Amica Insurance has received the highest customer satisfaction rating in the 2011 J.D Powers US National Auto Insurance Study. The study, which has placed Amica at the top of the customer service rankings for twelve consecutive years, is considered the benchmark for how well insurance companies treat their customers.
Bruce Maynard, Senior Vice President at Amica, said that he first understood how seriously the company took customer service when he joined 34 years ago. He said that when a customer complained, “it was like the whole business stopped,” and everybody scrambled and had meetings to find out what the company did wrong.
Things haven’t changed much, apart from the addition of technology. Instead of using pre-defined customer interaction scripts, customer service representatives for Amica are taught to respond to customers’ needs, and to their mood at the time. They are taught to be efficient if the customer seems to be in a hurry, or to slow down and explain things every step of the way if the customer seems confused.
This winning formula has set Amica apart for 12 consecutive years in the J.D Powers survey, a badge of honor they wear with pride.
Multi-Policy Holders Happiest
One of the major findings from the survey is that those who hold both their auto insurance and their household insurance with the same company tended to rate that company better than those who only had auto insurance with that company. This distinction has declined from last year, but it still makes a meaningful difference. In addition to this, features such as accident forgiveness, ticket forgiveness and no-claims bonuses can add as much as 40 points to an insurer’s score in the survey.
Erie and Shelter Close 2nd and 3rd
Erie Insurance came in at number 2, the same spot they occupied in last year’s survey. Megan Euston, spokesperson for Erie, said, “customers have told us that they choose Erie because of our great coverage and superior service at a fair price.” She added that the company’s 90% customer retention rate spoke to that.
Shelter was up from 4th to 3rd place this year, possibly as a result of their increasing focus on customer satisfaction surveys conducted internally, and a number of measures that have been put into place to boost customer satisfaction. They have also added a “Fast Track” claims process for smaller claims, which allows an entire claim to be completed with just a single phone call.
Technology Improves Scores
On the whole the survey showed that those customers who can complete most interactions on the company website are generally happier. It also showed that the more contact options the insurer offers (email, telephone, online chat, etc.) the more likely customers are to make use of these channels, and to be more satisfied as a result.