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Connexus : Issue 39
44 Connexus Showcase Online engagement Failure to invest in multichannel platforms could put mutuals in danger of losing one of their best assets: customer engagement. Dean Robinson, the founder and managing director of CONGEX, says the big banks are already ahead when it comes to offering customers the opportunity to connect via web chat, online self- ser vice and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. CONGEX works with businesses to develop solutions for eCommerce and customer relationship management. Robinson says that, for mutuals, “the challenge is how to prioritise the use of limited, valuable contact centre people. “ Not all customer interactions are of the same importance so it’s vital you provide the means for customers to self-ser ve where they can.” Offering faster and better options to communicate via home computing, mobile phones and tablets, for example, can facilitate relationship building by making it easier for customers to interact with you when and how it suits them. Similarly, web chat comments can be a trigger for a staff member to connect with a customer in real time via live chat. Such personal interaction can often quickly resolve issues that might arise when customers are filling out application forms or need assistance understanding credit card and home loan options. Likewise, social media platforms can be integrated in the business model to prov ide fast responses to queries and comments. And a robust website with sharp self-service tools can help customers find answers. Robinson says the implementation of multichannel platforms needs to be managed through a “structured business case from the early evaluation stage through implementation and latter optimisation phases”. That process works through the various key metrics - from website visitor volumes to rates of invitation to chat, email and social media productivity – giving you control of the online engagement strategy. For more information contact Dean Robinson on 0412 067 249 or visit www.congex.com insurance opportunities Mutuals can generate income by integrating life insurance products, according to independent research commissioned by ClearView. The sur vey was conducted with a range of organisations to find out about their exper iences in integrating life insurance as a means of diver sifying non- interest income and increasing member benefits. Feedback showed that some respondents had yet to explore the insurance oppor tunity, and some that had repor ted only “mediocre outcomes”. However, the major ity agreed that it was becoming clear they need to review life insurance options as a means to generate sustainable income in light of the squeeze on fee and interest income from lending. A key takeaway from the sur vey is the importance of how insurance products are integrated in the business model. It found that the financial planner refer ral model and direct distribution via the web were both “uninspiring” methods of improving uptake. Instead, the consensus was that distribution through customer ser vice staff, using non-advice products provided the greatest appeal. It’s easier to integrate into staff operations, if training requirements are kept to a minimum and sales, application and underwriting processes are simple. And it provides better in- house control over the customer experience. “ We see the results clearly pointing toward the need for simple, quality life products that meet member needs, but are also easy for staff to promote and administer,” s ays Cher yl Macnaught, general manager strategic partners at ClearView. “ Those are the characteristics that we have built into our products. The discounts and extra member benefits we offer also enable our par tner organisations to add real value to their member relationships”. The challenge is how to prioritise the use of ... contact centre people. Show time Do you have a new product or service of interest to mutuals? We’d love to hear about it. Please email your submission to: connexus@abacus. org.au