Transforming customer experience at Home Warranty of America

Leah Barton – Vice President, Home Protection, at Centrica Consumer – explained HWA's drive to provide better service to customers who make claims for home repairs and breakdowns.

Unexpected issues at home are stressful. Something has gone wrong; your family is affected, and you want to make things right as quickly as possible. With our new claims system, we’re able to get the right contractor to a  customer’s home, communicate more clearly to them and get their homes back in order quickly.

If you go back 18 months, our customer experience was not where we wanted it to be. The problem was that when a customer placed a claim, it would be assigned to an independent contractor – with little visibility to the customer or to us about whether the job would be accepted, or what the claim status was as it progressed. This resulted in frequent customer calls and long times to service – not the effortless experience we desired.

We decided we had to fix it. In mid-2018 we launched a new online automated claims system. Now, our customers receive a link to track the status of their claim online. It’s easier for contractors to accept jobs and communicate with us, and we can take action if we don’t see a claim progressing smoothly.

As a result, we’ve seen a reduction in time to service and in the number of touchpoints required to resolve a claim. Customers are calling us less often and getting their issues resolved more quickly. The better service has also helped our efforts to improve renewal rates, which are up from 35% last year to over 45% now.

Everyone’s happier. We have a much clearer understanding across our customers, contractors, contact centre agents and back office colleagues about what’s happening at any given time.