Why Metromile Aims to Over Deliver

August 22, 2019

Metromile.jpgMetromile, one of the country’s leading pay-per-mile car insurance companies, has built a reputation among consumers for over delivering when it comes to customer service.

“Insurance is something that people use every day, but most people don’t know much about the aspects of their plans no matter how long they’ve had their policy,” said Portia Tilton, senior customer service advocate for Metromile. “In some instances our job is to give them insurance 101 so that they can understand the ins and outs of their policies. We’re sometimes educators as much as we are customer care agents.”

Tilton joined Metromile earlier this year after working in customer service for the pharmaceutical and public health care industries for years. Today, she’s known for exemplary work among her team of twenty Metromile agents.

Language I/O sat down with Tilton to talk all things customer service. This is what she had to say.

Q. How do you approach customer service?

A. In the insurance industry, we are highly regulated so there are sometimes limitations to what we can do. Given that, we’re careful not to promise the moon. We set appropriate expectations, and then we make sure we’re meeting or beating those expectations every single time. We sometimes have to tell customers that we’ll get back to them about their issue so that we can let them know their options. Then we look for all avenues for help. This philosophy of setting expectations and over delivering helps build loyal customers. It also helps me and the rest of the customer service team learn more about our products and services. 

For example, our pay per mile device needs to be plugged into each car’s OBD2 port. Well no one has ever heard of that port and many people have no idea where to look for it on their car. As a team, we’ve gotten really good at finding resources on the Internet to point our customers to so they can find this port on any model of car. 

Q. What type of training do you offer your team?

A. We have a really great four-week classroom training course. During this course, the agent learns about the insurance industry and learns things like how to work with the customer service systems. Importantly, every agent we hire gets their insurance license, so we all have a deep understanding of the industry. We also provide shadowing with veteran agents so the new agents can better understand our processes. 

To help everyone, we have a Slack channel for our customer service team. Our team dynamic is really strong; anyone can put up a question about any product and within thirty seconds, eight responses pop up. It’s really effective. 

Q. What’s been your biggest achievement in the past year?

A. We just did a six-week ramp up where we basically rejuvenated our customer service team. We knew that some agents were doing a ton of overtime and that our customer service was lacking. That was a huge concern for the company. For six weeks, management ran detailed reports and stats to discover where we were lacking in our customer service and why. Then, they threw all of the company’s efforts into filling those voids. As a result, our CSAT scores are at an all-time high. They are 9.5 out of ten. That’s huge! A lot of companies cannot do that. In addition, our wait times went down to an average of 30 seconds! We haven’t lost any call volume. What we’ve done is look at our weaknesses and turned them into strengths.

Q. What did you do to decrease the wait time?

A. A lot of it was agent behavior. We asked ourselves if we were training agents properly. We also noticed that some agents were taking longer making notes after calls than others. With those agents, we asked them to take notes during the calls. Those small adjustments had huge results for us. 

Q. Do you have any productivity tips?

A. Know your customer’s pain points. The majority of your calls will be about the same three to five things. If you’re already prepared for those types of things and have notes ready about each, you cut out a lot of the workload. Knowing your customers and really understanding your product will help you out leaps and bounds. 

Q. What is the best compliment you’ve received about the customer service you provide (as a team or individually)?

A. Our customers love when we save them money because when they have more money, they get to do more things. Many of our agents get compliments and are told they deserve a raise when they find ways to save our customers money. When you go above and beyond for your customers, they tend to go above and beyond for you.