ResponseiQ Implementation: Analyzing ROI & Benefits

Introduction

EffectiveCoverage.com is a medium-traffic website offering information and the opportunity to purchase insurance products and services. In 32 US states, site visitors can complete the process of purchasing a policy entirely online. In the remaining states, customers must proactively reach out to the company in order to complete the purchase process.

States without online binding of policies are a product of legacy insurance carrier IT systems. While we make web chat available, it’s not possible to purchase a policy through the web chat due to credit card and PCI compliance concerns.

Effective Coverage is always looking for ways to serve customers more efficiently. One way that we make this possible is by continually evaluating the performance and metrics of the several customer contact channels which allow us to connect with our insureds as well as prospects.

Goals

When we began looking for alternative contact options, we had the goal of reducing overall hold time, improving customer perception, helping our agents more efficiently manage their time and resources, and reducing friction for customers in the purchase process.

Prior to implementation of the ResponseiQ product, the only way to have a voice conversation with an Effective Coverage agent was to call our toll-free number, with the accordant frustrations, hold time, and a general feeling of “legacy insurance carrier” throughout the call. An additional goal was to differentiate our firm from the monolithic and unresponsive legacy companies in the insurance space.

Reducing Overall Hold Time

Call centre hold times are a concern for any CTO. Hold queues are manageable, but not entirely avoidable. Predictive analytics have made a difference in recent years, but more than prediction is required. Many customers choose not to pick up the phone because don’t want to deal with phone trees and hold times. This prevents customers from asking small questions and impacts sales opportunities.

ResponseiQ is designed to integrate into any phone system, whether you have an ACD solution or simply a few people with multi-line phones. Effective Coverage maintains a call centre environment that incorporates elements of both. Whatever solution we ended up with absolutely had to be able to function in a vendor-independent fashion.

Setup of the ResponseiQ product was remarkably easy, and integration process was as simple as creating a new extension and setting up a ringdown list. Calls come in from ResponseiQ, our phone system clearly indicates the source of the call, and the agent who accepts the call is immediately aware of who called, where on the website they called from, and what their phone number is.

Even if your CRM is stuck in the stone ages, the product can work around that. Notifications to the agent claiming the call are sent in real time to the agent’s work email, so they’ll always have enough information to pull up the customer in your CRM of choice, while the call is connecting.

When callers can choose their preferred time, or even schedule a call for a day or a week from now, you’re allowing them to choose the terms of your interaction and creating goodwill. By offering the opportunity to get a call back right now, within 27 seconds, you’re also telling the customer that you care about their time while reducing hold times and unnecessary repeat calls.

Improving Customer Perception of Effective Coverage

In addition, regarding holding times, ResponseiQ solves a number of other problems. If you ask the average consumer what they think of their insurance company, the answer is unlikely to be positive. Often, the answer isn’t even printable. Instead of fighting the way people feel about insurance companies, Effective Coverage wants to give customers reasons to love us on our own merits.

One of the biggest disappointments to a customer is when a scheduled callback doesn’t occur. Not every concern makes first-call resolution reasonable. Research or approval for an action may be required. But if a call back is promised, it should certainly be made. ResponseiQ allows customers to choose the terms of the callback, ensuring that it’s convenient and appropriate for them.

No one likes to wait on hold, and no one likes companies that force them to wait. Your customers and ours want to speak with someone, get the answer or solution they’re looking for, and then move on with their day. The value of the ResponseiQ product goes deeper than simply making it easy for customers to reach you. Implement the widget and you’ve created additional value for your customers as and communicated to them that you value them and that you’re available to them.

Helping Agents Manage Time And Resources

Just because our agents have an insurance producer license doesn’t mean they’re exempt from the pitfalls of working in a contact centre. Diary items have to be followed up on. Return phone calls need to be made. Inbound call volume has to be managed, and development of agents has to continue to occur on a regular basis.

We found that an agent handling inbound ResponseiQ calls often can use the time in between to complete the non-phone activities which would normally make them unavailable for calls because of the frequency of inbound calls. A proper rotation of an appropriate number of agents through the ResponseiQ queue can substantially increase the amount of time the agent is “available” when they’re in the main queue because their other tasks are already handled.

