At the recent Experience ‘19 conference Monika Schulze, Head of Customer and Digital Experience at Zurich Insurance Company, shared how changing the company’s culture has led to Zurich’s customer experience success. “It’s not an easy task to shift the mindset of people to think of the customer first,” said Monika. Here’s their story.
Zurich Insurance was founded in 1872. Its relationships with 60 million worldwide customers had mostly been delegated to intermediaries. Implementing a CX program involved moving a traditional company into the new world.
The Five Pillars
Zurich began working with Medallia in 2012, expanding into new countries and divisions over several years. Despite the program’s growth, there remained internal resistance and the inevitable challenge of aligning all global offices on a common approach and vision for success. Monika and team addressed that challenge by creating a clear framework based on five key pillars, complemented by the unique cultural strengths and energy of each region.
Act, Change, Communicate, Get Emotional
“Since its implementation in 2016, it’s a different world at Zurich,” said Monika. “Our program has resulted in a significant cultural shift in the company.” Case in point, in January, Zurich celebrated its jump from 188 to 12th place in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index – in just one year. And Zurich overall has doubled its touchpoint coverage in that same time period.
Today, the customer has a seat at the table, literally. In Zurich offices around the world, there is a blue chair in meeting rooms to underscore that the customer is always at the table. And last year, for the first time, a customer was showcased at their annual conference. The customer partnered successfully with Zurich on an early retirement plan, and has a Zurich logo tattoo to celebrate that!
It comes down to communication. “You have to specify how you acted, what changed, where you succeeded, and you need to constantly celebrate progress with your teams,” Monika shared. And it is critical to get both employees and customers emotionally involved.
“In the insurance industry we tend to focus on disasters – car accidents, house fires, etc. – and then find solutions. Now we encourage our colleagues to look for positive relationships, and prevention.” Zurich has launched a global marketing program around “customer heroes” showcasing employees delighting customers.
“It’s really important that you put yourself in your customer’s shoes in every single thing you do,” observed Monika. “We have partnered with Medallia to implement an extensive program in 25 countries so far. Medallia and Zurich speak the same language, and we speak about the same things.”