Zurich Inc. Customer Experience Management
Zurich Inc. is an international financial company based in Zurich, Switzerland. Founded more than a century ago, the company deals in motor insurance, buildings and contents insurance, risk and business insurance programs, life insurance, and investment. Experience has made the company realize that customers are the most valuable asset that the company has. For this very reason, the company established a well-structured customer experience management called customer centrality. This has given the company a competitive advantage against rivals in a very competitive industry.
Customer experience management is meant to track and manage the interaction between the company and the customers at every point of the customer lifespan (Dasu, 2010). It is based on the premise that customers are similar but different and each should be treated as per their specifications. In this case, the company establishes customer loyalty and finally customer insistence on their products regardless of the change in the price of the product. In the end, customer experience management ensures that the demand elasticity become less sensitive to changes in the price and the company has the chance of increasing their profit margin (Leonard, 2002).
Customer Experience management at Zurich
At Zurich, customer centrality means that the customer is placed at the center of all the actions with the company. It was started by establishing a Zurich help point, where motor insurance claims were to be made later on it became the point at which customers could inquire and seek assistance from the company. This was after market research was conducted by the company and it was discovered that customers need help in understanding very many concepts in order for them to make decisions.
The research results
Zurich conducted a quantitative and qualitative analysis focused on over 70 different features of the company service. In order to be sure a sample of 7,000 people who included the company clients, non-clients and other insurance intermediaries from 8 different countries were interviewed. The quantitative data revealed that less than 15% of clients trusted any insurance company. The qualitative research revealed that clients wanted to be valued, understood and be treated as individuals and not one among many. More than half of the interviewees believed that insurance is more of a business than a relationship between a person and a company. With this information in hand, the company ventured to improve the service is offered to its clients.
In order for the help center to be what it is today, it had to undergo a developmental change for it to function effectively. The change was in three stages;
- Re-launch- the help centered customer service had to be re-launched under the help center name. This was because the helpline was no longer to deal with motor insurance complains only but all form of inquiries.
- Expansion of the helpline – this is in terms of the resources required. One of the resources was the necessary labor which included collaboration with insurance brokers and other partners. The center required to have people who know how to talk and rationalize with the customers about all insurance issues.
- Developing new customer services- it was realized that clients have a lot of inquiries to make and there was a need to establish different people to deal with different inquiries. For instance, customers would inquire about claims, some had complaints and others would like to have an update. The help center was divided into various departments to various customer issues. This increased efficiency.
The program was also meant to increase innovation at the company as employees became part and parcel of it. They were allowed to give their ideas as to how best improve the customer service at the same time they had a chance to inquire about issues in the company that can aid them in delivering effectively to the clients on a face to face basis (Palmer, 2010).
Due to the establishment of a well structured and functioning customer experience management service, Zurich has been able to achieve the following positive results;
- Customer loyalty – the service is customer tailored because it is able to deal with any inquiry or complain a client has. This is because the help center is manned throughout a working day.
- Increased the value of the service offered by the company– due to the fact that the clients feel they are valued by the company, the service offered by the company has increased in value and this gives it a competitive advantage as compared to other companies in the same industry (Schmitt, 2010).
- Market leadership – increase in the value of the services offered by Zurich has increased its market share control and has made it become a leader in its market.
- Financial returns – customer loyalty increases revenue because changes in price will not lead to a decline in clients. An increase in revenue means that the company has more plow back and can expand in terms of physical and human infrastructure (Schmitt, 2010).
- Increase commitment in employees– when employees are involved in innovation and their input is required, it forms part of a compensation package that increases their commitment to work. This improves the quality of service offered to the customers (Parke, 2012).
Zurich as a financial and insurance company, it offers a service that deals with a sensitive asset to people; money. In this case, there was a need to ensure that the clients are placed at the center of all the business strategies of the company. In order to place the clients at the centre research was conducted and it proved that customers always want assistance. The company readily offered assistance at every point of the interaction between the company and the customers.
In doing so, the company has gained both internally and externally. Internally by having motivated employees and experiencing an increase in revenue and profits. Externally by increasing its market share control and having client loyalty (Macaulay, 2011). At the same time, the service increased the customer’s level of utility.
Anonymous (n.d.). Providing a customer-centric service: A Zurich Case Study. The times 100 Business Case Studies, Retrieved from http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/zurich/providing-a-customer-centric-service/introduction.html#axzz2LZe3EHzI
Dasu, S., & Richard, B. C. (2010). Designing the soft side of customer service. MIT Sloan Management Review, 52(1), 33-39. Retrieved from (Trident University Library, Proquest Database)
Leonard, L. B., Lewis, P. C., & Stephan, H. H. (2002). Managing the total customer experience. MIT Sloan Management Review, 43(3), 85-89. Retrieved from (Trident University Library, Proquest Database)
Macaulay, S., & Cook, S. (2011). A customer-centric action plan. Training Journal, 14-16. Retrieved from (Trident University Library, Proquest Database)
Parke, J. (2012). Managing customer expectations. Applied Clinical Trials, 21(10), 40-42,44. Retrieved from (Trident University Library, Proquest Database)
Palmer, A. (2010). Customer experience management: A critical review of an emerging idea. The Journal of Services Marketing, 24(3), 196-208. (Trident University Library, Proquest Database)
Schmitt, H. B. (2010). Customer Experience Management: A Revolutionary Approach to Management, Retrieved from (Trident University Library, Proquest Database)
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