The Allstate Corporation is the largest publicly held personal lines property and casualty insurer in America. Allstate provides insurance products to approximately 16 million households. Allstate was founded in 1931 and became a publicly traded company in 1993. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol ALL and widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan. (Suite 101, 2013). Being such a large provider of consumer protection takes hard work and dedication from every individual in the company to provide consumers with the highest level of customer service. While Allstate was trying unsuccessfully to diversify, rivals were revolutionizing the auto insurance business, which Allstate still counts on for most of its sales. Auto premiums generated 55% of its $31.4 billion in revenue last year.Geico and Progressive Corp. found a new formula for growth in the relatively mature business.
They crafted a lower-cost model combining direct sales over the Internet and telephone with heavy television advertising. Offering lower prices and more convenience, they grew rapidly at the expense of Allstate and other insurers that sell mostly through agents.Allstate’s second-place share of the auto insurance market fell to 10.4% from 11.3% over the past five years, while Chevy Chase, Md.-based Geico jumped two points to 8.7% and Progressive climbed to 7.9 %( Suite 101, 2013). State Farm Insurance the largest car and home insurer in the U.S. and a mutual company owned by its policyholders consistently rated better for claims handling and service than Allstate. The claims department of Allstate has some of the most critical interaction with the consumers because it is during a time of need. Consumers contact the claims department when they have suffered a loss to establish a claim.
The claims adjuster has the responsibility of obtaining claim pertinent information from the consumer to effectively evaluate the loss. At Allstate Insurance claims departments are separated according to customer needs. Large claims offices known as Market Claim Offices, MCO, are strategically located to provide adequate coverage across the nation. A Market Claim Office presides over a few states or an individual state depending on claim volume and consumer coverage. Allstate has specialized offices that handle claims for the entire nation but only if they meet certain criteria. The Hudson Express Office out of Hudson, Ohio is an office with a focus on handling claims with a reduced cycle time or the time from claim submission to claim settlement. A starting to examine the external factors impacting customer expectations, which may or may not be off-kilter with necessary protocols and the terms of coverage insurance in general, is the media’s unflattering portrayal of the industry; especially in light of post Katrina claim controversies and litigation.
Aside from merely being a nuisance, the media also contribute to customer apprehension, which invariably affects the entire claim experience, starting with the initial exchange. Customer leeriness combated, comfort level enhanced easily by treating the customer and the claim with care and speed. To meet this reduced cycle time the Hudson Express Office only handles smaller claims with a total loss under $10,000. Everything within the Hudson Express Office is completely in house with no need for outside adjusters. A challenge area that arises because there are no outside adjusters is to efficiently write an estimate for structure damages and example of this comes from a customer’s review: (Five Weeks and Still Waiting, Jan 18 2013)”.
I was broadsided by a driver who didn’t stop at a stop sign at a 4 way intersection. My car was left un-drivable. She didn’t have her insurance card with her. After a lot of investigating I found out who her insurance company was and called them myself. They told me an adjuster would be out to look at my car. No one showed up. I have called every day since. I have been told that as soon as they receive the police report and accept liability, they will put me in a rental car. It has been almost 5 weeks!” Description of the new product of service
Allstate aims to compete more effectively with Geico and Progressive on their turf. After a successful four state pilot of the new Claim Satisfaction Guarantee for auto insurance across the country. Will Shorten claim cycle time ultimately results in higher customer satisfaction because the consumer can resume life as usual sooner rather than later. Allstate Insurance has implemented a new web-based customer service center to in able consumers to provide claim pertinent information via their computer through the use of the customer website. Consumers are able to enter file notes into the claim as well as submit a list of stolen or damaged items through the customer website that can be instantly attached to the claim. An opportunity area for decreased cycle time is with regard to property estimates. An in house estimating system is utilized by inside adjusters to create a preliminary damage estimate.
