Transforming insurance customer service: Ageas Retail Intermediary

Published on: February 19, 2016
Author: Derek Lewis

For the majority of consumers digital channels, such as the web and email, are now the default method of researching and buying insurance. This is driving major change in the market, as forward-looking businesses invest in the digital customer experience.

One such insurer is Ageas Retail Intermediary (ARI), part of Ageas UK, a leading provider of awarding-winning insurance solutions. ARI operates as an insurance intermediary within the personal lines insurance market, with Kwik-Fit Insurance Services (KFIS) as one of its key brands. It saw the increasing importance of email and the web to business growth and realized that its existing desktop email-based approach was no longer meeting either its needs or those of its customers.

This approach meant it was time consuming to find individual interactions with customers, and agents relied on free text fields when responding to questions. This also led to inconsistencies and errors, as well as response times of around three working days, although urgent items such as payments were handled on the same day. There was no central repository of answers to common queries, making the process labor intensive and more complex than necessary.

ARI set out to find a solution. It had three clear aims:

  • Improve the customer journey
  • Increase efficiency
  • Introduce better reporting
     

Meeting the digital challenge
After reviewing the market, and seeing the success that a sister company within the Ageas group had achieved by using Eptica, ARI chose to implement the company’s multichannel customer service suite to enhance the Kwik Fit Insurance Services model.

Eptica’s award-winning software provides an integrated solution for the management of online customer service, including email management and the processing of letters, SMS and fax. It uses linguistic based workflow to ensure every enquiry is routed to the relevant department or managed by the right automatic process. It also analyses each customer request and provides agents with the right response or transaction template to ensure greater accuracy, consistency and faster processing.

The project began by replacing desktop email with Eptica, enabling agents to access consistent, centralized information, improving response times and delivering greater management oversight. Once the email function had gone live, further channels such as incoming web forms and white mail (faxes and letters) were added.

Delivering the benefits
Since implementing Eptica, ARI has seen dramatic improvements in three key areas:

1. Improved customer journey
As ARI’s 40 strong email team now have access to consistent, constantly updated answers, it is now significantly quicker and easier to provide responses to the company 24,000 monthly incoming emails and web forms. Priority emails such as payments are now handled within two hours with all others receiving a response within 48 hours. This has made the entire process more efficient, providing potential customers with fast answers to their queries, on their channel of choice. Agents have full access to previous interactions, and can quickly provide tested, consistent answers from the templates stored in the central knowledge base.

2. Greater efficiency
One of the key goals was to increase efficiency, and allow ARI to do more with the same amount of resources. After introducing Eptica, ARI dramatically increased productivity by 42%, with Kwik-Fit agents now able to handle 7.13 incoming interactions per hour. Previously, they could only manage five. This means that the size of the team handling email has remained constant, at 40 people, despite volumes increasing by 70%.

3. Centralized, faster reporting
Rather than being spread over multiple systems, all data concerning email, web form and white mail interactions is now stored in a single place. This makes reporting faster and more comprehensive, providing managers with an up to the minute picture of performance against KPIs and making it simple to drill down into the data, spot trends and ensure compliance.

A full case study on Ageas Retail Intermediary’s transformation is available to download here. To find out more come along and meet Eptica at the forthcoming ICS Annual Conference. To be held at the Hilton Park Lane on March 1st, the event provides the biggest forum for customer service thought leadership and best practice in the UK.

Tags: Ageas, Customer experience, customer journey, Customer Service, email management, Eptica, ICS, Institute of Customer Service, Insurance, insurer, Knowledge, Knowledge base, Kwik Fit, multichannel, webmail, white mail
Categories: News

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