This SVP Sees Business Thrive When He Puts Customers in the Driver’s Seat

Seth Hall is tasked with positioning Philadelphia Insurance Companies for both the present and future, as culture and technology continuously drive rapid shifts in customer needs and expectations.
By: | December 26, 2018 • 2 min read

From where your customers are sitting, what defines your business? That’s something Seth Hall spends a lot of time thinking about.

As senior vice president of customer service for Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY), Hall is tasked with positioning the insurer for both the present and future, as culture and technology continuously drive rapid shifts in customer needs and expectations.

Around 2010, PHLY underwent a strategic shift, said Hall. “The light bulb really went off in terms of — it really doesn’t matter what your internal numbers say, the only thing that matters is the customers’ perception of how you’re doing.”

Hall’s team implemented initiatives geared toward getting inside customers’ heads and leveraging that intel to craft a new way forward for PHLY, guided by its customers.

“They’re literally giving us the blueprint for how to treat them,” he said.

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PHLY is now just months into Phase I of SPIRE, the largest initiative in the history of the company, which is a multi-year undertaking.

Phase I, successfully rolled out in October, is the installation of a state-of-the art billing system. Phases II and III will focus on replacing PHLY’s policy administration system and its claims system. The trinity of the three systems will allow PHLY to continue following its customers’ lead.

“We knew that we needed a more nimble infrastructure to support the needs of our customers,” said Hall. “Things are changing, expectations are changing … what they want, when they want it, how they want to access it. We know that’s coming, and we want to make sure that we’re ahead of it as much as we can be.”

It’s about creating the path of least resistance, said Hall, and building infrastructure and process that put customers in charge. When SPIRE is fully implemented, he said, it will be PHLY’s customers that set the terms for how they want to engage with the insurer.

“And we’re OK with that, whatever that is, because we’ll have the toolset to be able to support it.” &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]