Issues & Answers Special Advertising Section:
 October 2022

Issues & Answers: How TEAMPHLY Wins With Customers

Bob Pottle, Chief Strategic Operations Officer with Philadelphia Insurance Companies, says that TEAMPHLY allows the company’s people to spend their time interacting with policyholders and agents. “Doing this makes our team more productive as we build relationships and make those relationships a lot stronger,” he said. Following are excerpts from an interview.

Bob Pottle
Chief Strategic Operations Officer
Philadelphia Insurance Companies

“With PHLY’s Agency Technology Council, we meet quarterly with a cross section of our agency force to get real time direct feedback from them on customer experience.”

What is customer experience in the insurance industry?

That is the magic question. The reality is that most carriers’ products are all very similar. Figuring out ways to differentiate yourself from your competition is the challenge. It comes down to the customer experience, and that being a critical way for you to stand out among the competition. The things that come to mind when I think about it would be easy things like responsiveness. Being somebody who returns a phone call quickly, answers an email promptly, things like that. Having flexibility from an underwriting standpoint. Being willing to look at creative ways to try and capitalize on opportunities to write business. Product knowledge is also critical to the customer experience. Being able to answer questions regarding the coverages and so forth would be important. Something that we’ve always tried to strive for here is to underpromise and overdeliver—setting expectations accordingly and then following through effectively.

How did the pandemic change how carriers interact with agents and policyholders?

The pandemic put a real focus on ease of doing business. Being able to provide answers, provide service—whether it’s to agents or policyholders—from anywhere, at any time. People working from home, on mobile devices, on tablets, working nontraditional hours. Being able to conduct some business at 8 o’clock at night if you’re sitting at home. It put a focus on creating self service options. Being able to give people a way to get things done without having to have to talk to somebody during normal business hours.

Are there ways to measure the effectiveness of the customer experience?

There are many ways to do that. One of the more common ones is Net Promoter Score, which we watch very closely at PHLY. You take your percentage of promoters and subtract your percentage of detractors, and you come up with a score. There are things like renewal retention. If you’re renewing the vast majority of your policies, that’s an indication that your customers are having a good customer experience. There’s also new business submission flow. If brokers like what they see and like the experience of doing business with you, then they’re going to be inclined to send you more new business opportunities.

How does PHLY manage the customer experience?

It’s about providing unsurpassed customer service, best-in-class claims management, along with custom-tailored risk management services, depending on the industry that we’re dealing with. Then a concept we call TEAMPHLY, which is our Marketing, Underwriting, Account Management, Risk Management, and Claims teams all working together to provide answers to our customers and to our agency producers when they need it as quickly as possible. We’ve been talking to our policyholders and our producers frequently— getting feedback from them about what’s important, what isn’t important. Then we’ve been focusing on trying to address the things that are going to move the needle with them the most.