National General Closes More Quotes and Lowers AHT With Balto

Case Studies

Insurance companies rely heavily on their contact center to answer every kind of claim and activate new policies. But keeping track of all insurance products and state-specific requirements is complex even for seasoned agents. Plus each call can be time consuming, as agents search through resources to provide information that customers need to file claims or purchase a policy.

That’s why National General, a fast-growing national insurance holding company, relies on Balto to support more than 750 agents in its sales and claims groups. Using Balto’s AI-powered real-time guidance solution, National General has streamlined calls, continued to make agents’ jobs easier and further improved the customer experience.

The Run Down

Opportunities

Close even more policies and minimize AHT by making information instantly accessible to all agents.

Approach

Consolidate key policy information, state regulations and sales best practices into one platform. Automatically surface the right information to agents in real-time.

Results

16% average conversion rate increase for sales agents

53 second decrease in average handle time

The Company

National General Holdings Corp. is an insurance holding company that provides personal and commercial automobile, homeowners, umbrella, recreational vehicle, motorcycle, lender-placed, supplemental health and other niche insurance products.

Named one of Fortune’s 100 Fastest Growing companies in 2017, the company has achieved an Excellent rating from A.M. Best and A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau. The company, which has more than 4 million insurance policies in force and 8,500 employees, was acquired by The Allstate Corporation in January 2021.

Company Size

8,500+ Employees

Headquarters

Northbrook, Illinois

Industry

Insurance

With Balto, our agents have an extra set of ears and are always provided the appropriate response or necessary answer. Balto doesn’t get tired. It is always listening at the same caliber whether it’s early in the morning or at the end of a shift.
– Mark Poisson, Director of AI


The Opportunities

National General has more than 750 agents working in its busy 24/7 claims and sales contact centers, who need to be able to handle a range of inquiries dealing with everything from auto, motorcycle, and RV to home, supplemental health, and the company’s other niche products. And since it serves customers from across the nation, agents also need to know the nuances and compliance guidelines for all 50 states.

Keeping up with this information and ensuring agents asked all the right questions and collected the correct information for each call wasn’t easy. Agents had access to an extensive library of resources, including:

  • 400+ page searchable digital document that covered all products
  • Printed checklists
  • Sticky notes on computer screens for reminders
  • Email updates for product and regulation updates
We used to have a 400+ page digital document that agents had to search to help each customer in the best way. We don’t have to do that with Balto. It listens to customer needs and based on what we put in playbooks, the right information pops up. Our teams are excited not to have to search and keep customers on the line for so long.
– Julie Morelli, Call Center Director, Claims


National General saw an opportunity to further improve the process for agents and managers alike, consolidating content, and helping prompt agents with relevant material in real-time during the course of the calls. The company also wanted to continue improving their solution to manage the high degree of complexity agents face when handling multiple types of calls each day, and achieve other goals, such as:

  • Further increase sales conversions and revenue
  • More easily identify caller needs
  • Reduce call handle times even further
  • Ensure compliance for 100% of calls
  • Continue building employee confidence and expertise for different call types

Key Challenges

  • Access to Information
  • Manual processes
  • Hold Times

The Balto Solution

Continuous Improvement of Call Effectiveness, Response Time and Compliance

Seeking ways to seize the sales and customer experience opportunities, National General discovered Balto’s AI powered real-time guidance.

In mid-2020, National General began a phased roll out of Balto to its claims teams and three sales teams to boost conversions, minimize agent ramp up time and further improve compliance scores. For one sales team, managers leveraged a playbook and discovery questions, as well as prompts to overcome objections. For another team, Balto was used to ensure agents were responding with required statements to ensure regulatory compliance. And for a third team, managers monitored agents’ calls to identify negative notifications, helping a new group of agents get up to speed during the busy season.

Balto enabled managers to:

  • Quickly update scripts, making them immediately available to all agents
  • View dashboards to uncover trends in real-time, see call data, and provide agents with constructive feedback

Balto also supported agents in real-time, during the course of call by:

  • Providing them with instant access to the right resources to quickly and accurately answer complex questions
  • Providing best practices to proactively respond to unique scenarios, such as natural disasters, riots, and catastrophic events
  • Giving them the best discovery questions, at the right time, to better address callers’ needs
One of my favorite things about Balto is that as an admin, I can update something and it is available for employees on the very next call. I don’t have to engage our IT team or have any other kind of intervention.
– Julie Morelli, Call Center Director, Claims


Benefits of Balto’s Real-Time Guidance

  • Faster Agent Ramp-Up Time
  • Greater Call Efficiency and Conversion
  • Improved Compliance Scores
  • Increased Average Sales Per Call
  • Reduced Average Handle Time

The Results


Using Balto to pinpoint and automatically show information relevant to each call topic, National General agents no longer have to remember where to search for answers and can instantly access their extensive catalogue of documentation. Agents are able to respond to calls more confidently thanks to Balto checklists, which remind them of necessary sales verbiage and processes, as well as underwriting requirements. And through Balto’s powerful AI, National General managers not only create discovery questions, but prompt agents with the correct ones, at the right time, so they can quickly address customer needs.

National General rolled Balto out to the first group of agents in early 2020 and the height of the global pandemic. Despite these challenging circumstances, after 14 weeks they saw clear improvements in sales conversions, AHT, and call quality.

Key Results

16%

Average conversion rate increase for sales agents

53 Second

Decrease in average handle time (AHT)

With support of Balto, National General:

  • Decreased average handle time by 53 seconds
  • Increased sales conversion rates by 16%
  • Improved audit scores

With immediate insights into calls and greater visibility into other key data points, National General managers now have a clearer picture of what agents are saying and what tactics achieve the best outcome. Contact centers managers then can utilize this information to provide in-the-moment sales training and coaching. During just the pilot of Balto, these efforts enabled the sales team to improve conversion rates by 16% and the claims team to decrease the average handle time by 53 seconds compared to agents not using Balto.

National General is now looking at new, innovative ways to further harness the power of Balto’s AI, including:

  • Leveraging Balto and other key data to continuously refine lifetime value (LTV) models
  • Incorporating customer-specific data to provide a more tailored experience
  • Building out supervisor views to allow for real-time monitoring of agents
  • Systematically tying outcomes with call data to better understand effectiveness and inform refinements

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