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The Power of Giving Your Customers Control

Hearsay Summit 2020 is officially a wrap! Along with being the first virtual one we’ve ever hosted, we had two days of amazing speakers, fireside chats, and breakout sessions. One of the speakers we were lucky enough to hear from was Glenn Shapiro, Allstate President of Personal Property-Liability.

Glenn shared four ways that the advancement of customer-centricity can work amidst the current challenges of COVID-19 and beyond:

Give customers control.

According to Glenn, “Customers want to take work that we have somehow, and for some unknown reason, tried to keep from them for years.” Customers want to feel a sense of control over their own customer journeys, and businesses, now more than ever, can and should give that to them. Glenn shared an example of how Allstate’s claims process evolved a few years ago from using onsite appointments to an online claims submission model that completely empowers the customer. He shared how coworkers were recently noting how effective this model is during the current challenges. While he agreed that may be true, he emphasized it was simply practicing the fundamentals of giving the customer control that allows for that. “If you do things that empower the customer, they’re going to work in any scenario.”

Eliminate friction.

Next, Glenn shared an example of a company that, by putting its customers in control, set itself up to weather the current pandemic climate: Publix. The widely known grocery chain took an experience that is traditionally high touch and typically done in person and created an app, allowing its customers to order and pay for groceries online and then pick them up. When COVID-19 arose, Publix enabled its app to track customers’ arrivals into the parking lot so that they could seamlessly pick up their groceries without ever even leaving their car. By eliminating possible points of friction, Publix was uniquely situated to quickly pivot to address the current needs in this crisis.

Create customer connections.

Glenn’s next example highlighted a company that created connections with its customers—as well as for its customers—during COVID-19. Netflix, although already well-positioned for the current atmosphere, partnered with Google Chrome to create Netflix Party, a feature that brings people together by allowing family and friends to watch shows together from different locations. As Glenn pointed out: “They decided to create connections between people.”

Put relentless focus on internal consistency.

Glenn used Amazon as an example of a company that shows a relentless focus on internal consistency. While it may seem obvious given its business model is thriving even during COVID-19, Amazon’s seeds for success were planted way back in 2002. Jeff Bezos created a list of expectations for his company from a technology standpoint, now referred to as the “Bezos Mandate,” that Amazon uses to this day. Glenn pointed out that although Amazon has several different lines of business, “they are completely seamless, completely integrated, because they have been relentlessly focused on internal consistency.”

For more insights from Allstate President Glenn Shapiro, or to see other speakers from our virtual event, check out our Hearsay Summit 2020 Highlights page.

Erica Spelman

Erica is a copywriter for Hearsay's Customer Training and Education Team.

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Client Connection in a Socially Distanced World

In order to help advisors thrive in the current environment, corporate teams need to rethink how they guide the field through and beyond the present crisis to adapt to new realities and seize the very real opportunities to make their practices stronger than before.