Web System Helps Agents Close Deals

Society Insurance has improved success rates in a direct mail campaign by arming its call center with a Web application that gives sales agents direct access to information about consumers.

Society Insurance, Fon du Lac, WI, began using the solution last August with its ongoing Society Rewards program, in which the company has sent pieces to 300,000 Wisconsin residents to promote its auto insurance sales. The campaign targeted consumers with financial stability and low insurance claims.

The program offers to reward consumers with good insurance records by discounting their premiums each time they go six months without a claim. A new customer who pays $1,000 a year could have a premium as low as $500 after 10 years without a claim.

People who receive a mailer from Society can call a toll-free number or visit the company Web site. Consumers can get a quote online and then call Society Insurance's call center to finalize the transaction. The call center agent has access to the quote and all the information the consumer submitted online.

The company declined to release results of the campaign but said the number of insurance applications it received last year doubled over the previous year because of the Web application. Also, the company's agents doubled the rate of closed sales after Society Insurance installed the system.

Altitude Software Inc., Milpitas, CA, designed the system that connects agents with credit histories and insurance records. When receiving a call from an interested customer, the agent can use the information to determine which insurance products best fit the customer's profile.

Society Insurance also is using the system in its outbound telemarketing campaign. Agents have access to the same information about consumers whom they call and can use it to help them pick an insurance program.

The company made outbound telemarketing calls to approximately 10 percent of its list of direct mail prospects. The campaign targeted the company's best prospects, who included those with the best credit and insurance histories. The company said it was too early to tell whether the outbound telemarketing campaign improved close rates.

Society Insurance maintains its own inhouse call center. It has eight workstations and handles inbound and outbound telemarketing for the company.

Altitude Software also provided Society Insurance with an interactive voice response system to assist in managing inbound calls. The system was installed and is supported by systems integrator KIVA Group, Bedford, NH.

The direct mail portion of the campaign was designed by Ovation Marketing, La Crosse, WI. The agency designed three pieces, the first of which was a package that included detailed information about Society Insurance and provided consumers with a quote for a bare-bones insurance policy to give them a ballpark idea of how much they would pay.

The package was followed by two postcards. Consumers received all three mailings within a one-month period.

Society Insurance, Altitude Software Inc., Scott Hovanyetz

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