Car Insurance October 2023 Call Centre Rankings

As well as the Call Centre Ranking results below, ACXPA Members also have access to a range of additional insights, including all the monthly reports, trend data, additional performance metrics, a downloadable spreadsheet and lots more!

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Car Insurance October 2023 Call Centre Rankings

In addition to the five other industry sectors we assess (Banks, Councils, Energy Providers, Internet Providers and TAFES),  in October 2023 we commenced our regular monthly reporting into call centres for some of the leading Car Insurance providers in Australia.

You can read more about the assessment criteria and methodology here, but the quick version is we make random mystery shopping calls posing as a real customer to Car Insurance Providers and then assess both accessibility (how easy it was to connect) and the customer service/quality of the interaction when speaking to a live agent across 48 different performance metrics.

It’s clear from the October 2023 data that many of the car insurance companies are not aligned with the perception they are trying to portray via their marketing campaigns.

As evidenced by the scoring matrix, some brands were assessed as ‘Poor’ for both accessibility and quality, resulting in a less-than-desirable experience for customers looking to move their car insurance to a new provider.

Scroll below for additional insights or use the links below to jump directly to a section.

ACXPA Car Insurance Call Centre Rankings Matrix October 2023

Call Centre Rankings Key:

POOR

BELOW STANDARD

MEETS STANDARDS

EXCEEDS STANDARD

OUTSTANDING

Car Insurance Overall Score Rankings (October 2023)

The Overall Score Rankings provide insights into the Contact Centres we assessed as being the best in their sector.

Each of the mystery shopping calls we make is assessed against 48 different criteria and the calls are made by our local (Australian-based) trained assessors at random times and days throughout the month.

The Overall Score is determined by combining the two primary component scores below and applying some proprietary weightings that place a higher emphasis on the quality of the interaction:

  • Accessibility Score – measures the experience of connecting to a live contact centre agent.
  • Quality Score – measures the experience of the interaction with a contact centre agent.

Key Findings – Overall Scores, Car Insurance (October 2023)

Despite extensive advertising campaigns backed by big budgets and promises of great service, the Car Insurance October 2023 Call Centre Rankings report suggests that it’s quite a different experience that customers are experiencing.

  • Overall, the car insurance sector was rated as ‘Below Standard’ at just 45.7% meaning both the accessibility (ease of getting through) and the quality of the experience were both underwhelming.
  • Youi was the only car insurance company that was assessed as ‘Met Standard’ with an overall score of 67.0%, with RACV (21.0%), AAMI (33.8%) and Budget Direct (39.5%) all rated as ‘Poor’.
  • Across the sector, 11.1% of calls failed to be answered within our 10-minute threshold, with both AAMI and RACV missing out on opportunities to make a sale by not even answering the call.
  • Average wait times for the sector were low at 01:41 minutes, with Budget Direct leading the way at 00:04 minutes and RACV having the longest wait times at 05:28 minutes.
  • Only one car insurance company, Budget Direct, did not require any button pushing to get through to a live operator; however, when a customer did speak to a live agent, they were ranked the lowest for quality of all the car insurance companies we tested.
  • The quality of customer service across the sector was rated as ‘Below Standard’ ranging from 19.6% (Budget Direct) to 61.1% (Youi).
Overall Score (Oct 2023)
Car Insurance Sector
1st:Youi67.0%
2nd:NRMA58.2%
3rd:Allianz55.0%
Lowest:RACV21.0%
Car Insurance AVE45.7%

View all Car Insurance Data >

  • 66% of the car insurance companies had three layers of IVR Menus (press 1 for this, 2 for that) and across the sector, navigating the menu added on average an extra 00:32 minutes to every call.
  • And once through the button pushing, the customer then endured an additional 00:52 minutes of messaging before being placed in the queue.
  • Only one car insurance company, RACV, continually tried to encourage callers to try other contact methods such as live chat, email, visit a branch etc. For example, they had at least four messages encouraging you to use their online channels before they even placed you in a queue.
  • A number of technical glitches were observed, including:
    •  AAMI terminated one of our calls after 5 minutes of waiting, advising that ‘due to issues in our customer service team, we are unable to take your call’.
    • RACV had messaging advising there were long delays, however, the call was answered straight away.
  • Talk times were the longest of all industry sectors we measured with each call on average taking 11:17 minutes.

