13:17 PM

Customer experience at the heart of Nationwide protection

A well-known adage attributed to the 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson says, “If you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves.”

At Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide, customer satisfaction is no small thing, but intently focusing on it is what enables the insurance and financial services provider to ensure the biggest things of all, says Chief Customer Officer, Amy Shore.

“To protect people, businesses and futures with extraordinary care, we have to focus on every detail of the customer experience so that we can be there when they need us most,” said Shore. “As an enterprise, it’s not enough to have a customer-caring culture, we have to be customer centric.”

Getting the details of customer service right is a focus for Nationwide. From expanded online and digital self-service offerings, to texting capabilities and educational resources and tools, Shore said Nationwide has been creating more value for members in the details of customer interactions than ever before.

“The past year has only accelerated consumers’ expectations of being able to do business with us, and every other company, quickly and easily,” Shore said. “We’re responding with new and enhanced capabilities that enable us to provide the experiences that customer value most. Our research shows that making interactions effortless, personal and reassuring is what counts.”

Over the course of 2021, Shore noted that Nationwide launched convenient, easy to use conversational texting capabilities for personal insurance members that enable them to connect with their claims representatives. Instead of having to call, customers can quickly text to follow up on an auto or property claim, or share documents, photos and estimates.

Nationwide has also expanded its use of virtual claim handling tools. Pre-COVID, approximately 50 percent of homeowner claims were handled virtually. In 2020, the company expanded its use of remote capabilities to increase that to 93 percent. Shore said the use of virtual claim handling tools continue in 2021 because they not only speed up the claims process for customers, but they also allow Nationwide to handle multiple loss events, like hurricanes or wildfires, with claims professionals from across the country. In turn, this improves availability and response times.

“Our expanded use of remote inspection tools allows us to put our customers at the center of the claim experience by contacting them quickly, keeping them informed and partnering with them to settle their claim in a fast and reassuring way,” Shore said, pointing to faster year-over-year response times.

In the property and casualty insurance division, new customer flexibility options have been implemented. For commercial lines insurance customers, Nationwide has begun deploying virtual risk assessment and consultative services. These virtual services allow customers to connect with Nationwide through their smart devices to provide risk assessment tours of their operations when it is most convenient for them.

In Nationwide’s financial services operations, two new industry recognitions and the introduction of new products are examples of how Shore said the company has stepped up to both meet and exceed expectations.

For the second year running, DALBAR, a leading independent rating firm for customer experience in the financial community, awarded Nationwide retirement solutions with its Customer Experience Excellence Award, which is conferred on companies that provide superior care and high-quality customer interactions that exceed industry standards. This was followed with an award in June from Money Magazine that recognizes Nationwide as the life insurer with the highest customer satisfaction rating in its annual ranking of the 15 Best Life Insurance Companies.

Meanwhile, Nationwide continues to pursue new financial products that offer customers choice and security, Shore said. In May, the company announced the addition of three new indices to its Nationwide Defined Protection® Annuity, followed by news in June that it had expanded its relationship with AllianceBernstein to offer an in-plan income guarantee to its large retirement plan clients. Combined, Shore said these new solutions provide Nationwide retirement clients with more options and security to plan for their futures.

To learn more about Nationwide insurance products and financial services, visit www.nationwide.com.

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