicate mobile success, and where companies are focusing their money for mobile applications.  According to Forrester Research, the top 3 priorities/objectives for mobile applications are:

Increasing customer engagement Improving customer satisfaction Appear as innovative

I would like to examine the first two objectives, customer engagement and satisfaction.  As a consultant, I have received the consistent [...]

Janet Thalacker

Janet Thalacker

I am currently a strategic business consultant for Interactive Intelligence. My role is to review an organization’s business practices and tools, to promote the awareness of new technologies, and demonstrate how new functionality, processes, and applications could increase customer satisfaction and employee productivity. My career path includes over 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 insurance company. My experience includes work with automatic call distribution (ACD), self-service applications, quality monitoring, workforce management, multi-channel communications platforms, knowledge management, and contact management. I am a very passionate person, enjoy what I do, and am motivated to help others and make a difference in my work and in my personal life. I enjoy music, reading, good friends and laughter. I value my family and friends, and cherish time with them.

Should I Have to Work to be Your Customer?

Should I have to work to be your customer? 

What level of effort do you consider as acceptable for your customers to expend before they reach their limit and become frustrated, disloyal, and decide to stop being your customer?  Results from a recent survey by the Customer Contact Council indicate that 96% of customers attribute their disloyalty to a high-effort experience with a service organization. Investment in contact center technology that reduces customer effort by enabling multi-channel service and proactive outreach is imperative.

My last blog talked about [...]

Janet Thalacker

Janet Thalacker

I am currently a strategic business consultant for Interactive Intelligence. My role is to review an organization’s business practices and tools, to promote the awareness of new technologies, and demonstrate how new functionality, processes, and applications could increase customer satisfaction and employee productivity. My career path includes over 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 insurance company. My experience includes work with automatic call distribution (ACD), self-service applications, quality monitoring, workforce management, multi-channel communications platforms, knowledge management, and contact management. I am a very passionate person, enjoy what I do, and am motivated to help others and make a difference in my work and in my personal life. I enjoy music, reading, good friends and laughter. I value my family and friends, and cherish time with them.

Best Practice Alert! Reducing Effort Can Lead to Increased Customer Retention

Best Practice Alert!  Reduced Effort can Lead to Increased Customer Retention in Insurance.

I recently read an article from the Tower Group, Winning in Contact Center Technology, which centered on the main idea that contact centers can improve the customer experience by reducing customer effort. Certainly an intriguing idea, especially since traditional contact centers are all about finding ways to reduce something–reduce  average handle time, reduce  abandonment rate, reduce  idle time, etc.  So why not look beyond reductions in the call center?

There are a couple of ways to reduce customer effort:

1.      Proactive Outreach

 Reach out to [...]

Janet Thalacker

Janet Thalacker

I am currently a strategic business consultant for Interactive Intelligence. My role is to review an organization’s business practices and tools, to promote the awareness of new technologies, and demonstrate how new functionality, processes, and applications could increase customer satisfaction and employee productivity. My career path includes over 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 insurance company. My experience includes work with automatic call distribution (ACD), self-service applications, quality monitoring, workforce management, multi-channel communications platforms, knowledge management, and contact management. I am a very passionate person, enjoy what I do, and am motivated to help others and make a difference in my work and in my personal life. I enjoy music, reading, good friends and laughter. I value my family and friends, and cherish time with them.

7 Steps to Successful Web Chat Implementation

In my previous post,  Creating a Blueprint for Web Chat Success, I wrote about the benefits of Web chat and how to determine if your company was ready to offer this channel to your customers.  If you followed that methodology, you’ve looked at your market space, examined your customer profile and preferences, and hopefully determined that the Web chat channel is a good fit for your company’s strategic goals and vision.  But where do you go from here?   

 

There are multiple steps that you can take to help [...]

Janet Thalacker

Janet Thalacker

I am currently a strategic business consultant for Interactive Intelligence. My role is to review an organization’s business practices and tools, to promote the awareness of new technologies, and demonstrate how new functionality, processes, and applications could increase customer satisfaction and employee productivity. My career path includes over 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 insurance company. My experience includes work with automatic call distribution (ACD), self-service applications, quality monitoring, workforce management, multi-channel communications platforms, knowledge management, and contact management. I am a very passionate person, enjoy what I do, and am motivated to help others and make a difference in my work and in my personal life. I enjoy music, reading, good friends and laughter. I value my family and friends, and cherish time with them.

