At Farmers Insurance, officials are most proud of their continued efforts to create a truly differentiated experience for their customers−one that keeps the personal agent and customer relationships Farmers is known for and adds the benefits of new processes and technology to deliver simplicity, speed, and efficiency in every encounter.
Farmers Insurance serves more than 10 million households with over 19 million individual policies, across all 50 states, through the efforts of more than 48,000 exclusive and independent agents and approximately 21,000 employees.
Customer engagement is the linchpin for all customer experience initiatives at Farmers Insurance.
Loyalty360 caught up with Dave Williams, head of enterprise research and analytics for Farmers Insurance, to find out his company’s approach to customer engagement.
“At Farmers, we view customer engagement as a science,” Williams explained. “Really, first and foremost, we are relentless in tracking how our customers are feeling about the Farmers brand and their relationship with us. We survey thousands of customers a year to better understand their needs. Secondly, we utilize a combination of diagnostics from that survey, along with input we receive from customers via the internet and through our call centers, to better understand what’s working and where we need to strengthen the foundation and become even more customer-centric. These methods are foundational to understanding where we need to go from a customer engagement perspective.”
Mobile adds another key dimension to customer engagement.
“In a short time, we’ve made incredible strides with mobile,” Williams said. “A couple of years ago we rolled out a better way for our consumers to connect with us using our Farmers mobile app. One of the improvements was our Enterprise First Notice of Loss (EFNOL), which streamlined the reporting of a loss, making the process simple and efficient by providing customers the option to enter personal lines, homeowners, auto and specialty claims, anytime and anywhere. We tracked how customers feel about the experience, and the feedback has been very strong. I would see us starting to roll out a steady stream of value added features through our mobile app, founded in what our customers are telling us.”
Providing the right environment and culture has proven to be another requirement for success.
“It is mandatory that we absolutely have to provide, not just that atmosphere, but that cultural and technical operating model to generate customer loyalty,” Williams added. “We learned that really early on. Part of creating that culture was creating a system for addressing customer experience issues on a regular basis. We also have done significant and extensive training over the years to build on our Farmers values and improve customer experience. We clearly have built out an awareness, an understanding, and buy-in, and now we’re looking to the next steps to really activate a much more engaged customer experience.”