Posts Tagged ‘Amica’

How to freeze a warm lead

August 27th, 2008 No comments

After the problem I had with Amica (read past blog) I tried to find a new insurance company for my car. I called many agents, filled out thousand forms with my data, driving records and car info to compare different quotes, coverage and reputation . You have no idea how annoying this is.

After several quotes I got curious about how an Amica quote would look like, after all I had been a customer for the last 2 years and that could give me lower rates. So I thought, “Ok, I’ll give this guys a second chance.” I picked up the phone and after 30 minutes I was able to get a quote that was, indeed, lower than the others I got before. Great!

After that, the operator asked me if I wanted to close the deal at that time, and I said: “No, because I would like to see the policy first on my screen to check that I’m not missing anything important. Could you send it to my email?” Of course he replied a yes and proceeded to confirm my email address. Later that day I didn’t received the email, nor that night, nor the end of the week. A week after I sent an email to customer service at Amica to get my policy on the mail for revision, being very clear on my e-mail that I WANTED TO BUY the policy.

No response whatsoever for 48hrs, I decided to search just one more quote from (probably) the only company I haven’t got one yet. To my surprise it was lower than Amica’s with same coverage; moreover, I was looking at my policy on the screen and I felt comfortable to buy it on-line right away, so I did.

One day after I bought my policy with another company, I got a call from Amica’s customer service and they were saying something like now we are ready to take your order… that was two (or more) days ago!, I had to tell them that I wantED to buy… but not anymore, sorry. Moreover, later that day, I got another call from the Online service center to talk about my previous post, alas I wasn’t available but they wanted to hear from any other improvement idea I could have. I think it is great to learn from our own mistakes, I’ll give you that Amica, but learn from others’ as well.

In the end, the answer to the title of the post… how to freeze a warm lead? Waiting. If someone wants to buy from you now, sell now!

Also, if you are one of Amica’s phone/chat operators, don’t feel guilty about these situations; as Edwards Deming said once “The worker is not the problem. The problem is at the top! Management!”

A good idea poorly executed is a bad idea.

August 14th, 2008 1 comment

Sorry for not writing earlier but I’ve been very busy.
Well… lets start again…

All of you must agree with me that the most important part of the business is the customer since without them there is no business at all. Also it is overwhelmingly true that the easiest sell is to you current customer. Based on these two statements, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) has its reason to exists, helping companies to keep their customers happy thus buying more from them. Ways to implement CRMs are for example call centers, rewards programs, etc.
The question is, what if your CRM system is alienating your customer? Let take a closer look based on personal experience:
The great idea: Offer online (real –time) chat support to customers while they are in your webpage, so they don’t have to call, send an email or go the company’s office. Great!
Well folks, let me tell you that the road to hell is built with good intentions, here is an example. I have Amica as insurance company for my car and I recently moved to a different city so I have to change my plates and my type of insurance, so I went to the web page and while I was reviewing my policy a banner caught my attention, it said: “Get help from an online agent. Live chat”, and I thought to myself: sweeeeet!
After rigorous process of confirming your personal information, I painted the picture to the Valeria, girl on the other side of the screen and I asked her to change my plates on the system for the new ones and she replied: “ I can’t do that over chat, you will have to call.” Then I asked for a quote, and he said: I can’t give you a quote over chat.” What???  Then I asked for information regarding cancellation and guess what was the answer… yes… she can’t cancel my insurance over chat.
So I closed the chat window really disappointed. Just imagine, I contacted Amica to give them more business, that is, more money for them… I went to knock on their door to give them cash and they said… NOT NOW, call me later. And this is an insurance company, could you imagine what would happen the day I’m making a claim for some damages? If it’s hard for them to take my cash I can’t imagine how difficult would be to take some from them.
This is not an isolated event, I had a similar problem with Verizon and an airline (don’t remember which one).  Verizon’s guy was funnier, after several I-can’t-help-you answers, he had the silly idea of asking me: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”… I typed: “I can’t reply that over chat, sorry”
This post could not be complete without making some suggestions to Amica, Verizon and to the people who offer these services (because my best guess is that this is an outsourced service):
–    If you can’t help me, call me or ask me how else can you help me, not just push me away.
–    Remember that the agent in contact with your customer is the face, voice or text of the company at that moment, don’t screw that up.
–    If you are there to answer questions about the services, put the live chat offering only on the pages where makes sense, not where you know you can’t help me.
I’ll stop here, if you want to know more about how to fix these little nuances that will give your clients a headache, hire me.
In the meantime I will say bye to Amica and Verizon as soon as possible.
Have a great weekend!