As a direct writer of homeowners and automobile insurance, Electric Insurance Co. doesn't rely on a network of independent agents to regularly interact with policyholders.Instead, Electric's call center agents interact with customers for everything from delinquent premium payments to claims-related inquiries. While this arrangement often suffices, CSRs typically lack the customer relationship skills that local agents have.

With 125,000 policyholders in its network, Beverly, Mass.-based Electric Insurance saw an urgency to attain a higher level of customer communication competency. In mid-2001, it implemented an automated real-time notification service-EnvoyXpress-that enables the insurer to establish interactive voice and text communications with customers and, in turn, to keep them abreast of all matters pertinent to their policies.

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