THE BUYER Eleanor Trickett, Campaign
Eleanor Trickett, editor of Campaign Direct, deals with the grown-up
things that must be addressed when moving into her new flat, such as
weighing up home insurance.
It’s six days and counting until I move into my little chick pad, and
suddenly I’ve remembered all the grown-up things that have to be
Like notifying people of my new address, persuading my mother to lend me
her car, and packing. It was while I was packing that I remembered
something else: insurance.
I began calling companies at random, asking them for a quote for my
rented, furnished property. Direct Line first: lots of questions
resulted in a quote of pounds 183.04. Ouch.
First Direct? Well, I do bank with them. They put me through to an HSBC
service called Personal Belongings - very efficient, but not much cover
for pounds 154.46.
I was getting bored. Enter Lloyds TSB Insure Direct. A mate, aware of my
dilemma, gave me a leaflet which I couldn’t be bothered to read but I
phoned the number.
A lovely woman led me through a barrage of questions about myself, the
flat, my life and my bicycle - and, beautifully, didn’t even sound as if
she was reading from a script.
An instant calculation was then made, looking at every insurance
A large European company called GAN (never heard of them) provides up to
pounds 12,000 cover, up to pounds 1 million ’public liability’, as well
as various other fandangly bits. All for pounds 148.87.
There’s no obligation yet, but she’ll send me the details in a
pre-printed form. What’s there to decide? If they truly are independent,
then I’ve got the best deal. Now, if anyone’s free at the weekend, I’ve
got a bit of painting that needs doing ...
THE SELLER Susan Wolsey-Cooper, Lloyds TSB
Susan Wolsey-Cooper is the head of direct operations for Lloyds TSB
insurance. Here she tells Eleanor why Lloyds came out top.
What a pleasure it was to read about Eleanor’s experience. Lloyds TSB
Insure Direct has developed a strong culture based on the sound
principles of offering excellent products at competitive prices while
retaining exacting levels of customer service.
We place a high degree of importance on meeting the individual needs of
our customers. A continuous feedback loop between customers, sales
consultants and our panel of leading underwriters enables us to respond
quickly to customer requests and comments, ensuring that our products
are in line with customers’ needs.
Home insurance is a competitive market and, to remain effective and
successful, we ensure all our sales consultants are trained before
embarking on their careers with us. This emphasis on product knowledge,
combined with ongoing training and coaching, ensures that our
consultants are able to listen, help identify needs and offer sound
advice based on experience and product knowledge.
While there will be the usual questions to be answered before a quote
can be given, there is no script to be rigidly adhered to. Our
consultants are professionals in their own right; our service involves
participation and conversation, rather than a restricted monotone.
Technology, to support ease of access for the customer, plays an
important role within the call centre, whether contact is by phone or
It allows us to maintain staffing levels in line with demand, and
ensures that our customers can get through to us whatever time they
What I hope comes across when people deal with us is a highly motivated
professional team that takes great pride in its work.