Peer reviews are becoming increasingly influential for customers when making product and supplier choices. Social media, online forums, and dedicated advocacy platforms are helping to make these reviews more accessible to more people. Darrell Sansom, Managing Director at AXA Business Insurance, explains how it is using customer feedback to help consistently achieve a gold standard rating for its services.


Why is customer feedback so important for your business?

We sell business insurance direct to small and medium-sized enterprises, rather than through a network of brokers, so the customer relationship is everything. When it comes to making a purchasing decision, peer-to-peer referrals are much more powerful than any marketing collateral we can produce. We use an independent online feedback engine to provide us - and prospects - with complete transparency of the customer experience.


How do you incorporate customer feedback into your services?

We collate comments from customers and feed them into our ongoing improvement efforts. For example, customers told us that they found it frustrating when they had to repeat their details every time they contacted our advisors. With Service Cloud, we know who they are when they call and can see every past interaction. Also, as part of our ecommerce strategy, we worked with our customers to better understand their expectations of a digital journey with AXA Business Insurance. Simplicity and confidence were two words that cropped up time and time again, so we try to apply them to everything that we do.


How do you keep things simple when there are an increasing number of customer engagement channels?

Most of our products are available online, but customers often want to talk with an advisor during the application process. It’s therefore really important that we provide a joined-up omni-channel experience. We use Service Cloud to track every interaction across every channel, which provides advisors with a 360-degree view of a customer’s history with AXA Business Insurance. By integrating our website with Service Cloud, advisors can see where customers are with an online application or request and talk them through the rest of the process. Customers are increasingly using online aggregators to find the best insurance deal, so we’ve also given advisors visibility of their journeys on key third party sites.


How does a 360-degree view of the customer and their journey help you sell more?

We’re an advice-based business. To provide the right advice, we need to understand each and every customer. This is vital to the quality of service that we offer, which in turn is vital to securing good customer reviews. By taking time to get to know our customers better, we can build loyalty, increase retention, and win new business. And that doesn't necessarily mean with new customers. We used to invest a lot of time and money in generating new leads, yet, there were just as many untapped opportunities right under our nose with existing customers. By understanding the customer, and their current and future insurance needs, we can cross-sell and up-sell while building trust and confidence in our services.


By using feedback to power a continuous improvement cycle, organisations can not only improve the customer experience but also secure more sales. Read the full case study to find out more about how AXA Business Insurance is boosting customer satisfaction and competitive advantage.