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American National: Building trust is the perfect policy for insurance training

Insurance giant American National always puts the needs of its customers first. To continue to offer its policy holders industry-leading customer service, the organization has rolled out game-based training.


The key word for US insurance firm American National as it strives to earn and keep customers’ confidence is: Trust.

Its clients rely on the company’s staff to provide them with expert, knowledgeable service when they seek products which are vital for their family’s future.

The first interaction between customer and company is the beginning of a relationship that could last a lifetime – a lot is at stake.

Right from the first moment, staff must reassure the customer, and make them feel confident that they have made the perfect choice in American National.

It’s also crucial that staff are ready to help existing customers who need speedy assistance in an emergency.


Personal touch

When a family has lost their home to a tornado, fire or flood, or if a customer has suffered an auto accident – they need a person with empathy to deal with their call sensitively, efficiently and tactfully.

It’s at that moment of need that flawless customer service matters most.

It means that brilliant employee development is the foundation of the firm’s success. It’s all about training a workforce that has total knowledge of American National’s purpose; its products; and the people skills to ensure that every customer feels at ease from the first moment they are in contact.

That’s especially true at a time when the insurance industry has become more transactional and impersonal with the rise of online trading.

American National’s strength is the personal touch, and the service provided by expert, well-trained staff who are there to help and reassure, not just sell policies.


Sets the foundation

It means that American National’s in-person customer experience must be extra-special to set it apart from the anonymous, bot-driven, AI-powered, digital providers.

American National found what it was looking for in Attensi’s gamified simulation training.

Claire Mead, American National vice president – service centre operations, said: “Training is important for new employees because it sets the foundation for their career here.

”One of the things we found from our training surveys was that employees lacked confidence when they were first starting to take calls.

“Now we have the Attensi platform, it provides a hands-on opportunity for the team members to practice before they start taking the actual live calls.”


Fun, easy to follow, flexible

Attensi was the perfect solution for American National because it spoke to the interests and strengths of employees.

As with all our learning, it used the game-playing techniques and technology that employees already knew, loved and understood to create simulations that were true to their working lives. They were also fun, easy to follow and flexible. They could complete the bite-sized training modules anywhere, any time. They enjoyed it, and came back to it again and again to raise their scores and beat their friends in a spirit of friendly competition.

That brought the crucial quality of repeatability to the training – and repetition makes the learning stick.

Bernard Gerwel, chief innovation officer, said: “People perform the training multiple times. Twenty times in some cases, or more. That leads to retention.”


Easy and exciting

Claudia Rosencranz is one of the customer service representatives who loved the learning.

“It kind of reminds you of playing a video game, but at the same time you learn, and it’s not boring,” she said.

“It’s easy and it’s exciting.

“That helps you when you take your calls, because it’s familiar. I am more confident. You can close your eyes and know what to do because you’ve done it for so long”

Brandon Freeman, director of customer service, who’s been with the company for over 10 years, said: “Attensi has provided that fun platform that engages our employees.


More confidence

“I’m a gamer, so for me that engagement was huge, because not everybody follows that classroom setting.”

Kim Charlton, associate director customer service, said: ‘It keeps the learner engaged. Attensi brings a different level of training that provides more confidence to our team members because they can play it over and over until they feel confident.’

American National is thrilled with the impact the training has made.

“The knowledge gap that was closed for our new hires was 90%,” said Mead.


Unique experience

“Over 94% said that the training was relevant, and 94% said they felt more confident after using the Attensi platform.”

American National’s next step was to build their own modules in Attensi CREATOR, and they are launching content across two more departments.

For American National, Attensi training has delivered precisely what it craved – engaged, super-confident employees who provide brilliant service, and a unique experience for customers which none of its competitors can emulate.

“I think this is something that sets us apart now,” said Mead.

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