Page 4: Measuring quality
In order to measure quality, a business needs to establish key measures to track how well it is meeting standards. It could, for example, measure how many customers buy other products from the company (repeat business) or how fast it responds to customer queries (customer response rates). Zurich’s UK Life business deals with over half a million calls, emails and letters a month. Just 0.3% of these are complaints. Zurich is quick to respond to any complaints or issues raised by its customers.
It is also important for a business to capture and regularly review the results of its quality management processes against its own or industry-set benchmark standards. This can help to identify problem areas and enable preventative steps to be taken to correct the problem or prevent it from getting worse. Unidentified problems may lead to inferior service which, in turn, could reduce customer satisfaction. Zurich uses a quality framework to regularly review the results of its quality measurements against benchmark standards.
A business may also use measures set by outside bodies such the British Standards Institute (BSI) or against the performance of other businesses in its industry. As a provider of financial services, in the UK Zurich is regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). This sets out rules and regulations covering all aspects of the business, including the concept of Treating Customers Fairly.
Zurich’s approach to customer centricity aims to go beyond the requirements and standards set out by the FSA and BSI. As a global business, Zurich aims to be the best insurer as measured by all its main stakeholder groups - its customers, its shareholders and its employees.
For a customer-focused business, levels of customer satisfaction are one of the most important measures. Zurich aims to be in the top 25% of insurance providers for customer satisfaction. High customer satisfaction scores should be reflected in repeat business and growth in sales. Zurich conducts extensive market research with large numbers of customers. They help managers to understand how far the company is meeting customer needs. Zurich also uses an independent measure called the TRI*M index. This assesses how well different parts of the business are satisfying customer requirements.
As part of its customer impact scheme, Zurich asks customers to rate the company’s performance. Most recent results show that most customers rate Zurich as good, very good or excellent in the three key areas aligned to its business objectives.
Another measure of how well a business is delivering on its promises are awards from within its own industry. Recent awards for Zurich include two Five Star Service Awards at the FT Financial Adviser Awards. This followed an intensive voting process involving 25,000 questionnaires - the biggest poll in the financial services industry. Zurich also received an Outstanding Achievement Award at the FT Adviser Online Service Awards 2011 in recognition of the way that it has maintained a level of excellence since the awards began five years ago.