Gift cards are among the most popular gifts in the United States – the majority of retailers offer them, and they can help drive up sales in many stores. But have risk managers considered gift cards to also be used as a risk management tool?
At GB, we implemented a Customer Care unit for one of our major retail clients in June, 2016, after discussing a more efficient way to handle low severity claims that could also mitigate claim cost and improve customer satisfaction. The Customer Care unit is 2 dedicated resolution managers that handle "low level" claims.
How does it work? Customers are now contacted within 24 hours after we receive the claim, and a gift card is issued as a sign of good will to the customer. If the claim can't be resolved with a gift card, it is escalated to the claims team for a full investigation. All incoming claims are triaged by Branch Management to determine if they are appropriate for assignment to the Customer Care unit.
The unit has already had a huge impact for this retail client's program – the number of calls the client receives is significantly lower from unhappy or dissatisfied customers, and the claim cost was also significantly reduced. Customers love it, too. 75% of all claims were assigned to the customer care unit; of those claims, over 34% were closed with a gift card offer. These results stick, too. Less than 1% of all claims settled were reopened. As an additional way to measure customer satisfaction, we implemented a survey that goes out to the customer at the resolution of the claim. The results have been very positive– most customers who receive a gift card continue to frequent this retailer, after their claim is resolved. Some customers write:
"I've never had such an easy experience with an insurance company. […] [My Resolution Manager] was with me every step of the way to help me get this resolved quickly."
"Thank you for the discount cards. I really appreciate them. […] I always shop at [retail client] – now I know why."
The gift card gives incentive to visit the store after a less-than-ideal experience, and the retailer's brand reputation remains in good standing.
Programs like this are low cost, but high impact for all they do, from both a cost and brand reputation perspective. Implementation can be very simple – consider what you'd be saving by making this simple offer.