Developing customer awareness helps insurance provider allay scepticism
Our client, a leading insurance provider, was halfway through a three-year transformation program to build a new service and operating model for one of its expanding divisions. A major component was to change from a partner-led customer model to managing its customer relationships in-house; its customers were diverse, covering ten different sectors and over 130 organisations. A significant barrier created by the partner model was that our client had a very limited understanding of its customer needs and the strengths and weaknesses of the existing model. The service model had been in place for over 27 years, creating great understanding and trust in the system among its customers.
Our client had the confidence and capabilities to deliver the new services, but critically it needed to gain the confidence and trust of its customers: without that, the transformation would fail. The client required a comprehensive change and stakeholder engagement strategy to effectively engage its diverse customer base, diagnose the impact of the change on its customers and employees, and deliver a best-in-class service model to cater for a wide range of customer needs. The company’s divisional leaders were firmly focused on achieving their own team objectives and needed to be brought together to deliver the full transformation and build customer trust. The internal transformation team lacked vision and leadership on how to tell its story and engage its customers and people on the change. The program required agility to respond to the needs of the fast-moving transformation. It needed to foster customer advocacy, bring new partners on board and create a culture at the heart of the organisation which put the customer first.
Blue Seed Consulting was engaged to design and deliver an end-to-end stakeholder engagement and communications strategy. The approach was to align business leaders and create a single view of customer engagement that was fully supported by the organisation. We developed a compelling change narrative which captured inputs from customers and employees and helped to create empathy for the change, both internally and externally. With an internal launch already scheduled eight weeks from the start of our engagement, we quickly analysed the landscape, diagnosed the key issues and developed a vision and practical communications and engagement plan. This was workshopped with the 12-strong internal transformation team to gain their support and ensure they had the skills and capacity to deliver. Where they didn’t, our consultants plugged the gap and worked alongside the transformation team to lift the change capability of the group. We led the team in the period before the launch, navigated all internal stakeholder management and created two major employee and customer engagement opportunities. The launch effectively communicated the change journey to the 700+ employees and more than 130 customer organisations. It formed the first phase of the 12-month implementation program and included a range of personalised communications, desk drops and interactive workshops for major clients and staff to boost awareness, understanding and empathy for the change. The focus was on creating ongoing channels and opportunities for customer-listening and authentic conversation about the change. Stage two of the stakeholder engagement analysed outcomes from a series of in-depth customer experience workshops. These sessions had identified customer wants, needs and concerns and the engagement program was tailored to respond to the most pressing customer issues and questions through the channels they chose. Future phases of the program will include an interactive customer webinar series, roadshow and large-scale customer launch to build partnerships and advocacy for the new service approach. Blue Seed also developed a robust measurement framework to benchmark customer and employee success measures, and results will be measured and evaluated each quarter.
At pace, our team developed a robust stakeholder engagement and communications program that was implemented within tight timeframes and flexible enough to accommodate changes to the transformation program. We effectively led the transformation team and successfully reached every employee and customer organisation with details of the change and how it would affect them. Feedback from customers and employees showed growing levels of understanding and comfort with the transformation program as the program rolled out. The internal launch event was one of the best-attended events of the past 12 months and generated support and enthusiasm for the new customer service approach: this reflected a big shift from the confusion and scepticism seen among customers and employees at the start of the program. With an aligned leadership and transformation team, a clear customer engagement strategy and a supportive workforce, Blue Seed will continue to roll out the stakeholder engagement program for our client over the next nine months.