Page 1: Introduction
Companies are finding it more difficult to demonstrate product superiority or product differentiation over competitors. Customer service is an area that offers almost endless opportunities for developing superiority and differentiation. The ideal relationship is one where the customer feels that he or she is receiving the desired quality and customer care.
Customers know what they mean by desired quality, and the marketer needs to find this out and translate the concept into the required goods and services. Desired quality does not necessarily mean the most expensive - it means the solution that best meets a customer’s need.
This case study therefore provides an excellent example of how an organisation can develop a personal relationship with customers by focusing on their individual needs and then providing them with the ‘benefits’ that they are seeking. The study focuses on the way in which Independent Insurance has set out to create a unique relationship with the brokers who sell its insurance policies to private and commercial customers.
Independent Insurance provides general insurance and related services. The group operates principally in the UK, with a wholly owned subsidiary in France and operations in Spain, Malta and the Bahamas.
Independent Insurance provides commercial property and liability, together with non-standard or specialist personal lines cover. It believes in long-term business relationships with a relatively small panel of highly professional insurance intermediaries (brokers). The business focus is on maintaining sound underwriting principles and differentiation through technical risk management.
Independent Insurance only sells via the medium of brokers. No business is conducted directly with the public. It is estimated that in the UK there are 10,000 insurance brokers. Independent Insurance works with about 10% of these, i.e. 1,000 brokers. The Absolute. Tour involved one-to-one discussions with 200 of Independent Insurance’s top brokers, as measured by performance indicators related to success in winning insurance business.