Customer centricity is a strategic thrust of Swiss Life. The company has launched various initiatives in recent years with an eye to further strengthening Swiss Life’s customer centricity. These initiatives are centrally coordinated and meticulously analysed and assessed.
External perspective: Direct customer feedback
Swiss Life collaborates with an independent market research institute to carry out continuous assessments of customer feedback at the key contact points. This involves asking customers from various segments about their experience, their satisfaction and their willingness to recommend Swiss Life directly following contact with the company. Dissatisfied customers, or those less willing to recommend, are contacted within 48 hours by Swiss Life, provided they have agreed to such contact. The reason for getting in touch with the customer is to understand precisely the reasons for the negative assessment and to offer an appropriate solution.
On the basis of this information Swiss Life has built special processes and services, and created committees tasked with the regular analysis of customer opinion and the conveyance of their findings to the company. Recent months have thus seen a wide and varied range of measures implemented to help Swiss Life further improve its customer value.
In Switzerland customer service training courses were offered by leading providers from other sectors (aviation, hospitality) to allow employees to learn and adopt new and best-practice service approaches. The success of this measure is shown by increased customer satisfaction with the Corporate Clients Service Center, as well as the rise in the net promoter score (NPS).
In addition to direct feedback, Swiss Life has established a host of local instruments to assess customer satisfaction and responsiveness to customer needs, such as with its own customer panels.
In Switzerland and France digital platforms and services have been introduced to provide customers with round-the-clock access to contract information and other data, and to channel inquiries more effectively.
In Germany written customer communication has been rethought to make it clearer and better structured. The number of inquiries to customer service has thus been reduced by some 30% over the previous year.
In the United Kingdom the ratio of customers to advisors has been significantly reduced to
ensure more intensive consulting and improved accessibility.
As a counterpoint to the external perspective, Swiss Life surveys all of its employees once a year on their perception of progress in customer centricity. The survey results are compiled in an internal index. The feedback received in 2015 shows the success of the measures taken. The Swiss Life Employees’ Customer Centricity Index (ECCI) thus increased in 2015 by three points over 2014, to post a value of 81, significantly above the target value of 75 points. The survey is conducted together with an independent market research institute.
Last year saw various internal initiatives undertaken Group-wide to increase customer centricity.
In late 2015 a company-wide campaign entitled “100 employees visit 100 customers” was successfully concluded. Over the past two years, Swiss Life allowed 100 employees who have no direct customer contact in their daily work to spend a day with a customer and get a glimpse into his or her life. The reports published on all the visits meant that all employees could follow the campaign. Furthermore, following each visit a meeting room was named after the customer and adorned with his or her portrait. The aim of this campaign was to anchor customers’ lives in the company, and to render customer centricity palpable.
A customer portrait in the “Patrick Hemmelmayr” meeting room in Zurich
In France an obligatory electronic training programme was instituted for every employee with five golden rules for a customer-centric organisation. In Germany employees are able to experience customer feedback in real time on a centrallypositioned screen and thus watch as customer needs are met in consulting and customer service.
All initiatives support Swiss Life in its quest to become a customer-oriented organisation and ensure its customers will remain at the heart of its business going forward.