While some might view new insurer Youi’s feedback forum as more of a wall of shame than a wall of fame at the moment, the South African company is standing by the benefits of having it.
There are certainly a good number of customers praising customer service and efficiency; however there are also plenty of critical comments on topics such as the length of the quoting process, rudeness of staff and one even complaining about the tv ad campaign.
A man going by the name of Wayne wrote: “My view is that the Youi ads bring the insurance industry into disrepute.
“The ad campaigns suggest that the insurance industry is obnoxious, expensive, uninformed on risk, out of date and made up of stupid people.”
Wayne then goes on to list several codes of conduct he believes Youi has breached before adding how inappropriate he feels the ads are ‘especially where our industry is propping up $30 billion in Christchurch earthquake claims.’
A Youi staff member named Kerry wrote back on the wall saying she had contacted Wayne to discuss the matter in depth and defend the ads.
“We are simply trying to promote what we consider to be our unique point of difference as a new challenger brand, which is ‘we ask more questions and don’t assume’ and offer an alternative to those consumers who feel their current insurer may make assumptions,” she wrote.
She also added that the next ad campaign was in the pipeline and has a very different feel.
Youi head of communications Trevor Devitt confirmed that the company took the time to have a really good chat with Wayne to listen to how he perceived the ads to be offensive.
However, he said: “Wayne’s comments are set against the responses we’re seeing in terms of quote volumes and policy sales.
“There are clearly people who are responding to the message and calling us so we know the message is resonating with Kiwis.
“Our New Zealand operation is going from strength to strength and we’re seeing good results coming through.”
Devitt said the wall demonstrated Youi’s dedication to ‘walking the walk’ with transparency being their priority.
In New Zealand the wall was a mixed bag of positive and negative, with content taking a different angle to the Australian comments.
“We see a slant towards process-type messages (sales, quotes, pricing, underwriting) on the NZ wall whereas Australia has a stronger slant on people aspects (how we dealt with clients, what we said and how we said it).”
He said the benefits of the wall far outweighed the quantity of negative comments that come through and by keeping them in-house allowed a degree of control, although he stressed that it was a live feed and the only editing was automatic blocks on numbers or bad language which is asterisked out.
“In this digital age people are on social media responding in forums and blogs often hiding behind an alias so it’s a very quick and easy method to get a strong consumer message out.
“Rather than just talking about us we think it’s a great opportunity of getting people talking to us because in that way we can understand the detail of the background and get on to it. We’ve got all the contact information of whoever makes comments on the wall so we can go and investigate the root cause of why it happened and do something about it.
“So when it’s a compliment obviously we celebrate it as that’s a real heartfelt expression of a positive experience,” he said.
“The negatives are a reality check but they’re also a really invaluable source of ideas for what we can do smarter.”