More Than: Helping customers regardless Developing new products in a regulated financial industry can be fraught with difficulty and, given the emphasis on compliance with regulation, it is easy to let innovation be stopped in its tracks.
More Than had recognised this trait in its industry, yet also
knew that in order to deliver value to customers and treat them well, it had to break down some industry ‘norms’.
Fluxx helped build some belief in More Than’s ability to do this by rapidly compressing idea generation, proposition development and experimentation into just a few days. This was done with a team that comprised people from almost all of More Than’s business, from contact centre to underwriting and marketing. With all these people in the room, the ability to propose new concepts and then bring them to life was very high. The momentum and belief created by this rapidly compressed activity led More Than to believe that we should continue the approach to develop some of the thinking that had emerged.
An experiment was quickly formulated for one of the ideas. The experiment was to take two people working as claims handlers and free them from the normal procedures and controls of the call centre. They were put into a newly-created cell tasked with testing a very big idea indeed.
What they did was to transform themselves from being claims handlers to a customer help service. In traditional insurance claim scenarios, customers essentially have to fight to prove that the insurer is obliged to give them some help. In ‘More Than Help’ the idea was to invert that and offer the customer help from the first second of the call, regardless of whether their insurance would end up covering it.
In a real-life example, a customer called to find out whether paint spilled on their carpet was covered. In the old world they would be told that they had not opted for accidental damage cover and the call would pretty much end there. In the world of More Than Help, however, the customer was first advised on how to limit the damage whilst the call handler went away and checked the level of cover. When it was discovered that the customer was not covered, the call handler provided detailed help on how the customer could repair the damage themselves, as well as offering the discounted services of a local cleaning specialist if they preferred to have an expert do it.
Within days, the team decided to double the number of agents working in the new way. Nigel Gosden, Head of Claims, said at the time: ‘There’s no downside. Our people really enjoy it, and customers are loving it ’
Over time, the dedicated More Than Help cell moved their Net Promoter Score (NPS) for a declined claim — where a customer called up to ask for help and then found they were not covered — from -50 to +50. In other words, customers were positively recommending More Than even though their claims had been denied.
Fewer than 80 days into the experiment, the board of More Than decided that More Than Help should be the way in which they always handled what they used to call claims. In other words, the experimental cell had outgrown the parent and now officially became the normal way of working and could fall back into the more regular hierarchies required for operational business.
A few months later, More Than Help became the subject of the company’s main advertising push, and the UK’s financial regulator, the FCA, praised their innovative approach.