MassMutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Massachusetts

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: MassMutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Massachusetts
Company Description: Since 1851, MassMutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) has grown and thrived - surviving wars, depressions, recessions and changing market conditions. Throughout, our main focus has never wavered. We help people secure their futures and protect the ones they love.
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Team of the Year - Recovery Situation

Nomination Title: MassMutual's Customer Service Center - Leads Initiative

Tell the story about what this nominated team 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:

In August 2013, the Service Center (SC) took a closer look at the life of a lead. Submitting a sales lead was confusing, tedious, and some would even say antiquated. Unfortunately, it remained this way, without question, for years. From beginning to end, the process was broken. For starters, it was extremely time-consuming, used multiple resources, and severely affected each Customer Service Representatives (CSR) metric for handle time; requiring over 10 steps and averaging 7min 31sec to complete. This labored process was weighted with additional flaws due to the quality of each lead submitted. Even though the SC saw an increase in lead volume by 76% as compared to the previous year, the quality was very poor. Some leads were being sent to our Agents in the ‘field’ with bad address information (over 600), some were sent to multiple agencies within the same state for the same household, while others were simply duplicated. Many opportunities were missed in addition to those items that reached the ‘field’ which weren’t actually leads at all…but in fact service requests disguised as leads that reached the ‘field’ in error & left the wrong impression. This lack of quality created a major problem within our Agencies. Agents were not engaged because they lacked trust in what was being produced, which delayed responses to the consumer & created a poor customer experience along with a potential loss of business.

Recognizing that some drastic improvements were absolutely necessary, we took a number of steps to reengage our CSRs, create more enthusiasm within our field agents, and ensure a more positive consumer experience. We began this process by first collaborating with the Marketing Department through fishbone & A3 problem solving. This allowed us to pinpoint key areas of focus to maximize effort in order to achieve the highest results possible. From these problem solving efforts, the Lead Distribution Services Team or “LDS” was born. This team of highly dedicated, uniquely skilled tenured staff members began to revamp the entire process in the way leads were taken. They set up a dedicated extension to qualify all leads prior to sending to the ‘field’. So once a CSR recognized a lead, they simply transferred the caller to the LDS team for call handling. This not only improved the consumer experience, but also validated the lead preventing service requests, false leads, and other errors from reaching the Agency. This also ensured that the quality of each lead improved drastically by offering crucial data the agent could capitalize on once the lead was received (full address, contact information, best time to call, product interest, etc). Due to this enhanced workflow, Agents began to trust SC leads improving upon their response time from a mediocre 5-7 business days to an amazingly fast 24-48hr TAT. This increased consumer connection had a positive effect on the likelihood of meeting with the Agent.

In addition to this, we also increased awareness on the floor by offering training modules to assist in recognizing a sales lead, educating ‘new hire’ classes, supporting ‘sales lead champion’ roles on each team, and offering a $500 ‘sales spirit award’ to two CSRs each quarter. In cases where the LDS team was not available to validate the lead, we also revised our Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to improve the ease of CSR lead submission by 71%. Resources needed were reduced to the bare minimum, which in conjunction with a new simplified sales lead form, assisted the CSRs metric with a drastic 50.1% reduction in handle time from an average of 451sec to 226sec. This new form was the ‘knight in shining armor’ the CSRs were waiting for, and continues to make a huge impact with convenience, simplicity, & accessibility since its launch in June 2014.

We are extremely happy with the results of our efforts over the last year and appreciate sharing our successes with you for this nomination.

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