PURE delivers innovative internal support with a boost from Assist
In an industry filled with 100-year-old organisations and traditions rooted in paper forms, ink signatures and notary stamps, PURE Insurance is looking to digital technologies to drive success. Since 2016, PURE has used Zendesk to elevate the employee experience – from standard IT support to complicated data and platform improvements. To gain an even greater edge with Zendesk, PURE engaged Zendesk Assist professional services to boost its change management strategy.
“Zendesk helps reduce friction in our ticket escalation process by empowering teams to collaborate and share information smoothly, which creates a better experience for agents, brokers and customers.”
Vice President of Infrastructure Services at PURE Insurance
“Our Assist lead helped us discover the ‘why’ behind our methods so we could implement new functionality and corrective measures using Zendesk to its fullest potential.”
Director of Technology Services at PURE Insurance
White Plains, New York
Started Using Zendesk
Average monthly tickets
Net Promoter Score
Increase in monthly ticket volume
When dealing with insurance, people long for ease, efficiency and empathy. PURE Insurance aims to make its members safer, smarter and resilient so that if a claim does happen, they can recover faster and with greater ease. PURE policies are designed to protect the assets of high net worth individuals, with custom coverage for homes, jewellery and art, cars, watercraft, fraud and cybercrime, flood damage and more.
The insurance company runs on a reciprocal model in which PURE is owned by members (policyholders) and managed by a risk management organisation, which helps maximise member satisfaction and incentivise fair premiums. With more than 100,000 members and a 93.9% renewal rate in 2021, it’s a model that’s working.
In an industry rooted in paper forms with ink signatures, PURE Insurance is embracing tech solutions to deliver fast, professional, compassionate service that sets a new standard for excellence. Members have 24/7 access to account information and support using the PURE mobile app, phone or email.
The best CX starts with the best employee experience
Excellent service on the outside starts on the inside. So PURE is also focused on providing its nearly 1,000 employees and their business partners with equally personalised and efficient support.
“The only way our frontline workers can give boutique service to our members, especially in a difficult claims scenario, is if our technical teams are delivering that same level of service to our employees and brokers” explains Howard Muhlstein, vice president of infrastructure services at PURE. “We want to create a seamless support experience where team members can be reactive in real time and get documents routed to the right people expeditiously.”
Today, PURE leverages the Zendesk platform to streamline and elevate internal platform development and issue resolution, as well as CX expertise through a Zendesk Assist managed services subscription. That top-notch digital employee experience depends on the flexible Zendesk platform that can change fast and making the most of it with professional services engagement.
Reimagining the internal help desk
After rolling out Zendesk in May 2016, the desktop support team was first to deploy it for ticket management. Five years later, more than 60 PURE employees use Zendesk across 10 different teams: audit reports, billing tech support, data operations, app support team, facilities, infrastructure, IT, licensing and internal security.
Muhlstein credits the help desk team with originating a number of Zendesk workflows that prioritise swift ticket assignment and response, not just resolution time. Ryan Easton, the director of technology services, is leading this innovative approach.
“We use the Zendesk help centre as a communication portal for internal users to submit tickets, rather than as a knowledge base or FAQ library” says Easton. “Zendesk provides a quick and easy way to set up ticket routing, while giving users another way to instantly contact us. We can identify trends and trouble issues by reliably tracking metrics.” The team no longer needs to bounce tickets to each other, which is a time saver since PURE handles around 5,000 tickets per month across its teams.
Change management with Zendesk
Many changes to PURE’s native platform start with a help desk ticket that evolves into a larger project. “Zendesk makes it easy to communicate changes instantly” says Edward Kovarcik, the company’s infrastructure manager. “We create a digest notifying people of changes scheduled for the week, in case there are unforeseen events or downtime.”
PURE teams work closely together and they accomplish a lot with just 60 people. Using Zendesk, agents can enact even more changes with clear documentation and visibility.
Transforming change management with Zendesk Assist
PURE evolves its platform with small, regular changes. Zendesk has become a change management communication tool for agents and brokers that keeps development streamlined and efficient. Working with Assist keeps those changes prioritised and helps the team keep a broader outlook and envisage new possibilities.
Muhlstein appreciates the high-level expertise. “Assist showed us the big picture and introduced foundational changes to reduce friction, so we’ve been able to gain momentum, reduce email back and forth, and have more purpose-driven meetings” he says.
Teresa Rosado-Sanna, Zendesk’s senior managed services consultant for Assist, has become an invaluable part of the PURE team. “In addition to sharing knowledge of Zendesk products, our Assist lead can recommend strategies and configurations from the standpoint of a technician, administrator or help centre” adds Easton.
Less friction, more collaboration, better internal relationships
The visibility created in Zendesk tickets has fostered collaboration and communication, companywide. A strong internal support infrastructure means brokers, who interact with customers, have the support they need to serve customers well.
Muhlstein adds that “Zendesk helps reduce friction in our ticket escalation process by empowering teams to collaborate and share information smoothly, which creates a better experience for agents, brokers and customers”.
One example of employee support is how the identity and access management team uses Zendesk to guide workers through job transitions – being hired, being promoted, changing departments or leaving the organisation. “Employees get different system accesses, titles and managers during their time at PURE. With Zendesk, it’s easier to track their journey so we can complete the documentation in parallel” explains Muhlstein.
Brokers also use Zendesk to extract documentation from PURE’s platform for use in broker certification and compliance. Muhlstein adds that “we all talk to each other in Zendesk and can hand things over smoothly, so end users know they are being taken care of. Providing clear communication is crucial and builds trust”.
PURE recently had a Net Promoter Score® of 61, which suggests the efforts to support brokers and customers are on track.
The magic of macros and automation
When Kovarcik noticed that having agents manually clone tickets was time consuming and created inconsistencies, he found a proactive solution. “The team created a trigger and automation process in Zendesk to ensure that related tickets would be instantly escalated to the next team, without creating duplicates” says Kovarcik.
Macros prompt the user to provide a narrative, assign the change and share details about the implementation and risks. Building these macros in Zendesk helped agents standardise the content and timing of communications.
Muhlstein comments that “we feel empowered by the ease of Zendesk to support our use cases without long lead times or development work. We can have an idea and in a couple of weeks deploy a solution using a new macro, a trigger or a channel”.
Optimising for the future with expert support
Partnering with Zendesk Assist has set the PURE team up for success and continues to add value. “Our Assist consultant helped us discover the ‘why’ behind our methods so we could implement new functionality and corrective measures using Zendesk to its fullest potential” Easton says. “Our metrics reporting in Zendesk have also got more robust since adding Zendesk Assist professional services.”
For Muhlstein, using professional services comes with countless benefits. “As heavy adopters of Zendesk, we added Assist to help generate more reliable metrics and efficient workflows” he says. Ultimately, his top priority is creating positive interactions for PURE users. “Having a sense of urgency and understanding resolution times are not everything, because most insurance-related problems take time to solve. The secret is having our macros, SLAs and triggers to guide the process.”