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Building value, one customer at a time

Helping customers comes naturally to Alice Nguyen, an American Family agent in Wichita, Kan.

"I don't approach each of my customers as a sales person, but more like a trusted friend. And I offer really good advice on how to prepare for the unexpected," she says.

This friendly and smart philosophy has enabled her to build her business by getting customers exactly the right coverage they need and can afford.

Take, for example, Israel Portal, one of her newest customers.

"I had been paying too much for car insurance, and so I met with Alice," says Israel. "She explained everything step by step – all the different coverage options and features. American Family was less expensive than the other companies, and much better across the board."

A sad event recently spurred him to buy life insurance as well. His brother died in El Salvador, Israel's native country.

"My brother had no life insurance, and he had three children – just like me," says Israel. "This made me think about getting good life insurance. So I talked with Alice, and she gave me options."

Israel chose an American Family Life Insurance Company life policy to meet his needs and says, "I'm very happy with it."

Alice always describes in practical terms the value of American Family coverage, which her customers appreciate.

"I'm always helping customers by explaining the basics, and why they need adequate coverage," says Alice. "I give them examples, too. If a customer wants car insurance, I'll say, 'I know you're a careful driver, but what if someone hits you? Even if you're not severely hurt, the X-rays and other hospital costs just to make sure you're all right would likely be more than car insurance payments.'"

She also makes it clear why certain options can also add value.

"When you take time to explain options to customers, they're not as concerned with the price as they are with the overall value of what you have just offered," says Alice.

Originally from Vietnam, Alice recently became a U.S. citizen, which is a big source of pride. As you might guess, her fluency in Vietnamese definitely comes in handy with customers from her home country.

"We also have Spanish-speaking staff, which makes a big difference with a number of customers," she says.

No matter what language Alice and her staff use, they always strive to give customers the best possible insurance value available.

"I do my homework to offer what each customer needs," she says with a smile. "I love my job, and I enjoy helping customers."

MATT INMAN SHARES OUR COMMITMENT TO CUSTOMER VALUE

Alice is just one of more than 3,500 agents who provide value to customers. We measure this value by how happy our customers are, how long they stay with us, and these performance levels:

  • Customer-satisfaction scores have steadily increased the past six
    years, with 2010 showing the highest scores yet.
  • More than 85 percent of customers have stayed with us, and our
    retention increased slightly in 2010.
  • More than 50 percent of American Family agents are certified by
    J.D. Power and Associates as Distinguished Insurance Agents,

    which means they score in the top 20 percent in customer satisfaction of
    all agencies nationwide and meet the review requirements of the program.