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2020 Customer Experience Conference

Excellence Personified

March 25, 2020 – March 27, 2020
InterContinental Hotel New Orleans, New Orleans, LA


12:00 pm - 7:00 pm


2:30 pm - 5:00 pm


Customer Service LEADERship — How to Succeed as a Servant Leader Through Mentoring/Coaching

BRUCE BELIFORE, CEO, Benchmark Portal
This workshop gives SVP, VP, Director, and Manager level people an opportunity to step back and consider what really breeds success in today’s insurance sector contact center environment. We will draw clear lines from your customers' expectations through your corporate mission statement, into your corporate culture and then over to the day-to-day people management challenges that confront customer contact leaders in our industry. From there we will focus on how you can optimize mentoring and coaching to get the most from your people and encourage a culture that loves itself and loves to win. There will be practical, hands-on training in communications styles as well as role playing centered on coaching for performance, management development, and handling difficult situations. Facilitated by a contact center expert, you will also get the benefit of insights and input from fellow managers. You will leave this workshop with the tools to be a better mentor and a more successful manager.

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


7:00 am - 4:00 pm


7:00 am - 8:00 am


8:00 am - 9:30 am


Excellence Wins

  • Horst Schulze

    Founding President and COO
In Excellence Wins, co-founder of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Horst Schulze shares the visionary and disruptive principles that have produced immense global successes over the course of his still prolific fifty-year career. CEOs. Leaders without titles. Startups. Corporations. For-profits. Nonprofits. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do — you want to become the best. You want to win, every time. Horst Schulze knows how to win. In Excellence Wins, Schulze, in his absolute no-nonsense approach, shares the visionary and disruptive principles that have produced immense global successes over the course of his still-prolific fifty-year career. As the co-founder and former president of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., Schulze fearlessly led the company to unprecedented multi-billion dollar growth, setting the business vision and people-focused standards that made the Ritz-Carlton brand globally elite. Schulze’s principles are both versatile and utterly practical to leaders of every age, career stage, and industry. You don't need a powerful title or a line of direct reports — you have everything you need to use them right now. If you're searching for the blueprint to beating the competition and out-performing everyone around you, look no further than Excellence Wins. Schulze pulls no punches as a masterful guide to becoming the very best in a world of routine compromise. Unleash the disruptive power of your true potential, own your career trajectory, and experience the game-changing proof firsthand: Excellence Wins.

9:30 am - 9:45 am


9:45 am - 10:45 am


1.1 Call Center Employee Engagement

COLLEEN CHAMBERS, Associate Manager, Individual Insurance and Investments, Client Service Centre, Canada Life, Great-West Life, London Life;
LISA STEELE, FLMI, ACS, Assistant Vice-President, Client Service Centre, Canada Life, Great-West Life, London Life
Arguably, high turnover and low morale are the bane of every contact center. And these problems are exacerbated in larger companies. For instance, a recent LIMRA Call Center Metrics report indicated that they are more likely to have higher turnover rates: 24 percent versus a median of 16-17 percent for smaller call centers. So it is mystifying that across the entire Canada Life, Great-West Life, London Life group of companies with over 11,000 employees, its Client Service Center — the most structured and regimented environment with the worst attrition rate — has chalked up the highest employee engagement scores! Steele and Chambers will discuss the strategies and tactics in their company’s two-year digital transformation initiative they are implementing to combat these challenges. They will reveal the creative measures they have adopted to keep employees (including remotely-located staff) in their 225-seat call center engaged and productive, including arming them with the right tools to do their job, and ensuring their CSRs know they have a voice and feel like they are making a difference contributing to their company’s vision and values.

1.2 Social/Digital Transformation Strategies

Coming soon.

1.3 Marketing/Distribution….Big Data

Coming soon.

1.4 Loss of a Loved One: USAA’s Journey to a World Class Claims Experience

AMIT CHANDAK, Director, Senior Experience Owner, USAA Life Insurance Company;
HELISE MACK, Experience Owner Lead, USAA Life Insurance Company;
STEVE MCCOY, AVP, Senior Experience Owner, USAA Life Insurance Company;
JUSTIN SACHTLEBEN, Design Director, USAA Design
“Over the past few years USAA’s ‘Loss of A Loved One’ organization has created a highly empathetic, compassionate and yet still efficient multi-line claims experience. In this session, learn how and why the team continues to leverage human center design thinking, Agile methodology, process engineering, and advanced data and analytics in their journey to deliver a world-class digitally supported claims experience.”

