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Money Moves


This is a fortnightly series of articles focusing on the banking and financial industries

Recognition for customer service excellence

By Charles Mak

Angela Yam, president; and Stephen Wong, chairperson of the Distinguished Customer Service Award 2005, LOMA Society of Hong Kong
Photo: Johnny Kwok

In the insurance industry, customer service is the key to business success. Frontline salespeople rely heavily on the timely and professional assistance of a dedicated support team to help clients achieve their financial goals. In recognition of the service excellence provided by such staff, LOMA Society of Hong Kong, will present its Distinguished Customer Service Award (DCSA) for the ninth time in November.

Stephen Wong, chairperson of the 2005 award committee says, "With DCSA, I'm sure we can escalate the professional image and quality of service staff as business partners for frontline distributors."

Based on the theme of "customer service makes us different", this year's event will concentrate on building team spirit, as well as customer service competencies. Around 25 nominees divided into four groups will "act out" their best practices. One month before the competition, each participant will attend a specially designed two-day training workshop, including technical skills, developing a business plan, and presentation skills. The training will also focus on cultivating service creativity and teamwork.

After an assessment, two groups will be selected to compete for the "best of the best" and "distinguished customer service" awards. The best member of each team will also be eligible for an individual "distinguished merit" award. The judging panel will include chief executives from major corporations and community leaders. Richard Yuen, the commissioner of insurance, Bernard Chan, a member of the Executive and Legislative Councils, and Raymond Chan, chairman of the Life Insurance Council, will support the event.

"It is important for participants to realise they will be able to make new acquaintances and gain new insights," says Angela Yam, president of LOMA Society of Hong Kong. "People from different disciplines can learn from the process and in their interaction with others." Major insurance companies recognise the prestige conferred by the awards and have given extremely enthusiastic support.

"Although advanced technology is changing the workplace, people are still the greatest asset in the insurance industry," says Mr Wong. "Because of the increasingly dynamic business environment in Hong Kong, good customer service provides a competitive edge." He notes that the scope of the job now includes handling hotline enquiries, customer complaints, policy conservation, generating sales leads, and customer care management. "Furthermore, with the growth of multiple distribution channels, staff are facing new challenges in providing services to satisfy a wider range of different needs," he says.

Chartered by the US-based Life Office Management Association (LOMA) since 1978, LOMA Society of Hong Kong is an organisation of local insurance practitioners and professionals who are fellows of the Life Management Institute. "Our aims are to advance the educational interests of our members, promote a better understanding and appreciation of life insurance management issues, and to encourage interaction within the insurance profession," Ms Yam explains. "With the DCSA, we advocate customer service, team spirit, creativity and a sharing culture," she says.


Taken from Career Times 15 July 2005, p. A2

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