Magazine article CRM Magazine

Chatty-Chatty Makes a Bang-Bang Online Experience: Nationwide Talks Its Way into a More Successful Automotive Quote-and-Buying Process with nGenera CIM

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Chatty-Chatty Makes a Bang-Bang Online Experience: Nationwide Talks Its Way into a More Successful Automotive Quote-and-Buying Process with nGenera CIM

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Every customer believes she's a special case, an exception--and wants to be treated accordingly, as if she's one of a kind. When it came to the auto-policy process at insurance giant Nationwide, run-of-the-mill buyers were able to successfully navigate the company's Web site for information--ultimately purchasing insurance. Specialty insurance buyers, however--those with tickets and accidents on their records--weren't as fortunate.

"These users were met with a poor experience to transfer them to the phone," recalls Ryan Browder, Nationwide's manager of customer choice distribution. "It was this ambiguous message. Even when we tried to update the treatment and ideas on how to move to the phone, it still didn't work. We saw considerable drop-off, as they weren't able to get a quote online."

This led customers to jump to the competition, which was able to deliver an immediate quote online. Browder explains that he and his team felt a chat solution would be able to help ameliorate the problem, but convincing Nationwide to make the investment meant finding a specific problem that new technology such as chat could address. The apparent issue with specialty automotive insurance buyers--high abandonment rates and low customer satisfaction--provided that opportunity, Browder says.

Nationwide evaluated four or five different vendors looking for a chat solution that was both proactive and reactive, Browder recalls, but nGenera Customer Interaction Management rose above the rest. The vendor's feature set was competitive, but a hosted option "pushed us over the top," he says. "At the time, we didn't see the value of having the solution on-site and wanted to go hosted to try everything out," he says. "But we wanted the flexibility ..., if the deployment was successful, [to] bring it in house."

In late August 2008, Nationwide implemented the hosted version of nGen Proactive Chat and also created the Nationwide Customer Value Team (CVT). Browder says there were two main challenges to implementation: contact center agent adoption and legal issues. Noting agents were intimidated by the new technology, he says that training was necessary in order to make them familiar with the solution.

"We went through the quote/bind process so agents were familiar with the screens that would pop up," he says. "It was very advantageous to do this prior to going live so they were comfortable with the interface. …

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