Allianz Global Assistance's Contact Center

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Company: Allianz Global Assistance, Richmond, VA
Company Description: Allianz Global Assistance is a worldwide provider of travel insurance and assistance with offices in 34 countries and is owned by Allianz, one of the world’s largest financial service companies. In the U.S., the company insures 16 million customers annually and employs more than 600 associates in its Richmond, VA headquarters. Our mission is reflected in our motto: "How Can We Help?"
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Contact Center of the Year (Over 100 Seats) - Financial Services Industries

Nomination Title: Allianz Global Assistance's Contact Center

Tell the story about what this nominated contact center achieved since the beginning of July 2013 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

About AGA

Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) is the worldwide leader in travel insurance and global assistance. We are a full-service insurance company owned by financial services giant, Allianz. Driven to help, our associates provide immediate assistance to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. In addition to travel insurance, AGA has been a provider of in-bound call center services and claims administration for credit card companies, health insurers, property and casualty insurers for 30 years.

Why We’re Different

AGA does not outsource calls outside the Allianz group. We prefer to oversee the recruiting, hiring and training to uphold our high standard of service. We are unique in that we successfully balance quality with efficiency.

How do we do both well?

Engaged workforce puts the customer first

Our customer-centric culture is evident in how we assess associate performance. Their scores are based on the quality of the customer experience. Key metrics include communication, urgency, professionalism, and customer delight.

Flexibility to adapt to evolving needs

Our workforce optimization expertise allows for an agile environment to handle volume spikes whether triggered by a catastrophe or a partner’s email campaign. For global programs, we “follow the sun” by leveraging our sister business units around the world and the 58 languages spoken in-house.

Discipline of leveraging learnings

Our commitment to apply lessons learned from customers results in continuous process improvement, enhanced products and tailored training. Adding service dogs to our insurance policies is just one example.

Are you Driven to Help?

Our new recruitment campaign poses this very question. Unlike many customer service centers, our philosophy is to “hire for heart” - we put a candidate’s dedication to helping others above other considerations. We view associates as part of our global family and focus on their growth. By offering continuous training and promotions, we retain individuals who live our company values. In fact, three former front-line customer service associates are currently senior executives in our Operations and Sales Divisions.

Engaged, Empowered and Effective

The quality of our associates creates a stable environment with a positive culture. Our customer service team’s engagement score of 87% is extremely high for any industry and particularly high for a call center. Forty percent of our associates participate in mentoring and cross-training programs. Based on employee feedback, we created home-agent and flex-agent positions to accommodate different needs. We have increased job satisfaction AND our effectiveness.

“Voice of the Customer” Program

AGA analyzes all touch points across service channels to deepen our understanding of the customer experience. We utilize “Voice of Customer” input obtained via email and paper surveys, social media and verbal feedback to refine processes throughout the customer lifecycle.

Several years ago, a significant number of claim inquiries related to documentation. We reviewed “Voice of Customer” data and responded by simplifying our description of documents required. We were also the first to offer a self-service platform for customers to complete 100% of their claim online.

Scores Show Success

For the last 8 years, 95% of our customers have been delighted with our services. Our 2014 survey score increased to 96% - nearly perfect. Our Net Promoter Score of 72% is unheard of in our industry and beats Southwest Airlines, Apple and Amazon.* *http://customergauge.com/news/2014-net-promoter-benchmarks/

In Other Words

“I saw first-hand how the company backed its claims of customer-centricity by focusing intently on things like C-Sat data/feedback and contact quality; how they nailed an ambitious service level goal and other accessibility objectives without hammering agents over the head about Average Handle Time; how they created high levels of agent engagement and retention via an impressive array of rewards & recognition programs; and how they sustained such levels of engagement and retention by empowering staff to participate on teams and task forces aimed at continuous process improvement.” Brad Cleveland, Senior Advisor & Former President & CEO of ICMI (February 29, 2012)


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