10:45 am - 11:00 am


11:00 am - 12:00 pm


2.1 Human Capital/Talent Management

Coming soon.

2.2 Linking Old Legacy Systems to Today’s Customer Experience...Easily, Effectively, and Inexpensively

ERIC FRENETTE, MBA, Manager, Customer Experience, Life and Disability Claims, Assumption Life;
RACHELLE GAGNON, MBA, CPHR, ACS, Vice President, Administration and Client Experience, Assumption Life
Many companies continue to struggle with old legacy administration systems that impede their ability to serve their customers. But is it possible to bridge these archaic systems in a way that will respond quickly and efficiently to the customer and have the agent easily access the information? One Canadian company has proved it can be done! Gagnon and Frenette will unveil how using a GUI (Graphical User Interface) has created a simple, effective, fast — and inexpensive — solution for accessing customer information across the company’s distribution channels, lines of business and operating divisions. They will conduct a live demo and discuss best practices, how the new system has significantly improved their performance and revolutionized their way of processing work. Ultimately, it has helped Assumption Life realize its vision: the best service should be no service needed, but the delivery of seamless, unique and authentic customer experience.

2.3 Next Gen Customer Engagement

CHRIS GREEN, Arch and Tower;
JOHN HIGHTOWER, Arch and Tower
Coming soon.

2.4 Account Takeover/Fraud Tools Update

JENA KENNEDY, Director of Strategy, LexisNexis Risk Solutions
Coming soon.

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


1:30 pm - 2:30 pm


Pan American Life...A Global View

  • José S. Suquet

    Chairman of the Board, President and CEO
    Pan-American Life Insurance Group
Coming soon.

2:30 pm - 2:45 pm


2:45 pm - 3:45 pm


3.1 RPA/Machine Learning

PATRICIA COYNE, Director, Customer Care | CXU, CUNA Mutual;
TIM ROWE, Operations Director, American Family Life Insurance Company;
KAREN STAFFORD, Director, Technology Operations, Individual Customer, London Life
Coming soon.

3.2 Coaching for Change When Clients Are Unhappy

KATHY SAUVE, Director, Client Relations, Individual Operations, Sun Life Financial

This combination session will help explore Leadership Strategies around creating and influencing change in how client complaints are handled in your company. Spend time with an experienced leader and get ideas on:

  • How you can create a caring and compassionate approach to resolving the big client issues in a sustainable way?
  • Hear stories that will make it real and give you ideas for your business.
  • Using a coaching approach to create sustainable change that both encourages the development of the people handling complaints and influences business partners and senior leaders.

3.3 Customer Journey Mapping

STEPHANIE BAKER, Director, Member Services, WAEPA;
NICHOLAS NELSON, VP, Administration, Sammons Financial
Coming soon.

3.4 Customer Experience in Our Industry: What Are Companies Really Doing and Where Is CX Going?

CHRIS DICKINSON, Senior Principal, Insurance Operations Excellence, NEOS;
TODD A. SILVERHART, Ph.D., LLIF, Corporate Vice President and Director, Insurance Research, LIMRA
This session will highlight results from a recent LIMRA and NEOS study examining current customer experience practices. The study was conducted to better understand the challenges and opportunities that life insurance and annuities carrier’s face, the effectiveness of their efforts, and how these efforts are being prioritized to shape the organization’s future state. Findings based on the perspectives of operations, marketing, distribution and strategic customer experience functions will be discussed. Participants in this session will come away with an understanding of how insurance and annuity companies are actually pursuing their objectives of becoming more customer-centric. This understanding will have value for planning and for evaluating the position of participants’ companies.

3:45 pm - 4:00 pm


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


4.1 Technology Focused Topic(s)

Coming soon.

4.2 Operations Focused Topics(s)

MARVIN JONES, LLIF, ALMI, ACS, Senior Associate, Management Solutions, LOMA
Coming soon.

