2015 ICTA Nomination. Technology by Sunwire Inc.
Insurance is one of North Eastern Ontario’s longest-standing brokerages with five retail locations and roots dating back to 1903. With an established footprint in the North and a strong appetite for growth outside their regular trading area, their vision was to grow the brokerage organically. Instead of investing a large sum in an acquisition or a new bricks and mortar location, the focus was shifted to the online channel and they launched InsuranceHero.ca in 2011. InsuranceHero.ca is described as a hybrid model being a cross between a call center and a traditional insurance brokerage. In order to achieve operational efficiencies, they leverage the use of technologies, such as Sunwire’s SolSwitch VOIP phone system (implemented in June 2011).
In order to enable InsuranceHero.ca to service customers across Ontario, they utilize a Toll Free Number (TFN) as their telephony point of contact. When a call is placed to the TFN, SolSwitch can direct the phone call to different individuals in the business based on a series of different factors. For example it can route the call based on the caller ID/area code to a broker located in or near that area. A feature is also available to set the call to ring all sales brokers currently working, least recent or round robin. If and when a broker contacts a customer via telephone, SolSwitch will select from a bank of phone numbers a number that is local to the customer for caller ID purposes giving InsuranceHero.ca a local presence.
Detailed Analytics Reporting
Since InsuranceHero.ca employees are spread across the province with some working from home, analytics are extremely important. SolSwitch’s entire phone system is managed via a simple and intuitive Web Portal that is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection and the right credentials. Broad reports can be generated in a matter of seconds. For example available reports include: telephone activity per extension/employee, department/queue or organization as a whole. Some of the important metrics for InsuranceHero.ca are the average length of a phone call, the number of inbound and outbound calls, the average number of rings (time) it takes an agent to answer the phone and number of agents concurrently on the phone.
Additional report can be broken down into current calls, live queue stats, live stats reports, per extension reports and even the ability to build your own report “Call Report Builder” which gives the operator ultimate flexibility and customizability. This information ensures timely responses to leads, dropped calls and wait times. In addition understanding where potential customers are calling from allows InsuranceHero.ca to gauge the activity generated from various marketing campaigns by area code, postal codes, etc.
For InsuranceHero.ca, recording phone calls is crucial and reduces errors and omissions exposures. It also helps improve customer experience as brokers know their calls are always recorded. Additionally, it ensures that consumers disclose all relevant information for the insurance application during the quoting stage as they are aware what they divulge will form part of a legally binding contract.
Thus, the fact that SolSwitch as a phone system has the ability to record all phone calls is a fantastic feature. Moreover, the recorded calls are sent as a link in an email (instead of an MP3 file) allowing InsuranceHero.ca to store many call records in their CRM without it taking up much disk space.
Virtual Fax Machine
InsuranceHero.ca is proud to operate in a 100% paperless environment and thus the Virtual Fax Machine Feature (Fax to Email) allows for this to happen. This feature eliminates the cost of paper, ink and fax machines, all the while increasing the speed of delivery on both the sending and receiving of faxes.
Long Distance Cost Savings
InsuranceHero.ca is a division of a parent company – Raymond Insurance that operates across 5 sites in Northern Ontario in different area codes. SolSwitch enables Raymond Insurance to save considerable costs on its long distance fees allowing for Extension to Extension dialing between any phones in the organization.
Also, SolSwitch has a built in Meet-Me-Conference-Bridge feature which eliminates the need to pay costly third party teleconferencing services.
SolSwitch enables InsuranceHero.ca to create virtual extensions for its employees giving brokers working from home or on their cell phone the appearance of being in the office. Through the use of a VOIP smartphone app, a broker or manager can make calls from his/her cell phone and appear as if their calling from within the office. The call can also be recorded this way.
When it comes to afterhour’s service the Find-Me-Follow-Me feature provides InsuranceHero.ca the ability to route calls to a manager’s cell phone. In turn, allowing them to interact directly with a consumer in a time of need, such as a claim. The Find-Me-Follow-Me feature is extremely flexible and is customized based on time of day (Time Rules), queues, holidays, emergencies etc.
SolSwitch enables InsuranceHero.ca to create unlimited queues and properly direct telephone traffic according to their customers’ needs. Multiple agents can be added/removed to different queues (sales, claim, reception, emergency etc…) on the fly and in a matter of seconds. Moreover, the Estimated Hold Time feature will notify the caller in queue how much longer they can expect to wait before an agent picks up the phone. The caller also has the option to request SolSwitch to automatically call them back on their preferred number. Therefore, instead of having customers waste time on hold they will be contacted immediately once an agent is free.
Redundancy & Disaster Recovery Plans
SolSwitch’s infrastructure design for Raymond Insurance and InsuranceHero.ca has virtually eliminated owntime in the events of outages and or disaster. By having 2 SolSwitch’s at different sites in load alancing mode allows for calls to be re-routed in the event of a main site failure. This can all be done eamlessly, without employees or callers noticing. Furthermore, Sunwire would have the ability to oute all calls to cell phones in the event of disaster at multiple office buildings.
SolSwitch has provided InsuranceHero.ca the ability to offer its employees the option of working from home which has also expanded their recruiting pool, as they aren’t limited to the immediate area where their physical office is located. They have also been able to retain 100% of the staff needing to relocate (due to their spouse’s employment) by offering them a “work from home” position.
The phone system has played a major role in reducing InsuranceHero.ca’s operational expenses without affecting the client experience. As a result, SolSwitch has enabled InsuranceHero.ca to grow its digital footprint across the province.
InsuranceHero.ca is a digital insurance brokerage offering auto, home and business insurance in Ontario. They leverage technology to offer a simplified and modernized insurance experience. Being a 100% online insurance brokerage, employees have the ability to work from from home or at the main office. For more information, visit www.insurancehero.ca.