Home is where the heart is. For more than 40 years, American Modern Insurance Group (American Modern) has taken that sentiment to heart by providing specialized insurance to protect America’s homes. A wholly-owned subsidiary of The Midland Company, American Modern delivers products for today’s latest manufactured home styles, yesterday’s “factory built” and “mobile homes,” plus conventional site-built dwellings. They also cover down-time away from home with specialty recreation policies for motorcycles, ATVs, motor homes, travel trailers, snowmobiles, boats and collector cars.
Commitment to Superior Service
Along with a specialty mindset, American Modern’s deep commitment to providing superior services and results led to a search for a customer service training solution that would align with their commitment and values. The MAGIC of Customer Relations® , from Communico Ltd., quickly became the frontrunner for many reasons. “The program content matched the specific needs of our call center,” noted Beth O’Keefe, American Modern corporate training manager. “We found The 33 Points of MAGIC easy to understand, teach and implement,” she added.
Training Aligns with Business Goals and Values
Of particular interest was the sustainability of the program. American Modern didn’t just want a training course. The training needed to align with their business goals to positively impact performance. They wanted to instill an exceptional service mindset and clarify what it takes to deliver great service. MAGIC allowed them to do just that with its behaviorally specific focus and emphasis on reinforcement, coaching and results.
The leadership team agreed and quickly gave their support to MAGIC. They saw that it provided a concrete way to express key corporate values: integrity, win/win, sharing and caring, and humility.
After gaining leadership support, the training became a requirement for all new hires in the customer care call center. Within six months of joining the department, all associates attend the program. Most recently, their approach shifted to sharing the organization’s commitment to MAGIC right at the start. “We now introduce MAGIC as part of the associates’ initial training (within their first five weeks), so that they don’t have any old habits to break,” Beth explained. “Our intent is that MAGIC becomes the only way to service our customers.”
Positive Response and Measurable Results
The organization responded positively and quickly bought into the MAGIC concepts, thanks to the commitment from the top and constant systemic reinforcement. Customer service representatives’ calls are monitored and assessed using a scorecard. Every service point on that scorecard relates to one of the MAGIC points. Some of the MAGIC points are “extra credit”—like using the company’s name and a MAGIC phrase at the end of the call, e.g. “Thank you for calling American Modern.” The Quality Assurance department listens to calls and provides one-on-one coaching to help each associate develop and improve his or her skills.
Not only has the organization embraced the concepts, they have seen measurable results. “With this approach,” Beth said, “we have seen customer service scores increase as much as 20%! And, it is helping associates who haven’t even taken the training yet. They hear the MAGIC around them and start to model it too.”
Delivering on the Promise Every Day
It’s clear that the training has made a lasting impact. “Teaching our associates the difference between good or indifferent customer service and great MAGIC service has changed the way they approach their service calls,” Beth explained.
Specialty insurance is a people business and the individual touch is vital to success. Each policy is a promise—and American Modern is confident that MAGIC will help them deliver on that promise every day.