If is the leading property and casualty insurance provider in the Nordics.
Based in Stockholm, Sweden, the company serves more than 3.7 million customers across the Nordic and Baltic regions, providing tailored insurance solutions to private individuals, commercial businesses and large corporate enterprises.
During the coronavirus pandemic, If experienced sudden swings in demand as customers raced to reorganise travel plans and insurances. But with the right resourcing and a flexible cloud contact centre solution, the company was able to manage the peaks and troughs with ease. We caught up with Satu Edelman, If’s Development Manager of Contact Centre Solutions, to find out more.
A unified solution
If made the switch to Puzzel’s cloud-based customer service platform many years ago. With around 3,500 contact centre agents working across Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, the company needed a single, unified solution that could facilitate collaboration between teams and guarantee consistent service quality across all countries.
Satu described the large-scale transition as very smooth for agents. “We learned to use the new system only after a couple of customer enquiries,” she said.
More than 11 million customer enquiries now flow through their contact centre annually, and customer satisfaction has been rising year on year. The new solution has enabled greater synergy between teams and brought If closer to their customers, reflecting their mission to be by their sides at every stage of their life journey.
If offers a variety of customer service channels, including voice, live chat and email. This omnichannel environment keeps their agents engaged and supports customer choice. “We believe that this is a benefit to our customers. They can reach out to us using all the channels they want to,” Satu said.
Voice is by far the insurance company’s most popular channel for enquiries, indicating customers still prefer a human touch. However, If believes that all customer service channels have an important role to play. “All channels are important to us. Everything depends on the preferences of a customer. We operate in multiple channels so that our customers can choose the channel that fits them best,” Satu said.
The company’s chatbot, for example, was crucial to its success during the coronavirus pandemic.
Agility during Covid-19
When lockdown restrictions were first imposed in 2020, If’s phone lines rang off the hook as customers hurried to reorganise travel plans. While requests for car insurance dropped, enquiries around holiday insurance soared. “If the demand increases in one sector, another one decreases,” Satu explained.
If contained the demand by publishing regular updates for customers, keeping them informed on the latest news and guidance, and by offering callbacks. When queues grew too long, customers were guided to alternative channels where they could be served faster. For example, If’s chatbot was able to fulfil simple customer requests while human agents focused on more complex enquiries. “Through effective resourcing and using channels in an effective way, we are able to manage different types of situations,” Satu explained.
The transition to homeworking was also quick and seamless, thanks to If’s cloud-based contact centre solution. “Corona has actually affected us very little because we had a customer service solution that supported us when we moved to home offices. Moving to the remote work mode happened only in a week and I think that is an amazing achievement in such a large case,” Satu said. “A flexible customer service platform that wasn’t dependent on location was the key to our success.”
If’s agents are now able to choose between working in the office or at home, with Puzzel’s cloud solution requiring only an internet connection, laptop and headphones.
Endless possibilities for the future
If is now preparing for the future and eager to continue developing its customer service strategy. “We follow our customers’ behaviour constantly. We want to respond to customers’ expectations and develop our services for them,” Satu said.
With Puzzel’s support, the possibilities for innovation and experimentation are endless. “Puzzel is a continuously developing and dynamic system. As a company, Puzzel is characterised by a passion to progress with its customers,” Satu said.