At Verint’s Engage21, Xander van der Poel, Change Manager at Nationale Nederlanden (NN), the largest insurance provider in the Netherlands, shared his back-office transformation story.
Like many back-office organisations, NN’s Casualty and Liability group was having trouble predicting future workloads and the skills and resources needed to meet those demands. As a result, they were experiencing large backlogs and missed service goals. They realised they needed a new way of working.
They partnered with Verint to implement our Work Manager solution to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this group. But technology can only take you so far. For true transformation, NN felt they needed to change the mindset of the Casualty and Liability department.
Instead of seeing themselves as a cost-conscious, transaction-processing unit—they now see themselves as a customer care centre.
How did they do it? By focusing on five operational levers.
|Old approach/attitude||New approach/attitude|
|The Work||Stack of work||Customer requests|
|Team member roles||Pre-defined, contained roles||Skillsets|
|Planning scope||Team planning||Holistic forecasting and capacity planning|
|Manager role||Reporting analyst/counter||Cheerleader|
|Work distribution||Task completion||Service goal achievement|
The work was no longer a stack of never-ending tasks, but questions from customers waiting for an answer. NN moved the work into electronic queues in Work Manager, which presents employees with additional request information, such as when it was first submitted and how long has it been sitting in a queue.
This insight helps create a sense of urgency to handle that request. Employees became more committed to completing the work on time and showing the customer they care.
Team Member Roles
NN had a broad variety of job positions and titles—all with the same goal: customer care. NN let go of the roles and titles and started looking at skillsets instead. NN closely looked at the tasks and work they had and identified the skills needed to complete that work.
This enables them to scale up whenever a change in demand takes place. They no longer allocate the work to a specific team—it goes to whomever has the skills for it and, most importantly, the time.
What has made their lives easier is knowing what work was coming, when it was coming, and in what volumes. With Work Manager NN was able to forecast their demand and know who would be available at that time to pick up those requests. The solution also provides real-time reporting. Managers not only know what happened yesterday, or even what’s going to happen tomorrow—they also know where they stand at any given time.
They can see what they need to be doing in the next few hours to achieve their service targets. With this real-time data, whenever a change in plan occurs, they don’t have to look back, research and react. Rather, they can now respond immediately—that’s control.
With Work Manager, real-time data, and a new approach to the work, the back-office manager’s role changed too. This tool enables the manager to create an allocation strategy and set targets for each day. The manager shares those targets with his/her team, and everyone is committed to achieving them. The manager now becomes the team cheerleader, motivating employees to achieve their goals and working with them when the plan changes.
Work Manager also helps employees visualise their work into queues. They can see and prioritise what needs to get done to achieve personal production goals, as well as the service goals for the customer.
The real benefit for team members now is they are actually able to complete their work. That might sound strange, but before NN team members were looking at this big pile of work with no end to it. Now team members have a sense of satisfaction because at the end of the day, they know they’ve done their part to achieve the targets and meet the customers’ expectations.
Having the skills, the forecasts, and an allocation strategy has enabled NN to rethink their team structure. They can allocate work to whomever has the skills and availability to do the work, not just within a specialised team. Now they are better able to answer customer questions and requests promptly—and NN is now more agile and can adapt to market changes faster.
So did this work? NN now considers themselves in control, more agile, and more reliable. Their volumes and backlog are under control. They are comprised of multi-skilled teams who can support each other. They better understand the work and skills they have so they can better meet their service goals.
With Work Manager and this change in mindset, NN was able to:
- Increase their effectiveness from 75% to 105%. Effectiveness refers to the amount of work that one expects to be able to do in the time available, compared to what was done. So 105% effective means they are now over-achieving their production goals.
- Increase their efficiency from 50% to 70%. Efficiency refers to how much time out of the number of paid hours in a given day is spent handling customer inquiries.
But the biggest change was in their new, customer-centric way of thinking. As Xander likes to say, “Customer care is not a department. It’s a mindset.”
Watch the Engage21 session, Transform Your Back Office into a Customer Care Centre, by registering here.
Learn about NN’s journey by watching this on-demand webinar: How Nationale Nederlanden drives back office operational efficiency with Verint’s Work Manager solution.