Two years ago, six members of our management team, including me, participated in a 2 ½ day seminar in New York City run by the Insurance Performance Association (IPA). It was an abbreviated but intensive look at some management techniques that many large American businesses use daily but which are not commonly employed in insurance. During the past two years we have begun to use these planning and operational tools to improve customer satisfaction and, consequently, our results.
One of the central concepts is to listen to the Voice of the Customer (VOC). Who is your customer? What do they want? Are you giving it to them? How do you know? Can you quantify their needs and your delivery? One tool for doing this is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). It is very simple. After providing some product or service, you ask the customer whether they would recommend your company to a neighbor or friend. You ask them to respond on a 0-10 scale, with 10 being most positive and 0, well, most negative. You then take the number of people who are advocates (9 or 10 score) and subtract the percentage who are detractors (0-6 score) to get the NPS.
In May we began sending a postcard to every insured after their claim was resolved, even if the claim was denied. We asked the NPS question. We thought our claim service was good but didn’t know what to expect. We thought we might get a 50% NPS score.
Over the last five months we have received back 364 inquiry cards (a return rate of 16.9%). Where people said “Yes” or a checkmark, rather than respond numerically, we gave ourselves a 9; if they said “No”, we put down a 2. Amazingly, our NPS score for this period of time has been 91 percent! In simple terms we have lots of advocates and very few detractors.
Insurance is all about future performance. You pay premiums with the understanding that when a covered loss occurs, you’ll get a fair and prompt payment for that loss. The handling of a claim is when, in our business, the rubber meets the road. It is gratifying to me, and it should be to you, that so many of our insureds like what they find here when they have a claim. For existing insureds, thank you for patronage; and for those thinking of insuring with us, welcome aboard!
John “Josh” Fitzhugh
President and CEO