In an ultra-competitive insurance market, the contact center is the frontline in the battle for customer retention—making it more important than ever for insurers to offer top-notch service.
Česká pojišťovna worked with IBM® Business Partner DATERA to unlock new insights from the millions of customer interactions its contact center handles every year, driving more effective service.
Boostscustomer satisfaction and retention with fast, personalized service
Increasessales effectiveness through customized promotions and campaigns
DifferentiatesČeská pojišťovna as a customer-centric insurer, boosting competitiveness
Business challenge story
Understanding what customers really want
As the insurance industry grows increasingly competitive and commoditized, market leadership depends more than ever on offering a responsive, personalized service that meets and exceeds customer expectations. And this makes the quality of the contact center experience increasingly important when it comes to keeping customers satisfied and loyal.
For Česká pojišťovna, the largest insurer in the Czech Republic and a member of the Generali Group, these are familiar facts. In 2016, the company’s contact center handled over 3.6 million calls and upwards of 600,000 other customer interactions, including e-mails and live support chats.
The insurer knew that if it could deepen its understanding of customer interactions across all of these touchpoints, it stood to improve service quality and customer satisfaction, as well as potentially unlock new opportunities to increase sales and retention.
Miroslav Sovják, Head of Contact Centre at Česká pojišťovna, takes up the story: “We capture huge amounts of data from customers—around 1,000 hours of calls a day. Reviewing the information recorded on these calls can help us to understand how our operators interact with customers and to identify opportunities to improve the service they provide. However, we relied on manual methods to review these interactions. These involved having a team member or process expert listen to the call recording and make notes, and we were only able to evaluate around two percent of the calls we received.
“We wanted to obtain a more complete picture of all customer interactions, across all channels. By doing so, we would be better able to track the performance of our operators and gain a greater understanding of why customers are getting in touch with us. All of this would help us to make the contact center experience as quick and effective but also enjoyable as possible.”
Building a better contact center
To dig deeper into contact center data, Česká pojišťovna introduced EMMA (Expert Multichannel Multilingual Analyst)—a groundbreaking platform developed by IBM Premier Business Partner DATERA s.r.o. Powered by IBM® Watson®, EMMA connects customer data from multiple touchpoints and uses advanced content analytics to extract new insights from this wealth of unstructured content.
EMMA includes a speech-to-text engine that converts audio recorded during customer calls to text; the platform also offers data extraction tools that automatically import content from sources including e-mail, support chat logs and social media pages.
IBM Watson Explorer provides a unified platform for analyzing all of this data. Using the solution’s powerful content analytics and natural language processing capabilities, Česká pojišťovna can uncover new patterns and trends in its customer data, which previously went unnoticed.
The company uses Watson Explorer to track operator performance, categorize the calls it receives—for instance, whether they are related to claims, collections, or new product offerings—and to identify common or significant topics. With a better understanding of what customers are calling about, and how effective support staff are at dealing with those requests, Česká pojišťovna can shape a much smoother contact center experience.
“IBM and DATERA have opened up a whole new world of insight to us, which our management can use to inform smarter decisions,” notes Miroslav Sovják. “Whereas in the past we were only able to analyze around two percent of all customer interactions, today we can tap into close to 100 percent of this information. And, what’s more, we can access and analyze the data almost immediately after the interaction has been completed. This kind of agility allows us to deliver a much more responsive service to customers, and act on new opportunities much faster, sharpening our competitiveness.”
Shaping smarter service and sales strategy
With newfound insight into contact center performance and its customers’ needs, Česká pojišťovna can take targeted action to deliver service that exceeds expectations.
Miroslav Sovják explains: “Armed with a greater understanding of what our customers call us about, we can identify common inquiries and have in-depth solutions ready and waiting for our contact center staff to talk customers through. This helps us to resolve customer requests immediately the first time they call us, which reduces callbacks and increases customer satisfaction.
“We can also see how our operators handle each and every client interaction, tracking aspects such as how they greet the customer, the vocabulary they use and what it takes to resolve an enquiry from end-to-end.
“With these insights, we can more easily spot areas for improvement—or conversely, note strategies that work particularly well with certain kinds of customers. By taking measured steps to enhance operator performance and the overall customer experience, we can increase customer satisfaction and strengthen their loyalty—boosting retention rates.”
Equally important is analytics, which is helping Česká pojišťovna to create more customized promotions and campaigns—increasing cross- and up-sell to drive higher revenues.
“There are leads hidden in almost every conversation we have with customers, and thanks to EMMA, we can pick up on these nuances,” comments Miroslav Sovják. “For instance, a customer might mention off-hand that he has a holiday home. We can check if the house is already insured with us and, if not, we can build a personalized offer for home insurance, then have our agents get back in touch with the customer to discuss the promotion. The ability to spot these leads early on, and follow up with highly targeted offers, gives us a much better chance of gaining customers´ interest.”
In addition, Česká pojišťovna will be able to see how customers are responding to its marketing and sales efforts—faster and in much finer detail than ever before.
Miroslav Sovják gives an example: “A few months ago we launched a new campaign and the uptake among customers was not as high as we had initially predicted. So we created a questionnaire for our customers to get their thoughts about the campaign. It took about a week to put everything together, gather the responses and review the results. In the future, we should be able to get these kind of answers in about a third of the time with Watson Explorer. Faster insight will enable us to refine campaigns on-the-fly, adapting them more closely to what customers want and giving us a better chance of success.”
He concludes: “We have only scratched the surface of what is possible with content analytics. We are looking forward to taking full advantage of all the possibilities offered by IBM and DATERA solutions to unlock deeper insights into our customers and operations, and use that knowledge to deliver a best-in-class insurance experience.”
About Česká pojišťovna
Česká pojišťovna provides individual life and non-life insurance, as well as insurance for small, medium and large clients covering risks in industry, business and agriculture. The company manages more than seven million insurance policies and operates from over 4,500 points of sale.
- FSS: Insurance - Front Office - Data & Analytics
- FSS: Insurance - Front Office - Sales & Customer Service
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