Future-focused customer service

April 29, 2019

 

With approximately two million customers, Skandia is today a leading life insurance provider and has services within savings, insurance, health and banking services. They continuously work to develop their advisory role and simplify the prerequisites of good savings for their customers.
 
To Customer Service Risk and Health, Skandia has recently made an investment in line with the change journey that the entire organization is on and we at Harvey Nash have had the privilege of assisting in the recruitment of three completely new managerial roles, within claims settlement and risk assessment, to the department in Gothenburg. Maria Bofeldt, who is responsible for the department today, told us a bit more about Skandia’s thoughts on future-proofing their customer experience.
 
Maria Bofeldt
 
Remaining competitive
Like many other companies, Skandia has been working on digitalising many of its processes and has worked to adjust the organization to remain competitive and to be able to offer its customers modern solutions. At Customer Service Risk and Health, they have reviewed what in practice is optimal for future growth and continued development in order to secure a customer service that can meet the increasingly high expectations of their customers. Their digital transformation is well underway.
 
Setting a new target
The work in Customer Service Risk and Health has meant that they have reworked several of their processes to find further efficiencies and also set up a new target for themselves.
 
“We no longer think it is enough for our customers to just like us, but we want to achieve dedicated and loyal customers who carry us with them in their everyday life and willingly share their experience of Skandia in their network,” says Maria Bofeldt.
 
The feeling was that the previous target was no longer fitting to modern customer service work and that today an understanding of what it is that drives people is more important. This can be more difficult to measure in concrete ways, but Maria Bofeldt and her colleagues in the management team are certain that this will pay off in the long-term.
 
Change management
The decision to recruit more managers within Maria Bofeldt’ s department partly comes from believing in a stronger change leadership capacity with fewer employees per manager, who in everyday life will have a better opportunity to ensure a closer dialogue with their employees. This, in turn, will help them make the transition from a workplace to a place of professional development and growth, with a customer focus at heart. Individuals need to be allowed and given room to contribute to the transition of the work culture that Customer Service Risk and Health now strives for and along with it, the development of a positive performance culture.
 
Another measure Skandia has taken is to involve Maria Bofeldt’ s department in a pilot project where they have taken a course in change management, aiming to provide each individual with tools to help them measure their own ability to handle change. This will now be introduced also in other departments.
 
“With further resources, we have a much better opportunity to be able to contribute to a business that dares to stick out its chin and make things happen,” Maria says. “Employees are given the opportunity to raise things on the agenda and have time to act on challenges they face along the way. In addition, there needs to be room to be able to learn and work with new processes, modern solutions and with new digital tools,” she adds.
 
A sustainable workday
At Skandia, they stand for life balance and one’s workday needs to allow for a healthy and more balanced agenda.
 
“We have so many fantastic colleagues who aspire to so much and they help come up with great ideas, but we as an employer must also give room for our employees to work on these and work on maintaining the changes we’ve made. This to keep a long-term perspective in a fast-paced environment with many developments happening both externally in the market but also internally,” explains Maria.
 
The cultural movement will mean that the employees working in customer service will be striving to make a difference in each customer relationship but also for each other as colleagues. At Customer Service Risk and Health, they want to ensure a fun and enjoyable workplace where good performance is made more visible.
 
“Previously we have not really focused on the importance of lifting individual performance, but with a new perspective on feedback, we see the importance of being able to pay tribute to our colleagues,” explains Maria. “This is to inspire, engage and give concrete examples of success and at the same time secure knowledge transfer. It’s about wanting to be better and learning by good examples from each other,” she continues.
 
Skandia believes that this contributes to building committed employees, by building trust between colleagues and in everyone’s self-leadership where each employee takes responsibility for sharing their successes and failures. This will lead to an organisation that constantly learns and develops and thus can meet the changing demands and conditions of the future better, in order to continue to welcome the future with customers who choose Skandia.
 
Learnings from achieving behavioural change and transitioning into a more performance-based culture
 
  • Don’t forget to constantly connect good work and success to customer benefit and how in each role one can make a difference for the business, the customer, for oneself.
  • Start by talking about and identifying what the company means with the concept of performance. What does good performance look like and what are the expectations on each employee?
  • Work in a way and with tools that add fun and more enjoyment in the workday to create commitment. Forget long PowerPoint presentations. It is important to visualize and repeat the message and create room for dialogue between employees.
  • Visualize the words. For example, if you say that you will work more digitally, remove everything that contradicts that. If you no longer need to handle and store long paper trails remove the cabinets in the office.
  • Continuously show and communicate the small changes that take place to maintain momentum and energy during a change journey. It is easy to become blind to flaws “at home” and forget that you actually accomplish a lot when you always take small steps in the right direction. An external perspective that more easily sees the changes made can be valuable to enhance this message.
  • Encourage employees to reflect on their emotional state and measure this continuously. How do you feel when you get to work in the morning and how do you feel when you leave at the end of the day?
Maria explains that if you, as in her department, work with customer service, you sometimes have to give room to adapt and measure success in alternative ways to succeed in engaging the employees and through them the customers.
 
“Success to us can now mean that you as an employee can feel proud of being part of Skandia, where we have the opportunity to make a difference and create value for our customers. That you every morning deliberately choose Skandia and see it as a workplace that is fun to come back to and where we develop together alongside our customers,” explains Maria. “Achieving that attitude, we mean, is infectious in the customer contacts we at customer service have will help to affect how satisfied customers are with the service we deliver,” she concludes.