Vitality Health has two services centres, one in Stockport and the other somewhat closer to our Somerset offices in Bournemouth. Vitality has taken delivery of their service proposition very seriously and has made huge strides to deliver improving levels of customer service to their members. We’ve noticed the improvements and we were looking forward to our visit to hear first hand how they were servicing the ever-increasing number of Vitality policyholders.

With any insurance product, you only find out how good or bad it is when you claim so whenever we visit an insurer it is their claims handling that we want to focus on.

Maxine Watts, Team Leader for Claims explained that 2017 has been a busy year for Vitality Health, to date (Dec 17) they’ve handled 439000 telephone calls associated with 73000 claims, that’s a mammoth task even with a team of 140 claims handlers. Having worked in the call centre industry I was particularly impressed to hear that the outcome of 80% of calls is described as “first call resolution”. When you or I make a telephone call it’s because we need “something” and first call resolution is a measure of whether we achieve our objective. First call resolution rates of 80% are very impressive.

In 2017 Vitality have paid out £178,924,801 at an average of £2400 per claim. That’s nearly £15 million a month. Big numbers.

Staff training and support is important but so is having the best contact centre technology and it looks like Vitality is making big investments. Coming soon is a feature that will recognise the “Caller Line Identity”, or CLI as the techies call it, of the number you’re calling from which will automatically access your records, prepare to be surprised when the claims handler already knows your name before you speak!

Unequally you can start the claims process via the Vitality Virtual GP service. You can arrange a consultation via the Vitality app and the GP you talk to has access to your policy details allowing them to approve your claim and refer you to see a consultant if needed.

For physiotherapy services, you can self-refer for a telephone assessment and then you’ll be transferred to either IRPS or Nuffield who provide the treatments.

We were lucky enough to meet Ella Cooper, The Head of Vitality Care, her enthusiasm and pride in the services that her team deliver to the unfortunate members dealing with the more serious cancer, heart and mental health cases is palpable. Her 60-strong team have an average of 9 years of service. Each member dealing with these difficulties are supported by a dedicated support person.

An enlightening visit with thanks to Jane Lamper for organising everything and to the supremely knowledgeable Maxine Watts, the enthusiastic Ella Cooper and the effervescent Whitney Udal from the IFA servicing team for sharing their achievements and plans with us.