Reducing Friction For Customers In The Purchase Process

Customers come to you because they believe you know your product and because they know little about it. In the case of Effective Coverage, people seek out our expertise as well as our unprecedented market access across 42 states.  Mrs. Smith doesn’t know what “market access” means, she just wants to buy a renters insurance policy for her son in college seven states away. What she does know is that her insurance agent can’t help her and finding an agent in the other state might be difficult.

When she has questions during the purchase process, she doesn’t want to pick up the phone. She wants to be valued enough that the company will call her to answer those questions. Whether the concern is large, small, or even unfounded, responding to that inquiry in real time and making the customer feel valued help to reduce friction for customers in the purchase process.

ResponseiQ Differentiates Effective Coverage From The Monolithic Legacy Carriers

Effective Coverage is a new kind of insurance provider. We focus on making it easy and offering all the information you need to make an informed decision. If you don’t want to talk to a person, you don’t have to. But we’re happy to speak with you if you want.

Traditionally, the distribution model of insurance has focused on carriers who sell through agents or brokers. There are additional sub-models, such as managing general agencies, but those are simply variations on the same traditional model. When you buy a policy through Effective Coverage, our goal is to make everything happening behind the scenes invisible.

Few people call up Allstate or State Farm directly and purchase a policy. They could, in theory, but that’s not their model and they direct web inquiries to their local agents. Effective Coverage wraps around the entire process of rating, underwriting, and binding coverage in order to make things easier for the consumer.

By offering a fast and easy method of contact allowing the customer to choose their preferred time and contact channel, we’re able to differentiate ourselves from legacy carriers and the carrier-agent model. ResponseiQ has helped us with branding and communicating our willingness to assist customers in whatever way they most prefer.

Recapturing Calls Lost In Queue

Customers who have reached their hold time threshold subsequently often try to buy a policy on the website. That’s fine, except if they need additional guidance or they purchase a new policy instead of renewing the existing one. We prevent this frustration and user error by allowing them to get a call right now from a friendly insurance expert.

Recapturing Customers Who Wouldn’t Call

We also recapture customers who wouldn’t have picked up the phone in the first place. While a phone call is fairly low-effort, many consumers believe they should be able to complete the entire transaction online or that they should have instant access to a person because they started the transaction online.

Regardless of the reason for the customer’s frustration, people who hold, hang up, and call back immediately are a meaningful part of our call volume. By getting these repeat callers out of the queue through ResponseiQ, our agents are able to serve callers more efficiently.

Below is an example of one caller who held for a reasonable time once, and then made a number of calls over the next two days and refused to hold for more than a few minutes. ResponseiQ allowed us to take care of this customer efficiently and send them away satisfied rather than having them continue to call time and time again until they finally were able to get through in their desired three-minute timeframe.

Telephone Number Date Time Hold Time
(201) 446-xxxx Tue 05/30/2017 1:31 PM 0:00:07
(201) 446-xxxx Tue 05/30/2017 9:31 AM 0:16:36
(201) 446-xxxx Wed 05/24/2017 1:36 PM 0:04:35
(201) 446-xxxx Wed 05/24/2017 12:55 PM 0:04:00
(201) 446-xxxx Wed 05/24/2017 11:16 AM 0:03:50

This caller made multiple calls, then went to the website and discovered the ResponseiQ widget. We addressed his question in real time via the widget call, resulting in a sale that would otherwise have been lost. This caller is representative of the normal pattern when call volume is high, with a single long hold time and several much shorter calls because they are unable or unwilling to hold.

Fewer repeat calls in the queue reduces the overall hold time, which benefits all callers and saves us both money and account touches. We strive for first-call resolution, but that can only be accomplished when the caller connects to an agent. ResponseiQ makes it easier and faster to connect with an agent who can solve the problem in real time.

Revenue Improvement Example

On Tuesday, May 30, a total of 349 inbound calls were received. 30 of those calls were through ResponseiQ and consisted of callers who either would not have held long enough to reach an agent or would not have picked up the phone to ask their question at all. 8.6% of total calls came through the widget. That accounts for $5,550 of new written premium in a single day attributable directly to ResponseiQ.

