Linda Roubinek’s first taste of the insurance industry came as a consultant for Ernst & Young in the 1990s. After a decade with the firm, she left to work for Nationwide, as an IT executive.
Now, the Bowling Green State University grad serves as EVP, chief customer interactions officer for Grange Insurance, which she joined in 2010. Since assuming the role in October 2015, Roubinek has worked hand-in-hand with other business and technology teams to convert Grange from a product-centric organization to one focused more on the customer — as well as enabling agents to better serve policyholders.
“From a mindset standpoint, we are pretty far along,” she says. “There’s still more work to do in getting our associates [employees] to make sure they think of the customer first. It sounds easier than it is to become customer-focused and get siloed teams to work together.”
In line with that vision, Grange introduced common language practices between departments, such as claims, billing and call center, to unite business units that had been siloed in the past. Roubinek also implemented a metrics scorecard designed to identify data her team of 500 employees views as the most pivotal to business growth and operations. Some key statistics include underwriting loss experience and customer satisfaction.
Grange also has invested heavily in core and digital technologies to smooth out internal processes under Roubinek’s watch. The company is in the middle of a claims revamp expected to be completed in 2018.
Anticipated benefits from the installation are more on the back end, Roubinek says, as Grange’s legacy technology was becoming outdated. The old system required a lot more heavy lifting, while its new platform adds automation, data and analytics, and enhanced capabilities for customers. Additionally, the carrier recently introduced a mobile app for its policyholders, which allows users to view their coverage and pay their bill. Similar features are also available on Grange’s Amazon Echo skill, released in January.
“We are a fourth of the way through on tech,” says Roubinek. “We didn’t have the burning platform problems other insurers have had. So we were able to invest in technology right away.”
Roubinek considers the balancing act between delivering today’s customer experience versus keeping up with the technologies Grange will need to leverage in the future her biggest challenge as chief customer interactions officer. The proof is in the number of disruptors penetrating the industry. Also, in the number of capital investors and entrepreneurs looking for a piece of the pie, she says.
“We’re always looking to modernize and advance our technology to improve the customer experience,” Roubinek explains. “This is not a start-and-end kind of project. It’s a constant continuum of what we can do now to position ourselves for the future.”
After a significant investment in product development in recent years, Roubinek says she and the rest of the members of Grange’s leadership team will accelerate its long list of their efforts on customer and agent-enabling investments.
Outside work, Roubinek chairs the board of directors for the Directions for Youth and Families organization, which works with at-risk families and young people. She is also a member of the Women for Economic and Leadership Development group and mentors five Grange employees.
“We are thinking of what we can do now to be competitive in the future, relative to increasing customer demand,” she says. “We have an obligation to bring peace of mind, security and a great experience to customers if they come to need us.”
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