The phrase 'customer service' is one often bandied around, but turning rhetoric into reality is not ...

The phrase 'customer service' is one often bandied around, but turning rhetoric into reality is not so easy - as close analysis of most insurers' claims delivery stands testimony. The issue is becoming ever more critical, not only to secure and retain policyholders but also due to the Financial Services Authority's focus on the principle of treating customers fairly.

The presence at this Post conference of high profile delegates, who ranged from insurers and brokers to service providers, shows how the industry is finally beginning to take customer service seriously in an increasingly competitive - and regulated - marketplace.

And it truly is competitive. Customers in personal and commercial lines are more demanding and less loyal than ever. They are more self-sufficient and price sensitive, and often have strong channel preferences; be that online, by phone or in person. In addition the barriers to switching are almost non-existent in certain lines.

Recent research shows that 60% of general insurance customers switched insurers during the last five years (where their policies were not renewed automatically). And of the 40% that stay, many are not necessarily loyal - just lazy.

The key is to know and understand your customers' behaviour. If you know that you can hone your proposition to deliver differentiated levels of service - based on a cost-benefit analysis - which matter to the individual person or business.

We hope you find this supplement useful in your quest to deliver excellent customer service and look forward to seeing you at this conference next year.


CGI: For more than 30 years, CGI have been helping clients cut costs and improve performance by moving performance up and expenditure down - it has operated based upon the principles of owning clients' problems and delivering quality services to solve them. A leading IT and business process services provider, founded in 1976, CGI has 25,000 professionals operating in more than 100 offices, giving it close proximity to its clients. Through these offices, it offers local partnerships and a balanced blend of global delivery options to ensure clients receive the combination of value and expertise they require to deliver real business benefit. CGI defines success by exceeding expectations and helping clients achieve results.

Tealeaf: Tealeaf is the leading provider of online customer experience management solutions. Tealeaf's CX family of solutions provides unprecedented enterprise-wide visibility into every user's unique online interactions. This 360-degree view of the online customer experience enables a clear and consistent understanding of the customer for e-business, IT, customer service and legal and compliance executives and their organisations across a wide range of vertical industries including retail, banking, travel, insurance, telecommunications, pharmaceutical and transportation.


Active Operations Management International is a UK-based consulting, software and training firm, delivering tangible returns to clients through consistent, professional management approaches for service and processing operations in public and private sectors. With franchised operations in Australia and the US, AOM has a worldwide customer base and supports over 20,000 employees in North and South America, Europe and Asia with its AOM methodology and workware platform. Current clients include EDS, National Australia Bank, Liverpool Victoria, American Express, Westpac Banking Corporation and International Financial Data Systems. The company can be found on the web at www.activeops.com.

Consumer Intelligence tests, compares and benchmarks the performance of general insurance providers - gathering critical business intelligence on price, service and consumer buying patterns and intentions. Data is collected and analysed independently to ensure unbiased findings which are judged against five key criteria: accurate, meaningful, relevant, timely and useful. We work with companies to understand their needs and then deliver against those objectives. You don't just receive data, you receive actionable intelligence that helps to acquire more customers, improve retention and increase profitability.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car specialises in providing replacement vehicles and courtesy cars that are relied upon in the event of an accident. Enterprise also offers daily and weekend rental for private or business use. It currently has over 330 locations across the UK and Ireland and employs over 3,500 staff.

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