Diversity and Inclusion in Insurance Awards winner: RSA's Luci Bowers

Luci Bowers
Asif Shaheed from charity Shine gave the award to Luci Bowers, customer experience leader at RSA Motability

Following last month's Diversity and Inclusion in Insurance Awards, we caught up with all the winners. Today, we feature the Disability Champion, Luci Bowers, customer experience leader at RSA Motability.

Can you explain the thinking behind the Customer Connections programme?

We had started to see a change in our customer base and wanted to understand why. The Customer Connections programme was born out of a desire to understand what the drivers were behind this.

All of our customers receive some form of disability benefit. In 2016, when the government started to increase the roll out of the new disability benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the change in our customer base became very significant from this point onwards.

Our teams told us that at times, it was difficult to manage the conversations they were having with customers. They were seeing customers who had different behaviours and needs than they were used to. Once we started looking into the issue, we identified what was causing this.

The PIP criteria leant itself to more cognitive disabilities, such as learning difficulties, brain injuries, autism and dementia. This presented us with a significant challenge, as we weren’t experienced at dealing with customers with these types of conditions, and the insurance process was often daunting for them.

We went out and found out as much as we could about the different conditions we could see, as well as working with charities and support organisations to better educate ourselves. We soon realised it was something that we needed to address and support our people with, so we developed the Customer Connections training programme.

We launched it via a huge two-day event where we took 500 people through a view of our customers’ lives and used actors to make their stories real.

Since it was launched, what has the response/impact been?

The programme has really supported our teams in how to manage conversations with these customers, and also helped them create better connections with customers. People feel more confident and informed on how best to approach certain situations.

The support network that we have created means that they are never alone and there is always somewhere to take a problem.

Where could Customer Connections go next?

Customer Connections is now on the road and has gone out to our supply chain – from hire car companies to our network of repairers and solicitors. So far, we’ve delivered the programme to over 900 people!

We’re currently working on how we can support the wider RSA business with bespoke versions for each part of the business. We are also looking to introduce some new support teams for our customers to ensure that they are looked after every step of the way.

Can you expand on why you think it is important to get involved in initiatives like Dementia Friends and becoming an Autism Champion?

It’s important to really understand how conditions like autism and dementia feel from people who deal with it every day. We all need to be more aware of our differences and work on how to respect and support each other.

Only through understanding and acceptance can we all ensure that we act in an inclusive way and truly connect with each other.

How supportive is your employer in terms of raising the profile and boosting the acceptance of D&I across the business?

I have always been supported as an individual and have been encouraged to be open about my own personal life and celebrated for being me!

Throughout my time at RSA, I’ve really grown in confidence and feel comfortable to talk about my partner Anna and our upcoming wedding. When I started my career at RSA ten years ago, that wasn’t something I thought I’d be confident enough or able to be totally open about.

I’m now using my experiences, like so many others have done, and we are building a really inclusive workplace which can reap the rewards of celebrating our diversity as individuals.

What was it like being a winner at the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion in Insurance Awards?

Without doubt, it was a career highlight for me. To be recognised by experts in the D&I field as being worthy is something I’m still pretty speechless about! Looking around the room and seeing the celebration of so much fantastic work was an honour, and I’m really excited to see how much more we can all do to drive this forward.

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