For smaller less complicated damage areas a web based estimating system would allow consumers to generate their own estimates. A simple web page can include multiple selections for damage areas including fences, doors, and windows. Once a damage area has been selected, multiple choice questions would allow consumers to describe the damaged area as well as the style and material the damaged area. If a consumer does not know the material or style, a default or average style and material would allow an initial estimate to be completed. Once the consumer receives an estimate or invoice from a contractor to complete the work, the claims department can review it for validity and issue any supplemental damages incurred. On simple claims, a consumer could file and settle a claim online without waiting for a call from a claims department representative significantly decreasing claim cycle time. SWOT Analysis
The idea of developing a page on an insurance claim and being able to submit your complaint and receiving an instant response sounds great; Allstate needs to ensure that claims are being handled in a way in which will not create the webpage to become overloaded, it has to be user friendly and appropriate for any age group .Other considerations include the cost effectives of this type of service and how it will benefit the consumer and profitably for the brand.New automation also lists the opportunity in cost saving measures such as employee down sizing. Other key item to consider when marketing this type of service can be Advertisement on social media, newspapers,word of mouth, Blogs etc… which are all great ways of promoting the new product and it also provides an opportunity to identify other forms of the same productoffered by the competitor. Target market including geographic
Target market is middle market emerging affluent and mass affluent consumers with retirement and family financial protection needs. Priority status at the network repair shops and with our Service Centers. saving time and effort by having Allstate manage the entire repair process. Using the online system with real time updates to electronically monitor your vehicle at the repair shop. Progression updates are given on repairs so you can spend time doing other things. working to minimize the repair time, which means a quicker reunion with your car. Quality factors including the quality of repairs, Guaranteeing repairs for as long as you own or lease the vehicle is one market point. If a policyholder has a burning question about a claim at 2 a.m., they are able log in to the online service site at any time to check the status of the claim. Porter’s five competitive forces model
Allstate’s Consumer Segmentation Strategy
When purchasing insurance or any other product or service, consumers have more choices than ever before and they know it. But decision making power is not in the customer’s hands alone. A company can build tremendous customer loyalty over time by making it a top priority to understand and meet its customers’ needs. As a result, Allstate will continue to refine its product offerings, marketing outreach and customer service based on careful research. Allstate serves four different consumer segments with distinct interaction preferences (advice and assistance versus self-directed) and brand preferences (brand-neutral versus brand-sensitive).
Marketing research is an approach conducted to evaluate particular strategies.As well as the tactics used toward the web-based estimating system. The marketing research will help to connect with the consumers to analyze what is needed to research opportunities and evaluate marketing actions. This will also help to prevent uncertainties for the new service provided. The market research will allow the chance to determine how well the system is working. The competitive intelligence will help to identify what competitors are doing and how Allstate can differentiate service to gain customer loyalty. Marketing research will aid in developing a strategy that will increase the satisfaction of our new product of service. Allstate is working to provide quality service and conveniences.
Therefore, the quantitative research will touch base on many incentives needed to process the claims. Other approaches will involve the act of identifying any other areas of concern. In which could relate to technical issues and a collection of data needed to estimate totals. The marketing research approach described will enhance the quality and promotion for Allstate’s new web-based system. The overall marketing plan should ensure the quality of each area of the product and should provide the opportunity for clients to get on the site with hassle free problems and get the service that each individual needs. The mission should be to provide the best customer services and to ensure that the client gets what is needed in the end. Positioning statement
Our Shared Vision provides the “why, how and what” behind everything we do at Allstate. It provides the road map for our continued success. Through this vision, we will truly put the customer at the center of everything we do (Allstate, 2013). We will become an even more valuable company to our customers, associates, investors, our communities and society a company with strong earnings potential and financial performance that sets the benchmark for our industry.
We are the Good Hands: We help customers realize their hopes and dreams by providing the best products and services to protect them from life’s uncertainties and prepare them for the future. Deliver substantially more value than the competition by reinventing protection and retirement to improve customers’ lives. Put the customer at the center of all our actions. Utilize consumer insights, data and technology to serve customers and generate growth and attractive economic returns. Take an enterprise view of our people and processes and work as a single team to advance Allstate rather than our individual interests.
Strategy and Position
An automated online estimating system needs to be easy to understand and easy to use. The first element to the estimating tool is it needs to be easy to understand as well as aesthetically pleasing. When a customer logs on to his or her internet profile the option to choose an action needs to include selecting an existing claim on the insurance policy. Once the claim has been chosen, there will be a selection for estimating system. When the estimating system is chosen, the customer will be prompted regarding the damages he or she has sustained. For example, a customer was a victim of a recent theft loss where the front door was kicked in. The customer will select the damage option for entry door which will lead to a chain of questions regarding the door. Options for the door will include material in which the door is made such as wood, metal, or fiberglass and whether or not the door is painted.