The current car industry contact centre experience is basically ‘dial-a-quote’, there was very little effort in understanding what matters to customers and then using that information to tailor the right messaging to help convert the customers.

The majority of calls we observed were very transactional – just asking the same standard questions that their system needs to spit out a price, which could (and is) easily replicated online.

Of all the calls we assessed, only one employee (from Youi) managed to demonstrate the use of a customer-oriented, engaging, needs-based sales process which achieved a 90% score.

The next highest individual score was 61% (an employee from RACV), suggesting there are a lot of opportunities for car insurance companies to achieve higher conversion rates and better customer service by investing in their contact centre training and resources.

Whilst our mystery shopping scenarios were testing a new sales opportunity for the car insurance providers, it is reasonable to assume that if companies are failing to deliver a good first impression when there is a chance of a sale, the experience may be a lot worse for existing customers seeking to make a claim, update details etc.

Car Insurance Accessibility Score Rankings (October 2023)

Whether you are purchasing car insurance for the first time or deciding to shop around for a better deal, our Accessibility score is designed to measure the experience of how easy it was to connect to a live person at the car insurance company you have decided to contact. 

When you think of the money Car Insurance companies invest in advertising to generate new sales opportunities, ensuring the process of connecting to a live contact centre person is as smooth as possible would seem like a small price to pay.

More consumers than ever are preferring to speak to a real person on the phone compared to other channels like live chat, email etc so it pays to ensure the contact centres are adequately resourced to ensure it’s a great experience.

The Accessibility Score measures the experience before interacting with a live agent with our assessment including 30 individual elements grouped into five core components: Search, Design, Ease, Audio and Timing (along with deductions for calls not being answered within thresholds, technical glitches, etc).

Elements including queue wait times, how easy it was to find the phone number, ease of menu options (i.e. press 1 for this, 2 for that), hold music, audio quality, etc. 

*We wait on hold for 10 minutes (sales scenarios) or 15 minutes (service scenarios) before disconnecting the call.

Key Findings – Accessibility Scores, Car Insurance (October 2023)

The ease of getting through to a live call centre agent for a car insurance company was, across the sector, rated as ‘Met Standard’ with a score of 61.6% driven largely by relatively low wait times (01:14 minutes).

However, there was certainly a range in the performance of the various car insurance companies we assessed, and some very frustrating technical issues were also encountered on occasions.

For context, its important to note that the scenarios we tested this month were on new sales opportunities. Most contact centres have different teams, queues and priorities, so depending on the nature of your call (e.g. making a claim, changing details, etc), you may have had a completely different experience.

  • Wait times across the sector average 1:41 minutes, ranging from just 00:04 minutes (Budget Direct) to 05:28 minutes (RACV).
  • The sector averaged 2.3 IVR Layers, with 66% of car insurance companies having three layers for customers to navigate, and only one company, Budget Direct, not requiring any button pressing to speak directly to a live person.
  • Once customers had made a selection, they were then subjected to an average of 00:52 minutes of messaging before being placed in a queue, ranging from 00:23 minutes (Allianz) to 01:27 minutes (RACV).
  • A number of car insurance companies made it exceptionally difficult to find the phone number on their website, presumably as a way to force customers to try other (less expensive) channels to make contact.
  • RACV continually tried to force customers to any channel other than the phone on 100% of the calls we assessed, and in some instances, there was up to five messages that encouraged them to select another contact method before they were even placed in the queue.
  • A number of technical glitches were noted including:
    • AAMI terminated one of our calls after 5 minutes of waiting, advising ‘due to issues in our customer service team, we are unable to take your call’.
    • RACV had one call with messaging advising there were long delays, however the the call was answered immediately following the message.
Accessibility Score (Oct 2023)
Car Insurance Sector
1st:Budget Direct85.9%
2nd:Youi80.8%
3rd:Allianz79.2%
Lowest:RACV13.3%
Car Insurance AVE61.6%

View all Car Insurance Data >

Car Insurance Quality Score Rankings (October 2023)

Whilst it can be frustrating at times trying to get through to a live person at a Car Insurance company, what happens when you connect to a live person can be the difference between joining as a new customer, or taking your business elsewhere. 

Customer Experience Statistics suggest that 78% of customers have backed out of a purchase due to a poor customer experience, so getting the quality of the interaction right is paramount!

