Mendota Insurance

With RingCentral Engage Digital, Mendota Insurance Is Improving its Customer Service and Gaining Valuable Business Intelligence.
Mendota Insurance logo


support inquiries resolved by chat in the first month after Engage Digital rollout.


support inquiries resolved by chat in the second month after rollout—in a historically quiet month.


average monthly support inquiries resolved by chat.
We talked with a lot of chat support providers, but none of them had the sophisticated tools that we wanted to roll out. When we saw the functionality available with Engage Digital, we knew we’d found a solution that could scale to meet our call center’s needs.

Brandon Parker

Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Carving their own lane in specialty auto insurance

Drivers can find themselves bumped into a higher-risk insurance category, called nonstandard, for any number of reasons—speeding tickets, a previous lapse in insurance, or may have a unique insurance issue. When these drivers can’t obtain coverage from traditional insurance companies, they turn to nonstandard policy providers—like Mendota Insurance.
Writing auto policies for more than 30 years, Mendota has become one of the most experienced and trusted providers of nonstandard automobile insurance. The company has grown to a staff of almost 200 employees, selling policies through a network of 3,000 independent agents around the country, and writing more than $100 million in auto-insurance premiums each year.
The customer base of Mendota’s nonstandard policies was growing at such a rapid pace, in fact, that the company’s call center employees eventually found themselves overwhelmed with the volume of inbound inquiries.
Nashville, TN

A phone-only support center led to call traffic jams

Brandon Parker, Mendota’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, explains that the call center team’s main challenge was that all support inquiries—both from Mendota’s thousands of independent agency partners and its tens of thousands of individual policyholders—flowed into the same support call queues.
“Most call center inquiries come from our policyholders, and those account for a lot of volume all by themselves,” says Brandon. “But I think as we grew our independent agent network, adding all of their inquiries into the same call center just made the overall volume more than we could handle.”
Brandon’s team decided to add a second channel—online chat—to Mendota’s customer support operations. “We talked with a lot of chat support providers, but none of them had the sophisticated tools, like automation and AI, that we eventually wanted to roll out,” he says.
Then they looked at RingCentral Engage Digital, an omnichannel customer engagement platform that lets businesses unify all of their digital support channels on a single cloud platform. “When we saw the functionality available with Engage Digital, we knew we’d found a solution that could scale to meet our call center’s needs.”

Enabling chat inquiries helps improve company-agent relationships

When he rolled out Engage Digital’s online-chat functionality, Brandon made it available only to Mendota’s agents. “I knew we weren’t going to significantly reduce the overall number of support phone calls right away because our agents account for a relatively low percentage of those,” he explains. “That wasn’t my initial goal.”
Instead, Brandon’s goal was to improve the support experience for Mendota’s agents. “Rather than having them get stuck in a call queue while they were in the middle of writing a policy on our online portal, I wanted to give them direct, real-time access to our support team,” he says.
In the first month after we pushed the chat feature live, our small support team resolved 589 unique agent issues via chat. By the second month, that number was up to over 1,400.

Brandon Parker

Vice President of Sales and Marketing
The strategy worked wonderfully. “We’re hearing all the time now that our agents really like the chat capability. It’s helping them reach us and get their questions answered more quickly than ever, and that’s helping them write more business.”
With our chat support feature, an agent sitting across from a customer can quickly—and discreetly—chat us a question and get it answered, rather than having to pick up a phone and interrupt the customer conversation.

Brandon Parker

Vice President of Sales and Marketing
But perhaps even more valuable to Mendota’s operations, by opening this new line of chat communication between the support team and the company’s independent agents, Mendota is now generating an enormous amount of business intelligence the company never had before.
“If a large number of agents are sending us chat inquiries about the same topic—say, how a new law will affect one of our policies—we’re learning about the issue a lot sooner than when all we had was an anecdotal reference or two from our support reps,” Brandon explains.
“By being able to see the actual support-chat threads in writing, and search for keywords and other patterns across many chats, we’re building a knowledge base that’s going to help us react more quickly to opportunities and threats... and serve our agents and policyholders more effectively.”

RingCentral helps Mendota shift other operations into gear

The company has also rolled out RingCentral for anywhere, any-device business calls, video conferencing, and team messaging.
Mendota is finding many operational benefits from its unified cloud communications solution. For example, the company’s previous phone system did not have built-in call recording, which is required for many insurance-industry calls. That meant Brandon’s team had to pay for a third-party recording system.
“Now we don’t have to worry about which calls are being recorded or if our support team remembers to turn the feature on. With RingCentral, we’re recording them all, and our teams can easily find a specific call or just go in and listen to any of them to see how our support reps are doing.”
And as Brandon also points out, Mendota’s employees have built RingCentral’s team-messaging and collaboration platform into their daily workflows.
Our productivity has definitely gone up with RingCentral Messaging. We can set up teams for specific projects, send chats and files to just the right people, and turn a chat into a video call anytime in just a click.

Brandon Parker

Vice President of Sales and Marketing