Next, the customer will indicate the size of the door, if the customer does not know how to measure a door there will be a help icon that will advise the proper ways to measure a door. Style is another important factor in the cost of entry doors, options such as flush, panel, French, or security are the most common doors available. The next area of focus will include the damage sustained, whether the door, frame, or both are damaged will determine the proper repairs. The last area of concern for an initial estimate is whether the hardware is damaged and what type of hardware the customer currently has.
When all of the information has been entered the estimating system will automatically construct an estimate for the removal and replacement of damaged property as well as the disposal of any debris. When the estimate is finished a disclaimer will be needed to inform the customer that the estimate is only a preliminary estimate and if any discrepancies arise when a contractor has seen the damage to inform the claims department for a review of the estimate.
Since claims are being filed online, the movement on this is a little quicker. First of all, it reaches the company faster. The need to have the customer come in and get the information then in-putting it into the computer and have it looked at by the investigating agent, then processed, prepared for payment (if need be). Instead, you are cutting out the getting information process, and the inputting it into the computer by the agent. Instead you call or go online and put the information yourself and then let it get processed and then get paid. The affect it has on the movement is that it gets through quicker, you get faster response time from the company, and you get as accurate information as possible. The life cycle in a sense lasts shorter. Instead of taking a few weeks (possibly), it could take up to a week or less. So the life cycle in this case is a shorter one, which is good much better for the company overall.
The only downside to this is that even though you get pretty accurate information, you then need to process it into insurance terminology so to speak, in which case you have an agent process the information. It’s also a good thing, because the agent is proof reading it so to speak to make sure that the information posted or given is correct, and is process correctly, and is given to the proper division within the company. It’s sort of a backup plan and a much needed help for the customer who really has little to no knowledge on how insurance claims work. So overall, it is a faster and easier process which is set up to help the customer, and speed up the process to get claims paid quicker. Over time, while it does become easier, eventually other companies will begin to do this as well, and people will switch to whoever is cheaper. Service Packaging
Packaging is not needed for our products or services. Instead we are offering our customers an easier way to file insurance claims. Normally a client would have to call in to the hot line number in order to file a claim. Once the operator answers then the client is expected to listen to numerous options and select which one applies to their personal needs at that moment. This process can be time consuming and aggravating depending on how many clients the customer service representatives the operators are assisting. The next step would be to explain the situation to the operator and wait for them to file the claim for the person. The on line website will be a fast working, easy to navigate website. There is nothing more aggravating then trying to complete information on a website that is slow and takes a long time to accept information.
With technological advances, being able to file on line may be more convenient for those who do not have time to call the hot line and file claims. Clients will be able to access the website from laptops, cell phones, iPad, or any other media devices that allow access to the internet. Add value because it will be less time consuming for customers, if a follow-up is needed then the information may be easier to retrieve due to the pre-online registration. With every question there will be a detailed explanation of what information is required for that particular question. The question and additional information will be explained thoroughly to customers without them having to wait on hold in the phone for long periods of time just to speak with a live operator. This will add value to the customers in three ways. The online website will save time. Allow customers to have a more hands-on experience with the editing of claim information. Product Life Cycle
Over the lifecycle of a product, a company’s differentiation and positioning strategy would need to change as the market, competitors, and product change. “When we say that a product has a life cycle we assert four things; Products have a limited life, Product sales pass through district stages, each posing different challenges, opportunities and problems to the seller, Profits rise and fall at different stages of the product lifecycle, and Products require different marketing, financial, manufacturing, purchasing, and human resource strategies in each life cycle stages” (Product Life Cycle | Stages and Limitations of Product Life Cycle (PLC), 2014, p. 1). “Product life cycle (PLC) deals with the life of the product in the market with respect to business or commercial cost and sales measures” (Product Life Cycle | Stages and Limitations of Product Life Cycle (PLC), 2014, p. 1). There are “five stages of each product lifecycle: product development, introduction, growth, maturity, and decline” (Product Life Cycle | Stages and Limitations of Product Life Cycle (PLC), 2014, p. 1).
During the introduction stage, Allstate will be launched into the market. Sales grow slowly in this time, and informative advertising is done (Dinesh Bakshi, n.d.). Many firms do not earn profits in this stage. There wouldn’t be much price skimming because our product is not a new invention and does have competitors. Due to the amount of competitors in the insurance market, competitive pricing is used. Sales rapidly grow during the growth stage, so we use persuasive advertising to gain customers. Competition is stiff at times prices may be reduced to stay a top competitor. Even though competition may be stiff, firms start to earn more profits in this stage.
