These insurance service providers offer the best phone and email service.

Aug 19, 2022 – Only one provider offers “very good” phone customer service, and that’s Alte Oldenburger Krankenversicherung. This shows an analysis recently published by the German Institute for Service Quality. The quality of customer service of 479 companies in eight categories was examined. When it comes to email service, the health insurance fund of the Siemens company took first place in the “Insurance” segment.

The German Institute for Service Quality GmbH & Co. KG (Disq) has published the “Annual Review: Best Service by Phone / by Email”. Twenty-three Disq studies published between January 2021 and June 2022 were included in the analysis.

In these studies, the institute analyzed a total of 479 companies from various sectors of the economy on behalf of the N-TV news network. In various studies, companies from the insurance industry were also examined (VersicherungsJournal February 4, 2021, April 23, 2021, May 13, 2022, June 16, 2022).

This is how the service was tested

In the studies, among other things, the quality of telephone and email service was verified and evaluated with ten contacts per company, using hidden tests (mystery shopping). According to the institute, the trained test clients used specific role-playing games with questions from the subject area of ​​the insurance line examined in each case.

According to the information, the tests are based on a standardized and objectively verifiable measurement method (Servqual methodology). Assessments were made on a standardized five-point Likert scale.

The determined data was then transferred to a point system (zero to 100 points). Finally, the values ​​were converted into a five-stage quality evaluation scheme (“very good” to “poor”).

“Aggregate mean values ​​of the results of companies that were examined more than once in the specified period were included,” the study documentation explains.

Insurance category: the players with the best telephone service

There are 102 companies in the “Insurance” segment. By far the best was Alte Oldenburger Krankenversicherung AG. With 86.6 points, the company was the only one of its kind to receive a “very good” for quality of customer service over the phone.

Led by Barmer (75 points), a total of twelve providers were certified as having “good” phone service. This group includes five other health insurance companies, namely the health insurance fund of the SBK Siemens company, AOK Saxony-Anhalt – the health insurance fund, AOK Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland – the health insurance fund health, Techniker Krankenkasse and Viactiv Krankenkasse.

Optimal versicherungn GmbH, VVaG liability insurance company, Ammerländer Versicherung VVaG, Universa Versicherungen, Concordia Versicherungen and Hannoversche Lebensversicherung AG also received a “good”.

Telephone service (Image: Wichtert)

Insurance segment: the players with the best email service

Three vendors rated the quality of email customer service as “very good.” SBK secured the top spot with 88.9 points. They are followed by Viactiv and Autoversicherung.de, each with around 82 points.

The “good” group of seven is led by Auxilia Rechtsschutz-Versicherungs-AG, who are a hair ahead of Hannoversche (over 79 points each). They are followed by Mailo Versicherung AG, Huk24 AG, Sachsen-Anhalt Public Fire Insurance, DAK-Gesundheit and Hallesche Krankenversicherung AG.

Email service (Image: Wichtert)

Last places compared to other sectors

When it comes to customer service over the phone, industry winner Alte Oldenburger achieved the highest score of all companies tested. In terms of email service, industry winner SBK ranked fourth overall. Only the top three in the “Finance” section performed better.

Compared to the other sectors examined, the insurance sector did not stand out. With a total of 58.5 points in quality of customer service over the phone, it was only enough for a “fair” sixth place. Only the results of the segments “Finance” (54.7 points) and “Travel” (52.5 points) were even worse. At the top is the category “Homes for the Elderly” with “satisfactory” 67.6 points.

Also in terms of email service, the “insurance” area only came in sixth place, with almost 52 “sufficient” points. The “Finance” category fared better, but only by just under seven points.

More details and purchase options

The authors of the study draw the following conclusion from the study: “As for all sectors examined, service on the phone is ‘satisfactory.’ The level of service has thus increased compared to the previous year (currently: 61.0 points, 2021: ‘sufficient’ with 59.8 points).

Unlike hotline services, email service remains at a ‘sufficient level’ despite a slight improvement (currently: 52.5 points, 2021: 51.2 points).”

The lack of solution orientation has emerged as a deficit in consultations in both areas. For example, customer requirements are often only superficially requested or not requested at all. “The consequence: the information here is not very individual and not accurate,” the study authors continue.

The “Meta-Analysis: Best Phone/Email Service” can be purchased by email from Markus Hamer for a nominal fee of EUR 476 gross, including VAT.

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