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Customer Success at Send: helping insurers challenge the status-quo  

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Published on:26th September 2023
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Delivering the best outcomes for customers is all in a day’s work for our Head of Customer Success, Shelley McCormack. Her role is critical in helping the wider business understand customers’ fast-changing needs and ensure they have the right components to meet the challenges of today’s risk landscape.  

Success is subjective, but for Shelley, it’s about getting the basics right and providing a product that’s designed to make underwriters’ lives easier. We spoke to Shelley to find out more about her role, future plans for customer success and her response to a common customer question. 

Shelley, what does your role as Head of Customer Success entail?

My number one priority is to help our customers achieve their goals by leveraging the best elements of our product to meet their needs.  We have a fully configurable system, so my role is to understand what it is each customer wants to achieve and direct them towards the right combination of modules and data services to get there.  This can lead to me collaborating with internal delivery, support and product teams to make sure everyone is working together for the same end result, customer success. 

How did you find yourself at Send?

My background has mainly been in insurance, and I’ve been in the industry for the past twenty-five years.  I’ve mainly worked in analytical roles, so although I understand the technology and its underwriting applications, my interest is more in the business and processing side of what we do and how it can help customers.  

I was actually working for a major global insurer when I first met the Send team in 2018.  I was in charge of the RFP for a new underwriting workbench and Send was one of the companies we were speaking to.  Though at the time there were many established big platforms and solutions, the market simply didn’t offer an off-the-shelf solution for underwriters, so Send stood out as something completely different to what others were offering.  As a young company in its formative years, choosing Send was a leap of faith, but we made the right decision.  I was so impressed by not only the technology but the attitude and vision of the Send team that shortly after, I decided to join them. I’ve now supported many other successful implementations and am proud to have been part of the journey. 

You’ve held a number of customer focus groups over the last year, what do these involve?

Our focus groups are a chance for customers to tell us what they want from the Send Underwriting Workbench. We take a single subject, for example, dashboards, and talk to users about how they use that element of the product, any challenges they have, as well as ideas for future developments and ways they’d like to see these features evolve.  I’ll go into those groups with representatives from our product and design teams, and we are then able to assess the ideas that come from the group to optimize our solution. By running these groups, we are able to keep our product in tune with our core users, the Underwriting community. 

Over the coming year, we’ll be extending these focus groups as well as exploring technology solutions we can deploy to facilitate better user feedback and ideas, we’d love to enable customers to add their ideas, feedback and suggestions from within the platform itself.  

We’re also looking forward to assembling groups of key stakeholders, CUOs, CIOs etc. to hear directly from them about prevailing industry and technology challenges.  These groups will help us keep our finger on the pulse of the industry and the business and technologies that are being talked about in the market. I’m really excited about this development, it’ll be good to establish a strong, ongoing dialogue with our customers at the various business layers. 

These aren’t just good for us, customers want to feel they have easy access to the business, and have some influence over the day-to-day use of their platform.  It’s important that we can create the channels to facilitate this. 

You obviously feel passionate about bringing the customer with you on the journey to success, how important is this?

It’s essential.  The Send Underwriting Workbench has been built for the underwriting community, they’ve been our only focus since day one. We need to ensure that what we’re providing aligns completely with their needs, this is absolutely crucial for mutual success. 

What does success look like in our industry?

To me, success is first and foremost doing the basics well; making sure underwriters can ingest submissions and track what’s going on day-to-day. It might sound easy, but it can be a challenge to get those foundations in place and maintain consistency of service across multiple clients.  That’s something we at Send do very well. 

Once the basics are working, and working well, there are many other elements that come into play.  The quality of data ingestion from both external and internal sources, identifying opportunities to automate and optimize certain processes, and the ability to analyse team performance as well as the performance of brokers.  All of these elements can be refined to lead to better underwriting performance and business efficiency. 

Success for us means marrying the underwriters’ expertise and knowledge with the scientific metrics provided by the system, this creates a powerful underwriting process. 

There’s also the human element.  Successful technology can breed successful results, but the experience of the user is also important to us. We know many insurers are flicking between different systems, it’s frustrating, and it can be easy to overlook vital elements. We want underwriters to have an enjoyable experience. The test for me is when we do a demonstration of the underwriting workbench and people are able to immediately see how intuitive and fresh the design is when they see the system in action – that’s a marked improvement on the grey screens of the 90’s that are often still in use.  

You’ve overseen a number of successful integrations, what do customers most commonly ask you?

Once they’ve chosen the platform they want to work with, customers nearly always ask how they should approach rolling this out.  Whether they should go deep into one area of the business, or take a shallower, but broader approach to implementation. We always recommend the second approach as there’s a lot of merit in getting up and running with the basics. This allows people to get invested, see results and gain a better understanding of how it will work. It also encourages greater buy-in from the business and is more likely to lead to success.  We know that requirements can frequently change once the system is in place, so by taking this approach, the priority of what comes next can adapt to the prevailing requests from the business.  

If you’d like to connect with Shelley, you can find her on LinkedIn here. 

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