Insurance Companies in Ireland Need to Focus on CX or Prepare to Face the Guillotine.

Ireland’s insurance sector’s poor Customer Experience (CX) results are due to a number of factors. Continuous steep rises in insurance premiums have angered the Irish consumer, particularly around renewal quotes. The sectors continued focus on acquisition at the peril of retention gives it one of the highest churn rates. Marketing’s focus remains on price with little time spent on delivering high quality CX and there is no excuse for not offering it! The highest CX scorer on the planet is USAA (See below). This insurance and banking giant for the US army is breaking CX scoring records because of their integrity and high empathy scores.

CEXi’s Irish Customer Experience report revealed that the Irish Insurance sector scored 10% lower on average when compared to all other business sectors. It scored the worst in NPS – 18% lower than the top performing sector.

Out of the fourteen insurance companies represented in the survey only two, Laya Healthcare and Aviva made it into the top 100.


Top 5 Insurance Companies In Ireland As Stated In The CEXi Report

  1. Laya
  2. Aviva
  3. AA
  4. Vhi
  5. Irish Life


Dialogue Recommendations

  • The CEO and ‘C-suite’ team must be engaged in the CX process to ensure you do not get into silo arguments which have no respect for the customers interests needs.
  • The Insurance industry should consider customising their experiences by age segments, just as the UK are successfully doing. Specialist insurance companies have been able to drive significant profit by cherry picking the market. For example, Saga is focusing on the 50+ age group and has been able to create a highly personalised experience for them.
  • Insurance products are very similar and in recent years Ireland has seen the majority of insurance companies promote themselves on value alone. Using CX as a key message can create brand differentiation.
  • The insurance sector as a whole need to manage their expectations better. There is a huge problem with over promising and under delivering to customers and this has created trust issues.
  • If the insurance sector wants to get back on the customers side then their communications need to be clear and honest. If they take an over the fence, neighbourly and conversational approach to their comms then we should see a large climb in integrity next year.

World leaders In Insurance


RAC Tops The Insurance Sector In The UK For CX   Rac_logo.svg

The RAC have personalised their customer experience with help from NewVoiceMedia.

RAC provides customer services, such as product and test-drive information, to consumers with new car warranties on behalf of car manufacturers and have been able to offer their customer base a great personalised experience.

The company now benefits from access to a customer’s entire history of interactions from one screen and real-time reporting and analytics, offering visibility of contact volumes, advisor performance and customer experience – enabling RAC to improve business processes and the performance of individual advisors. Its regular mystery shopper programme reveals that customer satisfaction has reached 93% .RAC ensures all calls are answered within 20 seconds. They have also boosted First Call Resolution to 80% and reduced call abandonment rates – from 7% in 2013 to less than 3% in 2014.



USAA Top All Sectors In The US For CX Excellence

With 8 million military members and their families as their customer base, USAA demonstrate empathy by understanding how their customers feel. A large proportion of USAA employees are ex-military, and if they’ve not served in the military, training is steeped in military experience, from dining on “meals ready to eat,” to receiving a bona fide deployment letter to make them really think about the financial decisions their customers face and what it is like to be in their customers’ shoes.

USAA also achieve record scores for acting with integrity, considering the customer’s needs before the company’s profits: USAA shared that “we practice down selling; ensuring the customer only gets exactly what they need”.

As the number 1 brand in 2015 for CX excellence, USAA are heralded as customer experience champions. Across each of the 6 pillars, USAA do something extraordinary.  Their commitment to their customers is second to none and it clearly shows. This is recognised in the scores they achieved in four pillars: Expectations, Integrity, resolution, and empathy.

USAA are world leaders in CX excellence and living proof that a financial company can use CX to be successful. Looking at what they have done over the years means there is no excuse for the Irish insurance sector to treat their customer base the way they have.


What Dialogue Can Do For You?

Dialogue are Europe’s first customer experience design agency and are founders of, which launched Ireland’s first CX league table in Sept 2015. Dialogue recognises that most clients are buried under customer insight and we can take that insight and turn it into a great Customer Experience.

Dialogue will design and deliver remarkable CX that will differentiate your brand and get your customers to sell on your behalf. See for more info.

 Dialogue Cust Ex ORANGE dot_Big Strapline-01


The 5 essential CX online commandments

After speaking with CEXi consultant and online expert Julian Douglas, we give you the 5 essentials on how to give your customer a great online experience.


  1. Under  promise and over deliver. Keep it simple but do the simple things well.

In general, brands that have a simple focus and clear vision tend to deliver what their customers expect. With an excellence in Integrity and Time & Effort, RaboDirect have adopted a simple customer-centric approach to savings which has ranked them highest in the financial sector in CX.