Our sales increase slowly and the highest figures are reached during the maturity stage of the product cycle. Since competition is at its max level, it would be in Allstate’s best interest to implement promotional pricing. Our profits are also at their highest level. We use competitive advertising to attract and retain our customers (Market Force, 2005-2014). Next we enter the decline stage where sales and profits decrease. During this stage, we must determine if the decline is temporary or permanent by conducting marketing research. Production may be stopped if the decline is considered to be permanent. If the decline is temporary, extension strategies are implemented. The extension stage comes into play to come back from the decline. Original products may be reintroduced in other variations by changing the design, starting a new advertising campaign, and more (Dinesh Bakshi, n.d.). Pricing
The price strategy of the web based system. The primary goal is to assure that this meets the needs of our loyal customers and anticipated customers. Moreover the pricing of our new web based system is an essential part of the marketing piece. Indeed this product of service can be very successful through proper indications of the pros and cons. Other price strategies could relate to what new services are provided by our competitor’s. However, researching the value, quality and conveniences of the product of service is essential. Pricing strategies with our new service can work to help gain satisfaction from the customers. Consequently, if the market research is not implemented correctly; this can work against the organizations overall plan. Contingency plans will also help the guide the new product in the process of service. Most of all pricing factors outline important steps of the web based system. In which will differentiate us from other insurance organizations such as State farm.
Furthermore one of all states insurance pricing strategies would involve a small fee. This fee will be deducted from the insurance holders policy every month or every six monthly. The web based system will be done as a package deal. Therefore customers will have the option to participate or not. The new product of service will also be explained to every customer .As well as step by step instructions to give a better understanding of how to use the system. Ultimately the use of the system operates to have claims estimates completed in a timely manner. Customers immediately have an opportunity of seeing the breakdown of damages and cost online.
Overall the web based systems pricing is a concern that customer will have a choice to speed the process of with their claim .Although there are some people who may prefer to wait to speak with a claims adjuster. Most of all the new product of service will eliminate many problems with the process of claims. Customers will have an opportunity to view their own claims, and get a compete estimate without waiting for a call back from a claims adjuster. Although this is a preliminary estimate of the claim, this is a positioning factor that gives Allstate’s customers satisfaction. Pricing figures are major factors towards marketing as well as the competitors. Promotional Strategy
Allstate has several online competitors (Progressive, eSurance and Geico) that equate themselves as easy and fast. One of Progressives main thing is “price match”, which allows consumers to compare rates without providing too much personal information. Many people are reluctant to participate in many online services such as this because they think they will bombarded with spam and other marketing tactics. Generally, customer just a roundabout amount of what they would have to pay for car insurance based on their specific coverage needs. Allstate has identified this problem and created an innovative solution.
First and foremost, Allstate designed a new way for customers to shop for quotes and have them delivered. According to “Marketing Edge” (2014), quotes would be delivered “anonymously (no personal information required), fast and easy, helpful (accurate), contemporary, and intuitive” (para. 4). Allstate needed to spread the word on this innovation, and the best way was to implement a campaign. This campaign included banner ads online and other tools designed to focus on online shoppers.
Allstate needed to market themselves differently than their competition in order to stand out, excite consumers, and provoke attention. According to “Marketing Edge” (2014), “The new anonymous quote tool was the centerpiece of the program. Once it went live on the www.allstate.com site, DRTV, paid search, and online advertising campaigns were implemented in order to drive traffic to it. The DRTV campaign used a unique URL, “getallstate.com” for tracking purposes. Online banner ads linked directly to the site so visitors could be tracked through initiation and completion of a quote. The Program Objective: Develop and market a category-unique online shopping/quoting tool and introduce it to consumers in a way that cost-effectively invites greater shopping/quoting in the direct channel” (para. 7).
This creative strategy had continued to allow online shoppers the freedom and convenience to stay anonymous. Customers do not even have to provide their name to receive a quote (estimate). There is no application to feel out and no surveys to take. All of the other necessary information is gather by simply inputting your zip code. There are helpful tools strategically placed to assist customers, and the web site design is contemporary but not too flashy. According to “Marketing Edge” (2014), Based on their information, shoppers are presented with an array of estimates in a matrix that allows them to compare different features and levels of coverage that meet their unique needs. And it provides a price for each option. The tool demonstrates throughout the ease with which consumers can obtain the customized price and coverage information they want” (para. 10).
