Keeping customers on board for the whole journey with 1ST CENTRAL

1ST CENTRAL happy driver

The story so far

1ST CENTRAL is a competitive car insurance provider, offering the best possible prices, with the minimum of jargon.

1ST CENTRAL children racing go-karts in the sunset

What's the problem

Success in the insurance industry is all about repeat business – insurers need their customers to keep coming back to renew their policies time after time. But with insurance being a pretty begrudging purchase, it can be difficult to keep customers engaged and loyal. Drivers are asked to renew their insurance once a year – a perfect time for them to jump ship and wave goodbye.

Despite positive customer feedback, 1ST CENTRAL was finding retaining customers at renewal time a particular challenge. It needed a way to both keep customers on board, and attract new ones.

They had thought about a loyalty scheme in the past, and decided now was the time to get one going. But what should it look like, how do you get customers to use it, and how do you keep offers fresh and new? More importantly, with a business case to be made to the board, how much would it cost – and what are the returns?

1ST CENTRAL, family in a car, man and woman managing their  car insurance online and on the phone

What we did

We had already built up a relationship with 1ST CENTRAL, and pitched them a loyalty scheme that matched their brilliant “simply driven” ethos. Together we agreed on a concept at a cost that satisfied 1ST CENTRAL’s board, and launched trials to minimise any risk – while also proving the scheme’s worth.

At renewal time, 1ST CENTRAL would inform customers of any changes in price, providing obvious opportunities to opt out if they wanted to. But now there was also the great customer reward to talk about – 1ST REWARDS. The scheme provided extra benefits and incentives to customers, offering them something extra in return for their loyalty.

The reward programme offers, among other incentives, vouchers and discounts on the weekly shop at a range of supermarkets, up to 10% off holidays with Thomas Cook, 40% off cinema tickets with Cineperks, food and drink vouchers, and discounts at B&Q, M&S and PC World.

Feedback was super positive – and even those customers that didn’t actively use the loyalty programme said they were enthused that they had the opportunity there if they wanted it.

The program gives insurance customers more – car insurance is something you hope you never have to use, so giving customers something for their money even when they don’t claim is a big benefit.

The trial period was very successful- we saw that compared to the control group, retention among the customers with access to the loyalty programme increased by over 1.4%, exceeding our target of 1%. This may not sound like a large amount – but across 1ST CENTRAL’s entire user base of hundreds of thousands of customers, such an increase had a significant impact on increasing revenue.

This increase in revenue effectively paid for the program, creating a cost-neutral solution that also greatly strengthens customer satisfaction and 1ST CENTRAL’s marketing proposition as a brand.

Since the full roll-out of the rewards platform, 1ST CENTRAL surveys of new and renewal customers have found that having access to the loyalty platform is a great big incentive in encouraging people to sign up or renew – even if they haven’t actually used it yet.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) analysis has also been used to measure the benefits of the reward system. An NPS scores an organisation’s customers on how likely they are to buy more or recommend a service. A score of seven or eight indicates customers are neutral, with anything below indicating ‘detractors’, and anything above indicating ‘promoters’.

Typically, insurance companies score an average of 7.75 – since implementing the loyalty program, 1ST CENTRAL’s ratings have risen to an average of 25, with higher ratings among customers who are aware of and actively use the program.

Sodexo as an organisation have been very good. They got on board with our whole brand ethos and approach, and I’m impressed with how quickly they respond to feedback and their turnaround time, especially our customer communications. We really enjoy working with them.

- Gary Lucas, Head of Customer Experience at 1ST CENTRAL

Working with Sodexo

1ST CENTRAL was particularly drawn to our awesome customer service, with account management and comms that could provide a great level of service, commitment, engagement and support to its customers. But a big part of their decision was down to what Gary at 1ST CENTRAL described as “the professionalism of Sodexo and the supporting paperwork and commitment – plus their knowledge of the industry. Relationship management was so key. So was the look and feel – they just looked better!”

Our relationship with 1ST CENTRAL has been a close partnership at every step of the way. As Gary says: “We work together to deliver a solution – they have a skillset and experience that helps us to help our customers.”

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