When a company is 186 years old, has more than 55 million customers worldwide, employs 74,000 people, spans over 60 countries, and has taken it upon itself to transform its business to make the customer the center of everything, you want to hear the secret to their success. Or as it happens to be with Generali, the third largest insurance company in the world and one of the most significant players in the financial products market, you want to hear the story of how they’ve successfully leveraged customer experience to transform their corporate culture and grow their business.
Earlier this month at our Experience Europe conference in London, Isabelle Conner, CMO at Generali, shared the insights and learnings that Generali has gained in the 3+ years since they began their journey to become a customer-centric company and how they have managed to achieve expansive success in CX. It all began in 2014 when the international company realized that as a whole they needed to change from a “product factory” that relied on a distribution network, to a company with a cohesive customer centric focus. That realization became the catalyst for the development of a program that now focuses around driving closed loop calls, engaging cross-functional teams to identify pain points, and empowering employees to take action to fix them.
Here are four success factors Generali discovered during their journey, and how you can implement them in your business:
1. The CEO is key to being successful – It is crucial for leaders to set an example for the rest of the company and show that they fully support the program from the very beginning. This can range from simple tasks like calling customers, to recognizing employees who make an impact and whose actions create promoters.
2. Take a cross functional approach – Customer experience isn’t owned by a centralized function, rather by the company as a whole. From IT to HR, representatives from each function are involved from the start. Every employee from the top down is accountable for NPS development, has a stake in its improvement and are empowered to make it a part of their daily interactions.
3. Embed CX in all touchpoints – A stellar customer experience is important in all touchpoints. Purchase, renewal, claims, and service are all an equally important part of the customer journey, and should be treated as such.
4. Call back detractors – Embrace what your critics have to say. While some companies choose to ignore critics, Generali has realized that they can learn from them. That is why the company is committed to calling back all detractors (yes, every single one) within 48 hours.
It’s clear that Generali has made significant accomplishments since they began their CX transformation in 2014. Their commitment to the customer experience shows again and again throughout everything they do. But building a sustainable CX strategy is only one part of their journey to success. Stay tuned for our next blog post on how they are able to keep their program (and their 74,000 employees) energized.