A new benchmarking service covering customer service levels will publish results annually and give life and savings providers a better indication of an industry-wide norm, the Association of British Insurers says.
The benchmark will be achieved by participating companies carrying out annual telephone surveys of statistically representative samples of 750 of their own customers.
Questions asked will include:
Answers will not be published on an individual provider basis, however, as the ABI feels there are factors that would not make it possible for a true apples-to-apples comparison.
A spokeswoman for the ABI says, for example, companies may have different demographics and different customer bases, which means there is little point in publishing the data as some sort of basis for direct comparison.
The statistical sample customers will be drawn from three sub-groups: new customers, those making claims, and the general population of customers of each of the participating companies.
Unpublished company-specific data will not, however, stop companies from measuring themselves against the single benchmark finding.
Stephen Haddrill, ABI director general, states the benchmark “will also allow individual companies to track their performance across a range of criteria against objective data about the industry as a whole and plan further improvements for themselves.”
The research is scheduled for the third and fourth quarters of 2005, with the benchmark published sometime in the first two quarters of 2006.
It is all part of a wider programme being pushed by the ABI to focus on customer services levels, highlighted by chairman Richard Harvey in March this year.
Other issues and actions being addressed or planned under this theme include:
In other ABI-related news, the association has reported the appointment of a new director of consumer strategy.
George Hodgson joins the ABI from a staff role with the Treasury Select Committee.
Among his roles will be to oversee the development of the Raising Standards Quality Mark Scheme.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Jonathan Boyd on 020 7484 9769 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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