Diversity and Inclusion in Insurance Award Winner: RSA's Luci Bowers

Luci Bowers
Asif Shaheed from charity Shine gave the award to Luci Bowers, customer experience leader at RSA Motability

Following last month's Diversity and Inclusion in Insurance Awards we caught up with all the winners. Today we feature the Disability Champion, the customer experience leader at RSA Motability, Luci Bowers.

Can you explain the thinking behind the Customer Connections programme?

We started to see a change in our customer base, and wanted to understand why. The Customer Connections programme was born out of a desire to understand what the drivers behind this were. All of our customers receive some form of disability benefit. In 2016 when the government started to increase the roll out of the new disability benefit, Personal Independence Payment, the change in our customer base became very significant from this point onwards.

Our teams told us that at times, it was difficult to manage the conversations they were having with customers. They were seeing customers who had different behaviour and needs than they were used to, and once we started looking in to the issue, we identified what was causing this. The PIP criteria, lent itself to more cognitive disabilities, such as learning difficulties, brain injuries, autism and dementia. This presented us with a significant challenge, as we weren’t experienced at dealing with customers with these types of conditions, and the insurance process was often daunting for them.

We found out as much as we could about the different conditions we could see, as well as working with charities and support organisations to better educate ourselves. We soon realised it was something that we needed to address and support our people with, so we developed the Customer Connections training programme.

We launched it via a huge two day event, where we took 500 people through a view of our customer’s lives and used actors to make their stories real.

Since launch what has the response/impact been?

The programme has really supported our teams in how to manage conversations with these customers, and also helped them create better connections with customers. People feel more confident and informed on how best to approach certain situations. The support network that we have created, means that they are never alone, and there is always somewhere to take a problem.

Where could Customer Connections go next?

Customer Connections is now on the road, and has gone out to our supply chain – from hire car companies to our network of repairers and solicitors. So far, we’ve delivered the programme to over 900 people. We are currently working on how we support the wider RSA business, with bespoke versions for each part of the business. We are also looking to introduce some new support teams for our customers to ensure that they are looked after, every step of the way.

Can you expand on why you think it is important to get involved in initiatives like Dementia Friends and becoming an Autism Champion?

It’s important to really understand how conditions, like autism and dementia, feel from people who deal with it every day. We all need to be more aware of our differences, and work on how to respect and support each other. Only through understanding and acceptance, can we all ensure that we act in an inclusive way, and truly connect with each other.

How supportive is your employer in terms of raising the profile and boosting the acceptance of D&I across the business?

I have always been supported as an individual and have been encouraged to be open about my own personal life and celebrated for being me. Throughout my time at RSA, I’ve really grown in confidence and feel comfortable to talk about my partner Anna, and our upcoming wedding. This isn’t something, when I started out in my career at RSA 10 years ago, I thought I’d be confident enough or able to be totally open about. I’m now using my experiences, like so many others have done, and we are building a really inclusive workplace which can reap the rewards of celebrating our diversity as individuals.

What was it like being a winner at the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion in Insurance Awards?

Without doubt, it was a career highlight for me. To be recognised by experts in the D&I field as being worthy, is something I’m still pretty speechless about. Looking around the room and seeing the celebration of so much fantastic work was an honour, and I’m really excited to see how much more we can all do to drive this forward.

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