 

The Quality Insights Score (QIS)  measures the experience received during the interaction with the live contact centre agent across five core competencies (Engage, Discover, Educate, Close and Energy) and 18 individual behaviours as defined in the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards.

Key Findings – Quality Scores, Car Insurance (October 2023)

The quality of the customer interactions across all car insurance companies in October 2023 was assessed as ‘Poor’ with a score of 43.7%, which, compared to YTD of all other industry sectors, places them at the bottom.

Given the mystery shopping calls we conducted were new revenue opportunities, this suggests that the car insurance companies are letting opportunities (funded by expensive ad campaigns) slip through the fingers.

  • The best quality score for the sector was Youi (61.1%), the only company to be assessed as ‘Met Standard’ but still a long way short of delivering exceptional customer experiences that is aligned to their branding/advertising.
  • That said, out of all the calls we assessed, one Youi employee did a fantastic job and was rated 90% – the next best individual score was 61% (an employee from RACV).
  • Budget Direct, despite having very low wait times (00:04 minutes), was rated the poorest quality with a score of 19.6%, significantly lower than the second lowest ranked RACV (38.5%).
  • With the exception of the one Youi call referred to above, there was no evidence of a structured, needs-based sales process except across the sector providing some incredible opportunities for the car insurance companies that get it right.
  • On one call with Budget Direct, we were played a recorded compliance message; however, when the message was completed, we just received silence for over a minute – the agent never came back to us.

You can see additional information on the quality competency scores below (or just click here to jump to it).

Quality Score (Oct 2023)
Car Insurance Sector
1st:Youi81.1%
2nd:NRMA53.8%
3rd:AAMI & Allianz44.6%
Lowest:Budget Direct19.6%
Car Insurance AVE43.7%

View all Car Insurance Data >

Car Insurance Average Wait Time Rankings (October 2023)

The Average Call Centre Wait Time measures the time to connect to a live call centre employee in Australia, after navigating the IVR systems (press 1 for this, press 2 for that).

Most people would refer to this as waiting in a call centre queue (or being stuck on hold),  and it’s often the measure that has the highest correlation to customer frustration.

Key Findings – Average Wait Times, Car Insurance (October 2023)

Average Wait Times for the car insurance industry were relatively good in October 2023, with an average of 01:41 minutes.

  • Budget Direct (00:04 minutes) and Youi (00:15 minutes) were the stand-out leaders.
  • RACV was significantly higher (05:28 minutes) than the next highest, AAMI (02:04 minutes) suggesting there are challenges with their workforce optimisation driven either by resource issues, technology etc.
  • Both RACV and AAMI had a call that exceeded our 10-minute threshold suggesting the wait times at that moment were longer.

*Mystery Shopping calls are terminated at 10:00 minutes for sales calls. As we disconnect, we don’t therefore capture the total wait time so we apply the maximum threshold time of 10 minutes to calculate the averages, meaning actual wait times would be higher than reported if any calls exceeded the threshold. 

ACXPA Members have access to the number of calls that exceed the 10-minute threshold in the summary download report. 

Average Wait Times (Oct 2023)
Car Insurance Sector
1st:Budget Direct00:04
2nd:Youi00:15
3rd:NRMA01:01
Longest:RACV05:28
Car Insurance AVE01:41

View all Car Insurance Data >

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Subscribe to ACXPA for free and select which industry ranking reports you’d like sent to you each month when they are released!

Car Insurance Quality Competencies Summary (October 2023)

The Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards have been developed and refined over 30 years and when businesses consistently achieve high ratings in these core competencies, there is a direct correlation to improved business metrics however you measure them – Sales Conversions, NPS, Customer Effort Score, improved efficiency, reduced AHT etc.

They are applicable to all contact centres and are adapted to suit either customer service or sales calls.

Learn more about the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards >

Quality is assessed across five core competencies and 18 call-handling behaviours that directly correlate to better customer and business outcomes: Engage, Discover, Educate, Close, Energy.

