AIG Travel - Customer Service Department of the Year
Company: AIG Travel, Houston, TX
Entry Submitted By: MMI Agency
Company Description: AIG Travel, Inc., a member of American International Group, Inc., is a worldwide leader in travel insurance and global assistance. Travel Guard®is the marketing name for its portfolio of travel insurance solutions and travel-related services, including medical and security services, marketed to both leisure and business travelers around the globe.
Nomination Category: Customer Service Department Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Department of the Year - Leisure & Tourism
Nomination Title: AIG Travel
Tell the story about what this nominated department achieved since the beginning of July 2016 (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:
AIG Travel has grown significantly from our humble beginnings providing baggage insurance to international travelers pre-World War II, and today, offers a complete portfolio of travel insurance solutions and global assistance services to meet travelers’ diverse needs. As we continue to evolve our offerings to address the changing travel landscape, our dedication to superior customer service remains at the core of our business, and we’re proud of the ways in which our network, philosophy and people enable us to achieve this goal.
We provide “24/7/365” service via eight wholly owned service centers, strategically located in key regions. Our service centers are fully-owned and operated, allowing us to provide consistent quality service standards that are among the industry’s highest and to meet our customers’ needs anytime, anywhere. All centers share a common case management system and phone switch, allowing service center employees to seamlessly communicate and share information around the globe. Additionally, we do not use interactive voice response, so clients are connected directly to a representative after a brief message that the call will be recorded.
We employ more than 640 customer service professionals, representing a broad spectrum of industry backgrounds, multilingual skills, and geographical and cultural expertise. These experts continuously sharpen their skills via in-classroom, role playing and on-the-job learning, as well as random case and call audits, through which they receive real-time feedback. Last year, we rolled out global writing and communications training to further improve customer interactions, which 97% of eligible employees completed. Customers may also access our elite medical team, hand-picked not only for their professional credentials, but also for their backgrounds in travel and international medicine. These specialists work with our expansive provider network to connect customers with vetted local professionals, oversee their treatment to ensure the highest standards of care, and coordinate their safe transport home. While other assistance companies also have doctors on staff, our recruiting processes ensure our medical team is equipped to properly address the nuances of each case and recommend the ideal solution.
Travel insurance financially indemnifies companies or individuals from covered travel losses, while assistance services provide evacuation assistance, medical attention and other services for travelers. Unlike many of our competitors, we provide both insurance and assistance in one solution. This allows our service centers to work in parallel with our claims office to adjudicate claims in real time and make immediate payments on behalf of our customers. Our customers therefore receive immediate responses, without the worry that miscommunication between their insurance provider and their assistance company could result in surprise bills.
Our customer service department serves as a “trusted advisor,” not only solving clients’ immediate problems, but also anticipating future needs. For example, if a customer has a heart attack overseas, we coordinate medical care, and also proactively identify and address indirect needs that may arise – for example, alerting their pet-boarding service back home. This philosophy extends to eliciting feedback from clients and when possible, leveraging these learnings for continuous improvement. For example, last year, we launched FNOL, an express, online claims submission tool that has reduced the time it takes for clients to have payments in hand from 21 days to as few as three days.
While we strive for excellence in every customer service interaction, our team is distinguished by its unparalleled crisis response capabilities. We keep 10% of our staff in a resource pool, which may be activated anytime to manage high call volume. Additionally, our service centers are end-to-end and house employees – many of whom have been promoted from the customer service department – across a variety of functions, with many team members trained to lend their expertise in a crisis. This unique structure has allowed us to expertly navigate numerous crisis situations, including the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015, when we rescued 38 clients via helicopter.