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LECMPA - Customer Service Department of the Year

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Company: LECMPA, Southfield, MI
Entry Submitted By: Manardo Communications
Company Description: LECMPA is a non-profit member-owned company that serves a critical role for approximately 27,000 workers in the United States. Its job insurance provides wage loss protection to unionized transportation workers in all crafts and industries. LECMPA is regulated by the Michigan Office of Finance and Insurance Regulation; it is the only job insurer regulated by any insurance department.
Nomination Category: Customer Service Department Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Department of the Year - Financial Services - Up to 100 Employees

Nomination Title: LECMPA

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:

At the LECMPA, every decision is made with members’ best interests in mind. This affects all aspects of the organization, especially its customer service which has been significantly enhanced since the beginning of July 2016.

To begin with, the LECMPA customer service department expanded member benefits without increasing rates – an unusual feat for insurance providers. New lower-cost benefits packages were offered to both of the company’s major risk groups. The package for the largest risk group was expanded to include coverage for up to 365 discipline days and accidental death benefits for members and beneficiaries.

In addition to increasing the value of its benefits packages, the LECMPA customer service department has recently modernized the internal processes that its employees follow to manage claims, while maintaining the personal, human touch that is as relevant (albeit rare) today as it was a century ago when the organization was founded.

When members call LECMPA’s customer service line during business hours, they always talk to a live person – directly or with a call back within a few hours. There are no excessive on-hold wait times or cumbersome forwarding delays. For the last three consecutive years, the customer service department has maintained zero wait times for members who call during business hours. This is unheard of in the industry.

Also, compared to other mutuals and insurance companies, LECMPA has met industry-leading claims turnaround times. The vast majority of claims are reviewed within seven days after materials are received, and claim payments are made weekly. Electronic payments are often made the same day materials are received. For the last three consecutive years, the average claims turnaround time was 3 days. Industry norm average is about 7 to 10 days.

When customers call, they automatically receive the forms they need, along with easy-to-follow instructions on what to provide – no need to search a website.

While customer lines are manned during regular business hours, if members have urgent issues, they can contact state representatives – an external extension of the LECMPA customer service department – anytime. The reps have access to claims information 24/7. While this network of representatives has existed for several years, the customer service department has recently fostered, recruited and expanded this group to more than 300 professionals. And it has provided reps with complete automated access to policy and claims status information to address members’ questions or concerns 24/7. Most recently, it expanded representatives’ access to include even more detailed claims data and sent each of the its internal employees to continuing education programs to learn best practices in member service.

Despite the small size of the LECMPA customer service department, the security it provides for members’ personal data is world-class – in line with larger organizations. Its secure website and member portal include multiple forms of protection. Additional security measures were added within the last several months. The company performs self-audits each month and full security audits annually. The department also recently launched comprehensive security training for employees.

Ongoing communication is a key element of the LECMPA’s customer service focus. In addition to the communication provided to members when they contact the customer service team directly, the LECMPA provides three newsletters each year with content about the latest benefit changes/enhancements and other information that helps members make the best possible use of their benefits.

These metrics summarize the achievements of the LECMPA customer service department over the last year:

-Upgraded security and launched new security training program.
-Issued expanded quarterly newsletters to help members maximize benefits.
-Expanded benefits for large percentage of members – at lower cost.
-Achieved average claims payment turnaround time of 3 days.
-Expanded claims data access for state representatives.
-Paid more than 1,200 claims.
-Achieved zero wait times for customer service lines during business hours.
-Invested in training for representatives and president to improve member service.