Applying the personal touch to financial services
A Co-operative Insurance Society case study

Page 1: Introduction

The Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) operates in one of the most dynamic and complex markets in the world. Insurance is one of the UKÕs major industries with an estimated 700 businesses providing investment and protection products to over 46 million customers. In recent years, competition in the financial services industry generally has intensified. To survive and to continue to...
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Page 2: Customer focus

As the financial services market has evolved, customers have become increasingly sophisticated in their purchasing decisions and are more knowledgeable about financial products than ever before. Most newspapers, for example, have personal finance sections offering advice and guidance. As a result, customers have become selective in their choice of provider and will readily switch providers if they...
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Page 3: Investing in customer relationships

The major factor in CIS’s success is the strong, long-term relationship it enjoys with customers. In an increasingly impersonal business world of telephones, voice mail and faxes, CIS concentrates on face-to-face personal dealings with its customers. This is because CIS believes personal selling to be the most effective way of providing the service a customer has a right to expect. But...
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Page 4: Communication

Important as it is, personal selling is only one element in the CIS marketing mix. To be completely successful, it is vital that this activity is integrated with the other elements of the marketing communications mix - advertising and sponsorship, public relations and direct marketing. Direct marketing supports the face-to-face communication of the salesforce with customers. CIS has invested...
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Page 5: Training

CIS is a people business and for many customers their agent is the face of CIS. Therefore it’s essential that the organisation’s representatives are highly trained professionals. This view has led CIS to approach training and development as an on going activity which occurs throughout the representative’s career with the Society, not a one-off event. In fact, this process...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Investing in training and a commitment to professional and personal development goes a long way towards motivating sales staff. But to maintain motivation other tactics are necessary. All the training in the world will not make an unenthusiastic salesforce successful. And, as CIS provides an intangible service rather than a product, maintaining motivation is even more important. Motivating a...
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Related: Co-operative Insurance Society
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