by Emma Banks, LV=

LV= employs 6,000 people across 17 locations in the UK and serves over 5.7 million customers with a range of financial products. We’re the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just the privileged. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

Today our vision is to be Britain’s best loved insurer. This means we don’t focus solely on profit and income, rather we put great effort into making LV= a great place to work and providing our customers with a fantastic service. Management regularly goes out and talks to our people on the front-line who deal with our customers on a daily basis. We do this to identify possible areas of improvement. One such area to benefit from this approach is our motor repair claims.

Historically, our motor repair claims department didn’t offer case ownership, i.e. one person for customers to deal with from start to finish. As a result, customers would have different consultants contacting them at different stages of making a claim and in some cases have to repeat information already provided. Consultants would need to read through the full claim details on each case before they could call the customer back, as they were unaware of the current status. These issues caused customer frustration, but also slowed down the claims journey and made it feel impersonal to our customers. Additionally, our employees felt discouraged as it was difficult to create rapport with the customer and understand fully their needs.

We knew we needed to change our process to provide a more streamlined and efficient claims journey for both our customers and employees, so in April 2014 we implemented case ownership within our motor repair claims area.

As part of the initiative, we provide consultants with around two hours each day to manage their own personal caseload. This means they are taken out of the incoming call line for this period to focus solely on their outbound activity. By having scheduled time to concentrate on their outbound customers and being able to help them from the beginning of their repair claim to its resolution, our consultants are now spending less time ‘catching up’ on the details of the claim and more time focusing on the customer’s requirements. This puts our people in a better position to create relationships with the customer and provide the great service we want to offer.

Since case ownership has been deployed in our motor repair department we are seeing excellent employee engagement scores. In a recent employee survey our claims department received a score of 92% for ‘considering the customer needs’, 11% higher than Towers Watson (TW) High Performing Organisation Norm (HPO) and 81% for ‘morale generally high’, 10% higher than TW HPO norm.

The positive engagement scores are a result of our consultants gaining an increased sense of empowerment, as they have been given an increased level of responsibility to manage their own case load effectively for their customers. Additionally, now they can prioritise cases rather than work through a randomly selected number of cases assigned to them. By having scheduled time out of the incoming call line to concentrate on their outbound activity work load our consultants have a clearer understanding and sight of when they are required to complete their work.

The handlers are more motivated and have more control over outbound calls. The nature of the repair team entails them to help customers after what can be a very stressful and traumatic experience. Seeing a customer’s claim from the beginning to the end of their repairs, whilst making their experience as personable as possible, and removing any unnecessary stress throughout, can add a sense of accomplishment.

Additionally, since we implemented case ownership our people are being recognised for excellent claims journeys, as one person is involved in one case, rather than many and we have received numerous letters from customers thanking us for the way we have handled their claim. We have also received external recognition, including a UK Employee Experience award, giving our employees a further boost and knowledge that they are doing a great job and making a difference.

Emma BanksEmma Banks
Emma Banks is head of corporate communications at leading financial mutual LV=. Her remit includes external and internal communications and member relations. The company is recognised for its fresh focus and routinely wins awards for its high standard of products and customer service Previously to joining LV=, Emma was head of PR for Direct Line and also worked as part of the team that launched Royal Sun Alliance’s More Than brand in 2000.

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