Car Insurance (Oct 2023)
Engage Competency
Highest:AAMI, Allianz, Youi50.0%
Lowest:Budget Direct16.7%
Car Insurance AVE42.4%
Car Insurance (Oct 2023)
Discover Competency
Highest:Youi55.6%
Lowest:Allianz & Budget Direct0.0%
Car Insurance AVE23.1%
Car Insurance (Oct 2023)
Educate Competency
Highest:Youi66.7%
Lowest:AAMI25.0%
Car Insurance AVE44.4%
Car Insurance (Oct 2023)
Close Competency
Highest:Allianz100%
Lowest:RACV16.7%
Car Insurance AVE66.7%
Car Insurance (Oct 2023)
Energy Competency
Highest:Youi75.0%
Lowest:Budget Direct16.7%
Car Insurance AVE51.4%

Download the Car Insurance Summary Report (October 2023)

The Car Insurance October 2023 Summary report contains additional data exclusive for ACXPA Members including the summary data for four random car insurance companies each month.

If you purchase the Contact Centre CX Benchmarking service, will see ALL the data for EVERY Car Insurance provider we assess.

You need an ACXPA Membership to see this exclusive data!

ACXPA Members gain instant access to additional Car Insurance sector data including summary data for four random Car Insurance Providers each month, plus a range of additional ACXPA Membership benefits to ensure you have the leading insights, best-practice tips and more to help you succeed.

Australian Car Insurance Call Centre Rankings Redacted

Additional member-only insights – join now and you’ll  instantly see data for four random Car Insurance companies, including: 

  • Calls Answered Percentage
  • IVR Navigation Time & Layers
  • Average Talk Times
  • Quality scores by each of the five different competencies
  • The scores for the four behaviours of the ‘Engage’ Quality Competency
  • Accessibility scores by each of the five different competencies
  • Access to all previous month’s data
  • Monthly Trend Results

ACXPA Memberships start from just $197 per year and are packed with value!

You’ll gain access to leading industry insights every month, live symposiums and workshops with leading contact centre experts, a library of expert videos on contact centres and CX best practices you can watch on demand, a range of downloadable resources, discounts to expert training courses, networking events and lots more.

 , thanks for being an ACXPA Member – view or download the report below!  

Car Insurance October 2023 Call Centre Rankings

What type of scenarios do we use to conduct the Mystery Shopping calls?

The scenarios we use are typically based on new sales opportunities (i.e. new purchase or switching from a current insurance provider).

How does the scoring work?

You can learn more about the framework we use here >

How many calls are assessed?

For the public monthly report, we include at least three calls per Car Insurance Provider.

When you sign your Car Insurance business up for the CX Contact Centre Benchmarking service, you will receive at least six calls for your business included in the report.

Please refer to our customised Benchmarking service >

Why aren’t all the Car Insurance Companies included?

We’d love to have all the Car Insurance companies included; however, conducting independent Mystery Shopping is expensive!

We randomly chose some leasing Car Insurance companies to commence our program with and as (or if) other Car Insurance providers sign up to our CX Contact Centre Benchmarking program, they’ll be included in our monthly report.

How can we improve our score?

Our Mystery Shopping program has been designed to provide Car Insurance Contact Centres with the insights they need to improve performance!

When you sign up to our CX Contact Centre Benchmarking service, you’ll receive detailed information on your performance against over 48 individual elements, so you know exactly where to focus, and we also include a quarterly report that provides you with personalised key recommendations on areas to focus on.

We also offer a range of training courses that can help teach your frontline employees the skills they need to deliver great customer service or improve sales:

How do I get my contact centre included?

We have a fixed-price service starting from $1,297 per month that will provide you with information on your contact centre, as well as a benchmark of your performance against a minimum of five other Car Insurance companies that you can nominate. Learn more >

How do I order the service?

We have an online ordering form that makes it easy to order the service, nominate the Car Insurance companies you’d like to benchmark against, who you’d like the reports to be sent to etc. View the online order form >

How do I access the full data for the Car Insurance companies?

ACXPA Business Members get full access to the summary monthly data for Car Insurance Providers (and other sectors) along with a host of other benefits.

An ACXPA Business Membership starts from just $497 per year and includes five individual memberships you can allocate to key employees who could benefit from gaining access to leading industry insights for contact centres, customer experience (CX), digital service, and in-person customer service.

Is there someone I can speak to to learn more? 

Absolutely! If you’d like to speak to someone further about the Benchmarking Service, please get in touch with our General Manager of Quality Insights, Simon Blair – 0407 002 113 or [email protected]

What type of scenarios do we use to conduct the Mystery Shopping calls?

Most of our mystery shopping scenarios involve new insurance purchases (either as a new stand-alone purchase or switching from another car insurance provider.

Why do you hang up at either 10 or 15 minutes?

