Car owners who have difficulty finding a conventional auto insurance policy—due to tickets, accidents, or just because they need specialty coverage—often turn to nonstandard policies. One of the most trusted and well-known providers specializing in this type of policy is Mendota Insurance.
With a 30-year track record as a specialist in nonstandard auto coverage, Mendota has become so trusted that today more than 3,000 independent insurance agencies all over the country turn to Mendota’s policies to insure their own customers. Year after year, the company continues to grow its network of independent agents and its base of policyholders.
In fact, the one challenge to Mendota’s continued growth had nothing to do with its ability to write more policies or serve more customers. The bottleneck was the company’s customer support infrastructure—which was funneling an enormous amount of both agent and policyholder inquiries into the same call queue.
The solution: moving some support inquiries into the chat lane
When he rolled out RingCentral Engage Digital’s online chat platform for the company’s call center team, Brandon Parker, Mendota’s VP of Sales and Marketing, wasn’t expecting to lighten the overall call volume, at least not right away. The majority of support calls come from individual Mendota policyholders. Brandon’s first priority was to create a better experience for the company’s independent agents.
“The typical support case is that an agent has a question while they’re in the middle of submitting a new policy through our online portal,” Brandon explains. “I didn’t want those agents sitting on hold in a call queue. I wanted them to be able to reach us and get their questions answered in real-time.”
While his plan is eventually to make RingCentral Engage Digital’s chat feature an alternative support channel for all Mendota customers, Brandon initially rolled it out only for the company’s independent agents—adding a persistent popup chat box to Mendota’s policy creation portal. That new, direct channel of access to Mendota’s in-house experts proved so popular with agents that within just days, hundreds of agents were already taking advantage of it.
“In the first month after we pushed the chat feature live, our small support team resolved 589 unique agent issues via chat,” Brandon explains. “By the second month, that number was up to over 1,400. What made that even more impressive was that the second month was December, traditionally a slow month for writing auto insurance policies.”
Improving the agent experience—and Mendota’s bottom line
Brandon notes that Engage Digital is clearly helping Mendota achieve its primary goal of creating a better customer support experience for the company’s independent agents—and that improved experience is having a direct effect on the company’s bottom line.
“Our agents are telling us they really like the fact that they can immediately reach someone while they’re writing a policy and no longer have to wait,” he says. “It’s helping them reach us and get their questions answered more quickly than ever, and that’s helping them write more business.”
Originally published May 05, 2021