RaboDirect have created a humanised, online service without a high street presence and killed the complex financial lingo.


  1. Make sure your website loads fast! – the ‘back’ button is your biggest enemy123

How fast or slow your website loads is determined by a combination of factors that span design, development and the end-user’s connection speed. Many of these, especially the last, will be out of your control. But one of the biggest and most easily preventable causes of a slow-loading website is uncompressed images. These images have to be downloaded every time a user visits your site, taking valuable time. According to surveys done by Akamai and, nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds.



  1. Only acquire a customers personalized data once you have earned the customer’s respect. Then segment it carefully to personalize future interactions.

Don’t hassle your potential customers to share info with you as soon as they land on your site. Asking for personal information or asking them to take a survey should only come after you have built a relationship with them. If somebody clicks onto a site and is immediately prompted to sign up for a newsletter or weekly blog they will feel hassled and may abandon. Wait until someone interacts with a call to action and shows interest in your product before asking personal questions.

You wouldn’t be able to ask someone for their number without them getting to know you first!


  1. Great mobile and tablet experiences are now as important as desktop.1234

Some people feel they are more important and they may be right!  With so many of us in possession of a smartphone and a tablet, a great mobile experience is expected by your customers with nothing less accepted.

Something as simple as an SMS or text notifications can be a very useful tool to contact your customers and can be used for time sensitive information. UPC – now Virgin Media, use Dynamic Parcel Distribution who send out a text message to their customers with a reminder that their order will be delivered on the day. This allows the customer to schedule their day around the time their package will arrive


Hailo (the highest ranking app-only company in the CEXi top 100) are known for their great mobile experience with on demand and up to date information about the available taxis in a user’s area. The whole idea of ‘hailing’ a taxi without having to see one or make a call saves customers a huge amount of time and effort.


  1. Make it easy and obvious for your customers to contact you and always include a street address.

If you want your customers to trust your business, especially if you have an eCommerce website, you need a legitimate address and business space. A business that can be physically found will always be chosen over a website with no address. With so many fake businesses and scams circulating the web it is increasingly unusual to trust a business with nothing but a webpage to their name.


You can find 5 more CX online commandments in the CEXi report – here.


Image source:

Will rolling the red carpet transform UPC?

Last week UPC/Virgin Media opened up its Facebook page to get feedback from Irish consumers.

The response was quite damming.



















The Virgin brand has been a leader in the delivery of amazing Customer Experiences. They were one of the first customer champions on the planet. ‘Making Red Magic’ is a requirement of every staff member.

Virgin go to great efforts to make sure customers are clear on exactly what to expect and consistently deliver it. They under promise and over deliver. In the first report, a key insight was that Irish companies have been caught out over promising and under delivering across all sectors. Given time, we expect that Virgin Media will help transform UPC’s expectations pillar. While it won’t happen overnight, we expect to see a significant rise up the Customer Experience table for next year’s report.

The New Six Pillar Approach To Marketing

Dialogue’s CX planning unit,, launched Ireland’s first Customer Experience (CX) league table to tremendous applause this week.

Ireland has had its say by ranking national brands across six emotional pillars that matter most to Irish Consumers; Personalisation, Integrity, Empathy, Time and Effort, Expectations and Resolution.

Dialogue reengineered its creative offering to help accelerate Client growth across these six pillars. Dialogue staff undertook a series of pillar training workshops to help raise Customer Experience excellence with strategic and tactical communication solutions.

Getting customers to sell on your companies behalf is the ultimate marketing goal. Unfortunately today’s consumers don’t trust marketing messages as they once used to. Dialogue helps clients rebalance their acquisition budgets in favour of retention efforts.  Not only do client’s customers stay longer but the retention work is fast becoming the most effective form of acquisition. By giving them amazing customer experiences across the six pillars they become an invisible sales force for your brand. Dialogue develops unique amplifiers to encourage delighted customers to share these experiences with friends and colleagues.

Download Irelands Customer Experience league table report here

Customer Experience. What’s it all about?

There’s been a major shift in marketing. Consumers are in control and they don’t trust brands as they used to.

A study by Forrester revealed that just 8% of customers reported feeling GREAT about their experience despite the fact that 80% of businesses state they offer a GREAT customer experience (CX). And in the recent 2015 CX report, the greatest fault between Irish marketers and our colleagues in the USA and UK was the expectation gap. It seems Irish marketing and operations are not on the same wave length. Marketing has come out of recession thinking whilst operations seem to be stuck in cost saving mode.

Brands that excel in this area research their customers’ expectations so that they can systematically reset and exceed them. Consumers find out for themselves just how good you really are. They ask their peers and depending on the experiences they’ve had, the decision is quickly made.  You can talk the talk, but you have to walk the talk too.