All our Mystery Shopping calls are conducted live by our accredited Mystery Shoppers who are all based in Australia. We cut off the calls at either 10 minutes (sales scenarios) or 15 minutes (service scenarios) for two key reasons:

  1. Research has shown that these are at the end of typical times customers will wait before they hang up.
  2. It’s expensive! As we use real human beings to conduct the Mystery Shopping call, it’s simply not practical to pay them often for hours (hello Centrelink!) whilst waiting for the call to be answered. So unless we get a very generous sponsor that enables us to wait the full time, we thought this was a reasonable decision.

Do Car Insurance companies really care about the service they provide?

Yes! Most of us need car insurance and as a significant expense, it can really pay to shop around.  That’s why the majority of car insurance companies spend a LOT of money on advertising and branding to ensure that when you are ready to look at options, they are front of mind.

But sometimes, whether it’s through a lack of resources, skills or competing priorities, the Contact Centre experience that is delivered is often well below both customer and industry standards.

There are loads of CX statistics that demonstrate that delivering a better customer experience is not only is it good for you as a consumer, it’s also good for the business so our aim is to help the car insurance companies realise that by investing smartly in their contact centre, it will deliver a good return on investment for their business and make customers happy at the same time!

Why does ACXPA publish results each month?

Our mission is to improve the level of customer experience in Australia so by publishing the results monthly, we’ll continue to ensure that Car Insurance companies are accountable for the level of customer service they are providing and to enable all consumers to make an informed choice.

What type of services does ACXPA offer?

In addition to the Mystery Shopping CX Benchmarking, we offer a range of services and resources for people working in contact centres, customer experience (CX), digital service and in-person customer service/retail. You can learn more about us here >

Purchase exclusive insights for your Car Insurance Contact Centre

If you’d like to gain insights specifically for your contact centre performance and benchmark your results against other car insurance companies, we have a new, cost-effective, fixed-price benchmarking service that makes it easy!

Starting from just $1,297 per month, by signing up for our Contact Centre CX Benchmarking Service, you’ll receive the following:

  • Six Mystery Shopping calls into your call centre each month at random times and days where you’ll receive the full assessment against 48 metrics, our quality assessor’s notes, the employee’s name (where provided) and the full call recordings.
  • Six Mystery Shopping calls each into five other car insurance companies (a total of 30 calls) that YOU nominate so you can benchmark your performance against other car insurance companies that matter the most to you.
  • Aggregate data from all the other car insurance companies we assess providing you with industry sector-wide results to further compare your results to.
  • A monthly email with data to track your performance along with the call recordings.
  • A quarterly report containing insights and trends that are easy to understand, along with actionable recommendations to help improve your performance.
  • An optional Quarterly Insights workshop for your team (conducted live via Zoom) that can provide additional insights, coaching and guidance.
  • Access to training to help you improve results.

CX Roundtables - Upcoming Guest

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Upcoming CX Roundtable Steven Arnold bw

Contact Centre Manager Roundtables - Upcoming Guest

Live and interactive sessions for contact centre professionals in Australia.

Upcoming Contact Centre Roundtable - Scott Wooden

Next Members Symposium Livestream: Tuesday, 21st May, 2024, 13:30 AEST

The Members Symposium sessions are only available to ACXPA Members! 

ACXPA Members can watch the symposium live, and, can watch any of the sessions at any time in their Video Library. 

Discover which membership is right for you >

Preview of upcoming Symposium Sessions:

Nadine Power, ACXPA National Advisory Board Member

IVR Best Practice

Over 90% of contact centres are using an IVR (Press 1 for this, press 2 for that), and we've encountered many contact centres with over four layers of options for customers to select from. In this session, Nadine will be sharing some best practice tips on IVR design for 2024.

Presented by Nadine Power, Chief Product Officer, Datagamz (and ACXPA National Advisory Board Member)

ACXPA National Advisory Board Member Simon Blair

Tips to Boost Engagement on Calls

Of the five quality competencies we assess as part of the Australian Call Centre Rankings, the 'ENGAGE' competency from the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards has consistently been at the bottom of the rankings throughout 2023 and into 2024.

In this session, Simon will provide some tips that can be shared with agents on how to increase engagement with customers at the start of calls.

Presented by Simon Blair, General Manager Quality Insights, ACXPA

More sessions announced soon! 

(If you're interested in speaking at one of our events, click here to learn more >)

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