4.3 Marketing/Distribution Focused Topic(s)

TODD A. SILVERHART, Ph.D., LLIF, Corporate Vice President and Director, Insurance Research, LIMRA
Coming soon.

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2020

7:00 am - 8:00 am


8:00 am - 9:00 am


The Seven Imperatives for Moving Your Customer Experience to the Next Level

  • Colin Shaw

    Founder & CEO
    Beyond Philosophy
There is a big difference between what customers say they want and what customers actually do. In fact, the irony is many customers don't know what they want! To move your Customer experience to the next level you need to understand what really motivates your Customers. Colin will reveal why Customers are irrational and it’s important that you embrace that. In this speech based on his bestselling book, The Intuitive Customer, Colin will reveal the science behind Customer decision making and how to unlock your hidden experience. Colin will explain how many top companies are now using Behavioral Science to dramatically improve their customers’ experience.

9:00 am - 9:15 am


9:15 am - 10:15 am


5.1 Leadership Strategies

LISA FANGMAN, Senior Vice President, Insurance Operations, Western & Southern Financial Group;
DIANE FOX, Chief Operating Officer, North America Life and Annuity, Foresters;
ABIM KOLAWOLE, VP, Policy Benefits, Northwestern Mutual;
APRIL VANDERVOT, VP Life and Annuity Operations, Nationwide Financial
Coming soon.

5.2 Effective Customer Experience Coaching & Feedback

BRENDAN YEAGER, Director, Dalbar, Inc.
Of all the ways your customers interact with your organization, the person-to-person Interactions (including phone, chat, text and email) are the most impactful. From the Customer’s point of view, this is where the personality of the organization resides. Unfortunately, these interactions can also be the most challenging. How do you ensure consistently excellent experiences when the human element is involved? The answer, of course, is through coaching and feedback. This session will consider coaching best practices, including the importance of feedback and flexibility to engage associates and generate the buy-in necessary to have a lasting impact. We will look at the traditional coaching model as well as alternative approaches to quality such as: allowing associates to select interactions for review, self-assessments, peer-to-peer feedback, group coaching and sharing best-in-class exchanges.

5.3 Virtual Agents — Latest Research. What Is Really Happening and What It Means to You

BRUCE BELFIORE, CEO, BenchmarkPortal

The presentation will focus on the current state of Virtual Agents and expected future evolution, with particular emphasis on adoption and impacts for the insurance industry. It will include the results of two recent research surveys conducted by BenchmarkPortal, which include some eye-opening conclusions. The speaker will discuss the paradox of exceptional creativity and ferment on the technology side — and considerable inertia on the user side. Developing a winning strategy and managing through the maze of new vendor offerings is the challenge — always keeping in mind the customer experience and the agent experience. If you are already using Virtual Agents, how does your experience compare with the experience of other centers surveyed by our research? If you are considering investing in Virtual Agents, how fast and how far should you jump? Get insights and guidance you can use by attending this session. 

Session Take-aways:

  • Aligning your Virtual Agent strategy with your customer base and your company mission: putting the customer experience first.
  • How to define the place of the front-line rep in the context of Virtual Agent technology: thinking it all through.
  • Technology: should you consider jumping now or wait?
  • Consider a gradualist approach: dip your toes in by “chunking” and testing technology.

10:15 am - 10:30 am


10:30 am - 11:30 am


6.1 Listen to your Customer: Using Speech Analytics to Improve the Customer Experience

GEOFF COLGAN, Managing Director, Attadale Partners

Review the trends in call center adoption of speech analytics to aid the resolution of customer calls and power the integration of multi-channel communication options for the customer. Share case studies highlighting why speech-to-text transcription and natural language processing should be part of the strategy of any call center operation. Review insurance case studies highlighting successful implementation in core transactions such as First Notification of Loss to accelerate claim closure and improve the customer experience. Introduce other innovative use cases to spark ideas the audience can take back to their customer operations. Attendees will understand the following:

  • Appreciation for market trends in voice analytics
  • Understand the ROI/Business case behind the investment
  • Roadmap for the key tasks and milestones necessary to undertake a project like this

6.2 Marketing/Distribution…Artificial Intelligence and CX

Coming soon.

6.3 TBD

Coming soon.