TECHNOLOGY CHANGES INSURANCE SERVICES

Manila, July 14, 2003 (STAR) Advances in technology are creating a new generation of super-insurers that provide customer service levels never dreamed of a decade ago, according to the chief executive officer of John Hancock Life Insurance.

"Computer technology has permeated life insurance so extensively that it is now possible for a company to know the exact status of every policy and customer relationship in seconds," said Mike Plaxton, president and CEO of John Hancock Life Insurance Corp.

"We use technology to provide superior customer service and help our managers make better decisions," he added.

The company’s Management Information System (MIS) automatically produces lists of clients requiring follow-up service, and asks the Call Center System to auto-dial these clients.

John Hancock’s customer service representatives place the calls and provide the service required. "One computer talks with another, then the John Hancock professional provides the personal service that the clients deserve," said Plaxton.

"This is a smart way to use technology – to reduce costs and make the business more efficient, while preserving the human touch that customers want," he said.

Saying that saving for children’s university education is the No. 1 priority for Filipino parents, Plaxton said John Hancock’s website (www.jhancock.com.ph) includes a simple tool that helps parents assess their current savings and calculate their university-funding gap so they will know how much they would need to save to send their child to a particular school.

"This kind of cutting-edge, user-friendly technology removes the guesswork from financial planning and makes saving for future goals more precise and reliable," he said.

John Hancock also offers an extensive database of Philippine and international universities to help parents identify the school that best matches their child’s aptitude and goals.

"Technology empowers customers," said Plaxton. Customers can manage their time better by visiting the company’s website anytime they want – to learn about new products and services, download claim forms or make appointments.

"Technology also helps improve the professionalism of our managers and financial planners," he said.

John Hancock’s MIS helps monitor the status of every policy, prompting managers to take immediate action when needed.

The company also uses weekly activity reports to help managers train and guide financial planners to improve their customer service. The weekly reports make it easy for managers to identify problem areas and recommend corrective action.

John Hancock Phils. is a subsidiary of Boston-based John Hancock, one of the world’s largest life insurance companies with $127.6 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, 2002, and over 140 years of experience.

In Asia, it operates in the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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