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Performance Manager at Allianz, Alistair White
Allianz is one of the UK's largest insurance companies and is proud to have won the 'General Insurer of the Year' accolade at the British Insurance Awards 2010. Its retail business is trusted by global brands including VW Group, Audi and most recently BMW to provide policies on their behalf. The company can boast the UK's largest pet insurance business, PetPlan, the innovative new car insurance product, Your Cover and the prestigious Cornhill Direct brand.
The key to Allianz's long-term success has been meeting the changing policy needs of customers and having a finely tuned process for generating and converting new policyholders. One of the company's major sales tools is its outbound telemarketing. Allianz has been using dialling technology for many years to ensure that it maximises the number of people its agents are able to speak to about its range of policies. However, as the Performance Manager at Allianz, Alistair White explains, its legacy dialler was no longer able to cope with the demands being placed upon it: "The dialling technology that we were using was archaic and did not enable us to do what we needed."
Allianz looked at the technology available on the market and chose Noetica and its Synthesys™ suite of customer interaction management products as it 'ticked all of the boxes', as White comments: "The company wanted an 'off the shelf' system and didn't want to wait for things to be developed. We felt that this would have been the case with some of the more traditional 'big ticket' suppliers whose upgrade and change processes were viewed as restrictive to the pace of our business."
The modular design of Synthesys™ makes its easy to add modules such as call blending, email and SMS to the dialler facility and this was also key in the decision-making process, as well as the fact that it works around a single CRM database, making it very easy-to-use.
The transition from the old system to a fully functioning implementation of the new dialler and the Synthesys™ suite was completed in just eight weeks, with seamless integration in to Allianz's existing Avaya-based telephony platform. This achievement is made even more impressive by the fact that it involved deployment across two contact centre sites in Bristol and a further 50 seats at a contact centre in India, which operated on a completely separate system.
"The ability to demonstrate current experience of the Synthesys™ solution working in an on and offshore environment, routing calls to the UK, or offshore and vice versa was an important factor when specifying the new system," adds White. "Noetica were the only company who could demonstrate this and hosted several site visits for us to see it in action."
As proactive outbound telemarketing is such an important new business driver for Allianz, its dialler needed to be reliable and effective, whilst adhering to strict DMA and Ofcom guidelines, but the company was surprised with how quick the new dialler would make a positive impact. "As soon as we implemented the new Noetica dialler our productivity went through the roof enabling us to increase our dials and contacts by over 25%," enthuses White. "In fact, during one of our busiest months we achieved an astonishing 1.3 million dials."
All outbound calls are scheduled using the Outbound Manager function within Synthesys™ and when the dialler makes the calls they are immediately routed to available agents with the right skillsets. Furthermore, every agent is provided with a unified desktop application that uses 'callflows' to intelligently and efficiently guide them through every call. This ensures agents give and receive the right information, identify cross and up sell opportunities and provide consistently high standards of service in keeping with the Allianz brand and that of its corporate partners. In fact, such is Allianz's confidence in the system they can let a new agent begin taking calls with only a couple of hours training.
More recently, aggregator (otherwise known as price comparison) websites such as GoCompare.com and Moneysupermarket.com have become important sources of fresh sales leads for Allianz, especially since Noetica has enabled the company to strike while the iron's hot, using the innovative Web Transfer Service module incorporated within Synthesys™.
White explains how leads are channelled directly in to the contact centre in real-time: "When one of our policies is ranked in the top two of an online search, the person making the enquiry receives a quote and we in turn receive an automatic notification. A call is then queued in the Outbound Manager for dialling." He adds: "The Web Transfer Service allows us to respond to aggregator enquiries within minutes, whereas previously we would not have been able to respond until the following day. This has been key for us with significant investment in our online capability over the past few years."
The bespoke management information, real-time data feeds and quality of reporting that Allianz now has access to is far superior to anything the company had before. White comments: "The flexibility of the system and its campaign management capability enabled us to reduce outbound available/wait time in the contact centre by around eight percentage points over night." Furthermore, the company can now be much 'smarter' in how it segments and prioritises data for dialling.
The relationship between Noetica and Allianz is more like a partnership than a typical vendor/customer relationship as White explains: "We wanted a company who were responsive and engaged with us as a business and someone who treated us better than 'just another client' and we have most definitely had this level of engagement."
The latest project was completed in early April 2011 with the rollout of Synthesys™ to manage outbound telemarketing campaigns for Allianz's Pet Plan business, which insures approximately 800,000 animals.
Today Noetica is intrinsic to the day-to-day running of Allianz's UK retail division as White explains: "The team at Noetica are a pleasure to work with and make regular calls to ensure we are happy with how the system is performing." He continues: "Much of our new business comes from bringing on new corporate partners and Noetica and its technology is a key enabler in making the transition as smooth as possible."
White concludes: "Crucially we are able to achieve all of this without needing to lean on IT and technical support as we can manage the system ourselves. We have already recommended Noetica to other organisations and have been proud to host site visits to showcase what is possible with Synthesys™ to other contact centre professionals."