HOW ARE WE DOING? Why The Starr Group Issues Customer Surveys
Have you ever driven behind a service vehicle, maybe a shuttle, a school bus, a semi-truck, etc. and there on the back is a bumper sticker asking the question “How am I driving?”
Transportation companies use this simple strategy to garner information about their public-facing employees who are representing their business. It is a way to keep their finger on the pulse of public opinion. It allows businesses to fix what is wrong and enhance what is right about the way they operate.
The Starr Group does that too. We use surveys to ask our customers about the service they received. Some surveys we send out directly from our HQ in Greenfield, Wisconsin using an online service such as SurveyMonkey – now known as Momentive – to find out what our customers think about us. But that information gives us sparse, generic analytics. It doesn’t give us a comprehensive look at how we are doing day-by-day and in real time. Nor does it give us a view of how we compare to other agencies in the insurance industry. And that is important because we want to know who’s doing better than us…and why.
In 2019, The Starr Group began using software from a company called Rocket Referrals to survey our customers and get their feedback – good and bad. Rocket Referrals specializes in the Insurance industry. The best feature about using Rocket Referrals program is that The Starr Group’s customer list remains OUR customer list.
How it works.
We randomly ask our customers: “On a scale of 0 to 10, — 10 being best – how has your experience been with The Starr Group?”
In addition to rating us, customers can leave a comment. Comments range from generic “You’re really great!” to specific: “Mary handled my auto claim last week. She made the process easy for me.” Naming a specific service agent is most helpful because it is affirmation for a job well done, and The Starr Group acknowledges an employee’s good work with a $5 donation on their behalf to our “Charity Kitty”. The Charity Kitty is a pool of money that grows throughout the fiscal year and is annually donated to The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. The better our specific service agents help our customers, the more we all help the Boys and Girls Clubs.
Customers who give us a rating of 9 or 10, are what we call “Promoters”. We know that these customers trust us and are likely to refer us to a family member or friend if the conversation comes up. “Say, Bob – my insurance premium skyrocketed! I feel like my insurance agent is taking advantage of me!” “Sorry to hear that, John. The Starr group does right by me!” BOOM! Win-Win!
Gift Cards for Everyone!
Not too long ago, The Starr Group held quarterly random drawings for a $100 Visa gift card. Every customer who a referred a friend — who then signed on with The Starr Group — was entered into that drawing. Every successful referral was an entry into the drawing, the more business was written, the better the odds were for a customer to win that gift card. That program was met with a decent amount of success. Then we began to wonder: what can we do better?
The answer: $10 gift cards for everyone! With Rocket Referrals, The Starr Group is able to reward everyone for allowing us to successfully help other people with their insurance coverage. The program now allows our customers to choose from 80+ vendors, shops and restaurants of their choice and download the gift cards to use online or in person. As a result, 10x more customers are reaping the rewards of promoting The Starr Group!
On the Fence
Lukewarm customers who rate us 6, 7 or 8 are known as “Neutral”. They might be tender from a claim they just experienced, or they might just be indifferent to the insurance industry in general.
The Starr Group has heard from customers who score us a “5” may not be “unhappy” with us, it’s just that they never had a claim to deal with. (To which we say, ‘THANK GOODNESS”!) Some customers rate us “middle of the road” because they are brand new to The Starr Group family and they don’t have any experience with us as of yet. (To which we ask them to consider what The Starr Group did right which convinced them to do business with us. Were we friendlier, attentive or more thorough than their previous insurance man? Were we able to get a better policy in place for the same amount of premium… or less?)
Ripped a New One
Our biggest concern are customers who rate us 5 to 0 – and we have gotten a few of those over the years. Its completely understandable since dealing with insurance has been stereotyped as chaotic and stressful especially in a claims situation.
These customers are known as “Detractors” and are most likely to rip us a new one on social media, and that can do a lot of damage to the reputation we’ve built for the last 60+ years. Their disgruntled disposition may be the result of an unfavorable outcome from an insurance carriers’ underwriting judgement, it may be a natural disaster has caused rates to increase, or they don’t understand why their roommate’s car insurance is cheaper than theirs.
Whatever the reason, these customers hear from The Starr Group, because we hear them.
We want to do everything within our power to change the Detractor into a Promoter. Sometimes it just takes a simple follow up phone call. Sometimes it requires our agents to work with the customer on finding cost effective coverage with a different carrier, and making those changes on their behalf.
Nothing Matters But By Comparison
The number that our customers ascribe to us matters because we are compared to other agencies not only in Wisconsin, but all across the United States. The rating scale is an industry standard which gives us what is known as our Net Promoter Score (NPS). The higher the customer ratings we receive, the better our NPS.
Over time, we are able to see – scientifically — which customers’ satisfaction with us is improving, as well as which ones are trending downward. We use this information improve, build and maintain healthy relationships with our customers.
So the next time you see a survey from The Starr Group in your email in box, please take a second to drop us 9 or 10 rating. We appreciate the time our customers take to provide thoughtful comments – and constructive criticisms. We learn from and improve through YOUR critiques.
Like we always say, “Our customers make us who we are. Without YOU, we are nothing.”