While we focus on written premium as an important metric, your metric could just as easily be appointments made or products sold. Whatever the KPI happens to be in your line of business, ResponseiQ offers significant improvements in sales, customer experience, reputation, and business growth.

Callers Who Can’t Use Toll-Free Numbers

Effective Coverage often speaks with people who are outside of the mainland US, but who have an apartment lined up and will be stateside in the near future. Traditionally, these customers have had difficulty contacting us because they can’t use the toll-free number from outside the 50 contiguous states. ResponseiQ solved this problem for us in a way that shows those customers we value them as much as the rest of our customers.

Over the course of the most recent 30 days, we’ve spoken with 16 people outside of the continental US who need coverage in the US. We’ve been able to assist these people are a direct result of the ResponseiQ product. We’ve assisted users in Canada, Puerto Rico, Isle of Man, Japan, Brazil, Cyprus, Egypt, Kenya, and the United Kingdom.

Overall Usage Statistics

In the most recent 30 days, the widget button has been visible on 98,558-page visits (aka impressions). That includes first-time and return website visitors on both our front-end WordPress site and our back-end quote site where insurance carrier API data is presented as a quote to the customer.

638 people actively opened the widget with the intention of contacting us. 496 of those people took the next step of entering their phone number to request a call. That equates to a conversion rate from widget opens to call requests of 78%. We’re not aware of any other product which converts to phone calls at anything near that rate.

Our average call duration is 6 minutes, 36 seconds. On a practical note, that means that we are moving from user intent to first-contact resolution faster than most callers to our toll-free number even get past the hold queue.

The ability to answer a call at exactly the time the customer wants creates a better overall experience, and has improved our first-call conversions substantially, as well. The primary reason for a return call post-implementation is that the customer was unprepared for the call and lacked vital information such as their address or credit card number.

Mobile Customer Satisfaction

While Google is rapidly moving towards a mobile-first index, the focus on mobile cannot be limited to organic traffic. 64.7% of our ResponseiQ calls come from PC or Mac desktops, the balance from mobile devices.

ResponseiQ has made it possible for us to connect with these mobile customers in ways that were not previously possible. There are a limited number of ways to make a phone number prominent and easy to dial on a mobile website, and the widget has ensured that it’s easy for people to call us regardless of the time of day, their time zone, or the device they’re using.

With a national presence, we operate in four time zones. Previously, anyone, who had a question outside of the twelve hours a day we’re open needed to come back to the website and contact us later. Call scheduling at the preferred time and destination number chosen by the customer has allowed us to recapture those leads and convert them.

If a customer finds that their preferred time has changed, the ability for them to cancel or reschedule via SMS allows us to avoid reaching them at a bad time. When we do speak with those customers, it’s at their ideal time and place allowing us to begin the conversation on a happy note leading to improved conversions.

Initial Onboarding Process And Technical Notes

Many customer contact products are difficult to implement, particularly on custom software platforms such as our back-end quote processing system. ResponseiQ required one line of code for WordPress and the same single line of code for our custom platform. Implementation was, quite possibly, the easiest thing we’ve ever done to the site.

Setup of the ResponseiQ widget for our two subdomains was painless. We entered the agents, set up our number and a menu option to be auto-dialed to route the inbound call into the correct queue, and everything just worked. We particularly appreciate the ability to customise the widget and its text for each subdomain. A visitor who is already in the quote flow responds to slightly different language than a casual visitor reading an article, and updating, testing, and honing that language as well as branding the widget is entirely painless.

The reporting structure is simple to use, while also being quite powerful. The report includes referrers and the page the customer requested the call from, allowing us to cross-reference this data with analytics in order to improve the website experience.

Summary

ResponseiQ is easy for any business to implement, and Effective Coverage has seen immediate and tangible increases in revenue and customer satisfaction through the widget. We’ve reduced reputational risk from lengthy hold times, reduced those hold times, and made the process of contacting us easier overall. This gives us both happy customers and happy agents with increased productivity.

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imac with responseiq dashboard