Professional Selling Effort
In order to market the new automated system for making claims, Allstate needs to express to the customers exactly how beneficial it will be to them. The best approach would be to build the value to the customer. They would have to show the customer exactly how it would benefit them to manage their claims online rather than deal with a claims adjuster right from the get go. Several people will find it convenient to be able to fill out the accident forms right from their mobile device, like their smart phone or tablet, while others will not be so prone to using technology as they are not technologically advanced. We will show the customers not to be afraid of the new systems, and that they are a benefit, not a burden. Initial Budget
The budget is a financial plan for Allstate that quantifies the resource allocation plan for the years to come. To start, Allstate would have to create a specific amount, generated from how many people are going to be monitoring the online claims, and how many hours those individuals are going to be putting in. A sum of $208,000 will needed for ten individuals needed for the new system, all set at 40 hours per week and being paid $10 per hour. Allstate will have to create a budget for the person or company putting together the mainframe for putting together the portal for online claims, and setting up the website. Allstate will have to keep in mind that it is going to be a process to put this together and a lot of storage is going to be needed for their clientele. Generally, websites and web design are going to cost Allstate anywhere from $1,000 t $2,500. Allstate will create jobs for this new system, and they will have to advertise or promote within in order to fill those jobs, but this will be very minimal cost to Allstate.
The company expects to have a gross profit in the first year of $250,000-$500,000 due to the amount of claims that are not going to need claims adjuster to visit sites to assess the damage personally. The targeted output rate is 1,000,000, and with the average of 86% of all applicants that start the claim online actually finish it, that leaves 860,000 people that use the online claims and pricing. Allstate does not expect any losses with the new market plan.
Success Plan Measurement
There are several ways to measure the success of Allstate’s marketing plan. For Allstate to accurately measure their success plan they must “start with the end in mind” (Dyke, 2014). One of the first things to do is ask why the project began and what the goals are. Companies cannot lose sight of why they started something. Once that drive is lost the campaign goes under and the company is next. Numbers do not lie, so if the marketing plan is working it will show in revenue. Dyke (2014), “Measure success on your marketing program’s ability to meet the needs or desired outcomes of an objective. Remember your business planning here – start with setting your goals, list objectives that meet these goals and then identify tactics that will achieve your objectives. The best objectives are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and tangible)” (para. 13).
To start tracking progress and success, Allstate must determine who their audience is. having a newsletter can be the turning point for a business. You can see which articles have the most readers and track statistics. Dyke 2014, ” Begin to gather intelligence around the reader’s interest in the topic, taking the newsletter from a passive strategy to an interactive strategy, and one that can be measured. At the bottom of each online article, give readers several options. They can comment or ask questions, request that a lawyer call them, request a white paper or a helpful form or checklist you’ve developed, or they can register for topical events. Remember, your responsiveness to requests is critical in developing relationships” (para. 20).
Next, reducing that amount spent on proposals and pitches will help to increase rates in other areas. get to know clients rather than just what they think they want. Allstate must stay one step ahead of the competition to succeed. Many say the “perception is reality”, so it is imperative to know exactly what Allstate’s clients think about them. This can be done by implementing satisfaction surveys for the clients to ensure all their needs are met. All threats or problems acknowledged or revealed by the client must be handled swiftly. Allstate must “market for the sake of revenue, not for the sake of marketing – and take the momentum of your success and apply throughout all your marketing initiatives” (Media coverage: grabbing the bull horn). Ethical Issues
Dinesh Bakshi. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dineshbakshi.com/igcse-business-studies/marketing/revision-notes/814-product-life-cycle Dyke, S.V. (2014). CBA Practice Link. Retrieved from http://www.cba.org/cba/practicelink/mt/measureefforts.aspx http://www allstate.com/claims/report-
Insure Me. (1993-2014). Retrieved from http://www.insureme.com/insurance-agent/marketing-tips Market Force. (2005-2014). Retrieved from http://uk.marketforce.com/price-checking/ Marketing Edge. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.marketingedge.org/marketing-programs/collegiate-echo/challenge-history/dma-international-echo-showcase/winner-allstate Perreault, W. D., Cannon, J. P., & McCarthy, E. J. (2009). Basic Marketing. A marketing Product Life Cycle | Stages and Limitations of Product Life Cycle (PLC) . (2014, Summer). Textile Learner, (1), 1. Retrieved from http://textilelearner.blogspot.com/2013/12/product-life-cycle-stages-and.html Strategy Planning Approach. (17th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Company