AXA is working to offer brokers a better service

A major factor driving the success of our business is our reputation in the market. It doesn’t take much to damage a reputation, but rebuilding it takes far longer and can be a slow process. As Benjamin Franklin once said: “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and only one bad one to lose it.”

The survey of broker service, conducted by Newsquest Specialist Media Business Intelligence in the summer of this year (4 December, pages 16-17), has shown us that AXA has a way to go to change the way some brokers perceive our service.

It also suggests that some of the improvements we have made and are continuing to embed are perhaps taking longer to filter through to all our customers than we might have hoped. It was heartening, however, to see that a proportion of our customers had highlighted the work we are doing to get things right.

Since July this year, we have made significant changes to our branch and service model. We have invested in more customer-facing staff, we have given brokers greater access to our underwriting decision-makers and we have improved the speed, accuracy and quality of our service delivery.

We have also radically restructured our commercial lines operation so we are focused on different customer segments, with the sole purpose of ensuring we can respond more effectively to all of our customer’s needs.

Clearly, the survey result shows us we have some way to go – and we welcome that feedback. We are beginning to see the fruits of our labour coming through, however. The latest results of our own broker research are very encouraging. In fact, we are now at our highest level for three years. Seven out of 10 brokers said they had seen an improvement in the service in the past six months. Brokers have also told us they associate AXA with building good working relationships, providing quality underwriting and good support.

Redefining Standards is the promise we are making to our customers to underline the way we will do business with them. It marks the start of our long-term strategy to focus on key improvements that our customers will value.

We have put service delivery at the top of our agenda and we certainly have the people and the processes in place to achieve our goal. We are on a journey and are confident that the work we have done – and are continuing to do – has made a difference and that we are clearly on the right track.

Anthony Middle is managing director of the commercial lines intermediary division at AXA