Mark Mileusnic: Three keys to world-class customer service

customer service

The beginning of October marks National Customer Service Week, which recognizes the important role that customer relationships play in virtually every industry. After all, customers are at the heart of every business’s success and their satisfaction must be a top priority.

Each year, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) receives more than 500,000 phone calls and 60,000 emails into our call center from insurance agents and carriers around the nation who are looking to get information to complete their insurance transactions.

What we’ve learned is that achieving impressive results starts with great people. At NCCI, we pair our talented customer-focused team members — more than 100 employees based at our headquarters in Boca Raton — with technology and training in order to provide the very best customer service.

But it’s NCCI’s customers, and yours, who define what great service means to them.

To ensure that we’re delivering for our customers and addressing their needs, NCCI regularly collects anecdotal and numerical survey feedback to identify the specific performance attributes that translate into great customer service. Because of our focus and dedication to excellence, NCCI’s award-winning call center has earned satisfaction scores of 9.5 out of 10 in those customer surveys.

Our surveys have also identified three top attributes for success that are just as applicable to your company call center as they are to NCCI’s:

— Efficient, attentive service — Customers repeatedly identify responsiveness as one of their top priorities.

NCCI’s call center resolves approximately 75 percent of its calls without putting a customer on hold.

Just 11 seconds is the average wait time to speak with an NCCI specialist.

— Accomplishing the purpose of the call — Resolving a customer’s need on that first call not only makes for a happy customer, but also contributes to the overall efficiency of the call center, reducing the need for follow-up calls.

NCCI’s call center resolves 97 percent of its calls during the first phone call.

NCCI staff are focused on getting the right answer and achieving a successful outcome as opposed to moving on to the next call.

— Knowledgeable specialists — Customers expect the person they’re speaking with to know what they’re doing … and it’s all too obvious when this is not the case.

NCCI’s call center is located within its home office — this proximity creates a direct line of knowledge to subject-matter experts and facilitates growth and training opportunities for staff.

NCCI’s staff development includes six to eight weeks of initial training as well as ongoing development.

NCCI adds customer value by staying focused on these three attributes — and your company can too. When customers quickly get the answers they are looking for from a friendly and knowledgeable team, they are more likely to be satisfied with their experience and with the company they are doing business with.


Mark Mileusnic is Chief Customer Operations Officer of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).

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