You can spend money on traditional comms such as TV and digital, communicating your brand promise, but this is completely wasted unless you deliver on it. Customer Experience has become the new acquisition tool.  By giving all customers an amazing experience, they will sell on your behalf.  You will not only retain these customers, but they will do the selling for you and generate new ones. Imagine the power of having 1000’s of volunteer sales reps out there promoting your excellence?

And, for an even greater impact, amplification opportunities should be stitched in to customer experiences. This gives them an actual tool to go and sell on your behalf with.

Dialogue Marketing is the only Customer Experience Agency in Europe.  Contact us today to see how we can help you to deliver remarkable customer experiences that will increase your bottom line.


 Image source -With thanks to David Knapp-Fisher

Personalisation & Customer Experience

Personalised communication is one of the six key pillars when it comes to customer experience. The theory is that we use a < personalised field > to populate a letter, DM, email or any other means of communication and the consumer will suddenly feel a hitherto unknown warmth, affection and deep personal bond with the sender.

The fact that you are speaking directly to the person receiving your message is a powerful thing but we’re all a little too sophisticated these days to get excited about a marketing message just because it somehow manages to spell our name correctly.

To really connect with your customers, those personalised communications need to go beyond the cookie cutter of a personalised field in a print run of thousands.

We recently heard of a great example of how personalisation can be used effectively from a colleague of ours. He decided to throw together a personal website – somewhere to collect examples of all his creative work over the years.

Being clueless about coding, he chose Squarespace as means of designing the site. It’s a resource that offers a range of templates, which you can customise and adapt depending on what’s required.

Pootling around with the site one day, he accidentally erased hours of work and reformatted a large section by mistake. He emailed the customer care address at Squarespace and received a prompt reply. The email told him there was a video he could refer to which would answer his query.

When he opened the link (Presuming the link would direct him to a YouTube tutorial) He was surprised, and genuinely impressed, to discover it was actually a video of his own website being redesigned as he had outlined – in other words, He had received a bespoke, idiot-proof guide to resolving his self-inflicted design catastrophe.

This personalised guide impressed him beyond his expectations and has made him a customer for life. Imagine what this level of personalisation could do for your brand?

Do companies focus on improving their customer experience for the right reasons and does it even matter what they are?

A lot of companies have prioritised their customer experience for many years – Amazon and Emirates for example and if you’ve ever interacted with either company, it shows. Both companies value equally their brand and their customers, and are continually trying to improve their experience in any way they can by making the customer journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Here in Ireland the most note-worthy company to put their focus on customer experience is Ryanair.

Now Ryanair had long been the go to company for lousy customer service, and Michael O’Leary their poster boy. In the past he’s always been unapologetic about what they offer. Here are some memorable quotes from him so you can get a flavour of what he thinks of his customers:

On passengers who forget to print their boarding pass: “We think [they] should pay 60 euros for being so stupid.”
On refunds: “You’re not getting a refund so **** off. We don’t want to hear your sob stories. What part of ‘no refund’ don’t you understand?”
On customer service: “People say the customer is always right, but you know what – they’re not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so.”


The turnabout came on the back of several things; one of them being rated 100th in a Which magazine survey in the UK listing the top 100 brands and secondly, they’re profits weren’t on the increase.

Ryanair realised that although they had been performing well financially irrespective of their atrocious customer service approach, this had to change if they were to stay competitive.

They also wanted to target more business commuters and knew that their current service, while sufficient for the ordinary punter, would have to offer much more to tempt the business traveller.

Which led to their ‘Always getting better’ programme.

The changes were small in some cases but made a huge difference to the overall customer experience; allocated seating, allowing a second bag and reducing the clicks while booking a seat online from 17 to 5, for instance.

While Michael O’Leary said at the time that some elements of the new customer service won’t cost much, the financial ROI was immense, with profits increasing by 152% within a 12 month period. That’s a very good reason to put some effort into listening to your customers and making some changes.

So it’s a win-win for both the customer and the company regardless of the motives behind the new and improved service. Let’s hope it just keeps getting better!

Terms and conditions don’t apply for Irish Millennials

Millennials are far less forgiving than Generation X or Baby Boomers.  And they will avoid a company for life after a poor experience, which implies that a negative CX for this segment is more costly over time.  Setting honest expectations will go a long way towards closing the gap when expectations and experience are misaligned. And Millennials share disconnects with their tribes immediately. There is nothing worse than a wounded beast in the connected world.

To counter this, Dialogue recommends you invest in amazing first time welcome experiences. This will give you more credit with Millennials when things go wrong. It will also get them sharing and endorsing you amongst friends and colleagues.

