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A Case Study for a Better Customer Experience: The Story of VGM Insurance

Posted On: September 1, 2021

A Case Study for a Better Customer Experience: The Story of VGM Insurance

As originally featured in the VGM & Associates Q3 Playbook: How Serving Your Customer Serves You
By RACHEL HARRIS

 

Over the past five years, VGM Insurance has seen explosive growth. A number of factors have played a role in this success—strategic acquisitions, diversification, innovation, and simply embracing the constant change of the industries we serve come to mind. But one of the largest, and perhaps most surprising, drivers of this growth is our focus on customer experience.

“You can’t have growth without customers.” said Mike Kloos, president of VGM Insurance. “We continually strive to put customer experience at the center of everything we do. It’s what has propelled us to this point. And it’s the guiding principle behind our decision making today, and our investments for the future.”

The path to continuous, long-term success is directly proportionate to the level of experience we can provide to our customers. 

At VGM Insurance, we see that the path to continuous, long-term success is directly proportionate to the level of experience we can provide to our customers. That's why, this year, we've set a plan to go even further with the customer experience we offer, deeming it our "Year of Customer Experience". And we're leveraging technology to get there. 

Project CX Supernova: Digitizing the Customer Experience

Our team is now halfway through the biggest undertaking and investment in the company’s history—to enhance the experience of our clients and partners by digitally enhancing every aspect of our organization. The goal? To make it easy for customers to do business with us and provide a seamless, simple, and meaningful experience for them. We’ve named the culmination of this work “Project CX Supernova.”

There are several components to Project CX Supernova, but “The Big Three” stand out as the largest undertakings.

"The Big Three" CX Supernova Initiatives

  1. Digital Applications – The objective is to digitize our applications, move quote proposals online, and automate renewals. For customers, that means applications can be pre-filled at renewal, reduced data entry, and a faster and more streamlined process, complete with e-signatures.

  2. Rating – This area focuses on admitted and non-admitted General, Professional, Excess, and Cyber Liability, as well as user interface upgrades. This means better risk data, improved loss ratios, and faster decisions for our customers.

  3. Customer Portal – Customers want to manage their insurance information online. We’re creating a portal experience that will allow our customers to easily access claim and policy information, request changes, obtain certificates and loss runs, enter preferred payment options, and more.

"Project CX Supernova primarily addresses the digital side, but our focus on customer experience remains the same,” said John Unsen, vice president of systems at VGM Insurance. “Our aim is still to truly understand our customer, anticipate their needs, and inform them of important considerations related to our products and the industries we serve.”

Providing an Exceptional Claims Experience

Claims are the reason people purchase insurance, and they can be one of the most stressful—often tragic— times in their business experience. It’s critical that we guide, support, and defend our customers through these challenging situations.

At VGM, caring counts. It means supporting our customers with compassion and escorting them through the complicated path of a claim.

“When our insured contacts us, they are facing an unsettling and stressful event,” said Linda Braden, VGM Insurance’s senior vice president of claims, technology, and projects. “Our adjusters are responsible for providing much-needed support and assistance. At VGM, caring counts. It means supporting our customers with compassion and escorting them through the complicated path of a claim.”

Every customer is different, which means every claim is different. There are no one size-fits-all solutions, so we continually develop new ways to tailor the claims experience to the individual customer, allowing them to work with us in a way that’s easiest for them. Technology, again, plays a key role in this strategy.

“The customer experience is at the forefront of our goals,” Braden continued. “We are investing in a more digital experience that will enhance all aspects of how a claim is reported, how the customer provides information to us, and how we communicate with them.”

With these digital enhancements, we can ensure we continue to provide a positive, supportive experience to our customers during a claim—one of the main reasons our customers stay with us forever.

VGM Insurance consistently achieves record customer retention numbers - among the hightest in the industry. 

Retaining Customers by Measuring Their Experience

We’re only exaggerating slightly when we say, “our customers stay with us forever.” VGM Insurance consistently achieves record customer retention numbers—among the highest in the industry. We do this not only through claims expertise and support, but through the outstanding service our team provides to our customers and partners every single day.

We learn what's working, and what's not, so we can continuously improve. It's an ongoing cycle of learning and enhancement. 

Keeping up that level of retention takes a concerted effort from everyone in VGM Insurance. To help the team achieve these high marks, we measure our customer experience every day through a net promoter score (NPS). We take our NPS scores and the feedback we get very seriously. We learn what’s working, and what’s not, so we can continuously improve. It’s an ongoing cycle of learning and enhancement always seeking to make our customer experience better and better.

"Our team members hold themselves to an incredibly high expectation and standard,” said Emily McCormack, director of operations at VGM Insurance. “Our NPS reviews consistently reference our responsiveness, speed, and exemplary customer service. And we aim for our customers to know how personally we take the trust they place in our team to protect their businesses.”

Another part of our retention strategy involves industry thought leadership and ongoing education for our customers. We offer access to free online continuing education through our partnership with VGM Education, as well as a comprehensive library of risk management resources, tools, and best practices to help them minimize the risk of claims and prepare proactively for the future.

Insurance, by its very nature, is focused on the future. And you can’t discuss the future without also discussing technology.

The Next 30 Years

Insurance, by its very nature, is focused on the future. We predict. We prepare. We protect. And you can’t discuss the future without also discussing technology. Customer experience is at the center of everything we do at VGM Insurance. It drives how we assess risk, how we handle claims, and it’s how we build forever relationships with customers. VGM Insurance’s historic investments in technology are an investment in our continued commitment to customer experience—and, ultimately, an investment in our future.

“VGM Insurance turned 30 in 2020,” Kloos said. “To have grown the way we have in such a short amount of time is extraordinary, but I’m even more excited for the next 30 years. We are always looking ahead, changing, and innovating to provide an exceptional experience for our customers of today and of tomorrow.”

 

 

Rachel Harris is the director of marketing for VGM Insurance Services. For more information about VGM Insurance’s risk management resources, get in touch today at 866-295-9415 or info@vgminsurance.com.


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