Creating a Blueprint for Web Chat Success

Many companies have been focused on the Customer Experience for the past several years, and have made some significant investments and vast improvements in the communications channel they have been using for a very long time:  the telephone. The same types of advances that happened for the phone were then applied to servicing the customer via email.  With the telephone and email interactions streamlined, what’s next?

Customers desire the ability to decide when and how they will communicate with your company. With the trend toward near real-time communication, is it possible that companies are [...]

Janet Thalacker

Janet Thalacker

I am currently a strategic business consultant for Interactive Intelligence. My role is to review an organization’s business practices and tools, to promote the awareness of new technologies, and demonstrate how new functionality, processes, and applications could increase customer satisfaction and employee productivity. My career path includes over 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 insurance company. My experience includes work with automatic call distribution (ACD), self-service applications, quality monitoring, workforce management, multi-channel communications platforms, knowledge management, and contact management. I am a very passionate person, enjoy what I do, and am motivated to help others and make a difference in my work and in my personal life. I enjoy music, reading, good friends and laughter. I value my family and friends, and cherish time with them.

Are Prospective Customers Important?

Don’t Let Your Online Insurance Sales Process Turn Consumers Away!

 

It’s no secret that insurance companies are struggling with growth and customer retention in today’s economy.  And while it’s important to provide excellent customer service once a claim occurs, it’s equally important to provide stellar sales service to attract new customers.

Beyond competitive pricing, consumers want to know that they will receive timely service via the communications channel of their choice, 24/7. This starts the minute a consumer begins looking for a policy. Interestingly, despite the [...]

Janet Thalacker

Janet Thalacker

I am currently a strategic business consultant for Interactive Intelligence. My role is to review an organization’s business practices and tools, to promote the awareness of new technologies, and demonstrate how new functionality, processes, and applications could increase customer satisfaction and employee productivity. My career path includes over 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 insurance company. My experience includes work with automatic call distribution (ACD), self-service applications, quality monitoring, workforce management, multi-channel communications platforms, knowledge management, and contact management. I am a very passionate person, enjoy what I do, and am motivated to help others and make a difference in my work and in my personal life. I enjoy music, reading, good friends and laughter. I value my family and friends, and cherish time with them.

Customer Service as a Source for Growth – What you don’t know can hurt you!!

In the insurance industry, customer service is one of the key areas that can be used as a source of growth. Due to industry regulation and product standardization, superior service is vital to customer retention and company growth. But how, specifically, can insurance companies use customer service to grow?

Among the multiple customer service strategies for growth are differentiation, cross-selling, retention/customer loyalty, and relationship-building via external channels such as banks.

My more than 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 insurance company has revealed that most firms [...]

Janet Thalacker

Janet Thalacker

I am currently a strategic business consultant for Interactive Intelligence. My role is to review an organization’s business practices and tools, to promote the awareness of new technologies, and demonstrate how new functionality, processes, and applications could increase customer satisfaction and employee productivity. My career path includes over 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 insurance company. My experience includes work with automatic call distribution (ACD), self-service applications, quality monitoring, workforce management, multi-channel communications platforms, knowledge management, and contact management. I am a very passionate person, enjoy what I do, and am motivated to help others and make a difference in my work and in my personal life. I enjoy music, reading, good friends and laughter. I value my family and friends, and cherish time with them.

Passion, Technology, and Insurance: A Formula for Growth. Really!

Passion, Technology, and Insurance: A Formula for Growth. Really!

 

Passion.  It’s the color in our day, the wind on our face, the music in our ears. It breeds creativity, energy, excitement, and success. But how does it fit into the insurance industry?

Businesses have been dealing with a struggling economy, flat or negative growth, high unemployment, low interest rates, and reluctance by consumers to make major purchases and investments. No news there. Insurance companies have been struggling with all of this, and have recognized the above [...]

Janet Thalacker

Janet Thalacker

I am currently a strategic business consultant for Interactive Intelligence. My role is to review an organization’s business practices and tools, to promote the awareness of new technologies, and demonstrate how new functionality, processes, and applications could increase customer satisfaction and employee productivity. My career path includes over 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 insurance company. My experience includes work with automatic call distribution (ACD), self-service applications, quality monitoring, workforce management, multi-channel communications platforms, knowledge management, and contact management. I am a very passionate person, enjoy what I do, and am motivated to help others and make a difference in my work and in my personal life. I enjoy music, reading, good friends and laughter. I value my family and friends, and cherish time with them.