We also recommend you kill the fine print as it is one of the Millennials biggest reasons for disconnection with brands. We need to manage their expectations better by under promising and over delivering. Keeping things simple for the scanning Millennial is wise. Terms and conditions simply don’t apply.

And while we’re at it, resolving problems is the biggest opportunity to turn a disgruntled Millennial into a killer sales rep for your brand. Handle resolutions brilliantly and you will kill churn and create the strongest acquisition tool that money can’t buy.

Dialogue’s Mid-Week Mash-Up

Another new week of stories to catch up on awaits you! Pop on the kettle and settle into a few of the weeks top stories, it is time, once again, for your mid-week mashup!


Miami Ad School Celebrates Just How Crazy (And Fun) A Career In Advertising Can Be With Funny New Ads

Anyone dreaming of joining the crazy life of “Ad Land” should definitely keep in mind that a typical work day might include the oddities portrayed in the ads below. And yes, getting paid to source singing baboons in tutus and piccolo-playing hipsters is exactly the reason many of us sign-up for this sort of career!!!



#EndangeredEmoji Campaign Raises Funds And Awareness

Originally pitched as a one-off project, the #EndangeredEmoji allows people to donate funds to endangered animals by re-tweeting posts that contain emojis of endangered animals. Donating has never been so easy and seamless within the lives of anyone who is socially connected!




Kit Kat Celebrates The ‘Breakers Break’ In Latest Campaign

Slackers rejoice! The traditional Kit Kat branding is set to see a number of changes (400 limited-editions of different types of breaks) that feature additional logo’s displayed in place of the Kit Kat logo promoting people near and far to take it that much easier. Have a look at the ad below to see how they pulled it off…



What Better Way To Get The Attention Of A CMO Than By Placing Their Picture On An Outdoor Ad?

I’m sure we have all faced the same issue at one point or another–getting through to the people that make the big decisions. Check out the video below that documents how outdoor ad company JCDecaux cleverly got the attention of EVERY person they intended to…



Traffic Signals Undergo A Significant Change To Promote The City Of Vienna As Open-Minded

Yesterday, Vienna unveiled updated traffic signals throughout the city that featured same-sex couples (rather than the traditional one man image that most signals would feature) as a way to promote the city of Vienna as open-minded while promoting safe driving habits. Seems like it got the attention it was after!







Dialogue’s Mid-week Mash-up

Wacky weather aside, we are happy to announce you are officially halfway through your work week! Why not celebrate with taking a few minutes to skim over a few of the weeks top stories–it’s time, once again, for your midweek mashup!


 Homeless Dogs Hope To Win Potential Adoptive Families Over With Latest Campaign

How much is that doggie in the (digital) window? The latest interactive campaign created by OgilvyOne promotes pet adoption for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home by featuring playful dogs that appear to follow you in interactive billboards spread acoss the UK. “Battersea rehomes animals all over the UK and beyond, and this could help encourage people to choose to rescue a dog,” says Carly Whyborn, head of operations at Battersea. “We’re using innovative technology in a way that has never been seen before, and we hope more of our abandoned animals find loving homes because of it.” Who can resist this?


Audi Ireland’s Twitter Campaign (Doesn’t Actually) Poke Fun At Women Drivers

While women are often stereotyped as bad drivers, Audi Ireland flips this fallacy on its head by sharing humorous images that appear to poke fun at female drivers, when in reality, they actually honour a number of women being real drivers in the fields of technology, science and sports. Have a watch of the video below to see a bit more about the campaign.




Huggies Gives Blind Mom The Chance To “See” Baby With 3-D Ultrasound

Based on a true story, Huggies Brazil uses 3-D printing technology to help a blind woman “see” an ultrasound image of her unborn baby. Have a look…



Powerade’s Latest Billboards Will Have You Working Up A Thirst!

Gone are the days where typical billboards passively display a message, hoping passers-by take notice. Sports drink brand Powerade introduces the first fitness installation-style workout billboard, inviting people to work up a thirst rather than just walk on by…



Quiksilver Brings The Suit To Wetsuits

When the ocean calls, one must answer. That is the mentality behind Quiksilver’s latest wetsuit creation; a suit that doubles as both a business suit for office-wear and wetsuit for catching a quick wave in between meetings. Rather than deal with the time consuming (and tiresome) task of changing in and out of a wetsuit, this latest creation (available only in Japan, at the moment) lets you weave the sport of surfing into your life as a working professional. Quiksilver brand director Shin Kimitsuka states, “As your lifestyle changes, you have less time to go surfing. I thought it would be interesting to offer this product as a new solution to deal with this issue.” Anyone else up for a wave during lunch?