I was on the ‘phone to Aviva earlier.
Talking to their Life Insurance team about a policy.
They were very helpful.
“Is there anything else they could help me with?” they ask.
Well, as it happens, yes.
I’ve been trying to renew my Home insurance for a couple of days now, can I do that too.
“Well it’s a different team,” they say, “Can we give you the number?”.
“No. That’s alright,” I reply, “I have the number. It’s just that each time I call there’s a horrendous queue and I get diverted and have to hang up to take care of something else”.
“Oh, ok,” they say, “we’ll email them and get them to call you“.
AND THEY DID!
Only if you have worked with, or worked for, Aviva, will you understand how truly remarkable this is.
I have done both.
Five years ago, this kind of inter-business co-operation – something that seems simple common-sense to customers – could never have happened.
The systems, procedures and protocols simply wouldn’t allow it.
I know lots of the people who have been battling to put customer service at the heart of Aviva’s commercial strategy.
Fighting off the number crunchers who see it as a cost, rather than a driver of commercial value.
And slowly and painfully making the argument that joined-up business is the only way to even have a chance of driving customer loyalty (and value).
And this tiny, apparently insignificant event is, I believe, important evidence that their efforts are beginning to work.
Because not only did they communicate beyond question that they realised I’m the kind of person who disproportionately values their own time.
But they also got across the message that they were each proud, empowered individuals with the capability of making exceptions and working the system for their customer.
I need hardly tell you that I renewed straightaway.
And I’ve spent some of the minutes I would have spent listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, writing this blog of praise to my former colleagues and their persistence.
By the way… I still can’t see my Life Policy on the online portal.
But I’m prepared to believe they have the power to fix that too!