Steve Klingel: Webinar master Featured

8:10pm EDT May 31, 2012
Steve Klingel: Webinar master

Every customer is different.

As a service provider to the insurance industry, NCCI has learned from extensive experience that we need to be able to move as quickly as our most nimble customers while still accommodating customers who tend to move more slowly.

It can be a tough balancing act, but it’s one that has caused us to examine all of our systems and electronic communication efforts so that we can adopt techniques that leverage technology to improve services and education.

We have not found, for example, that the best way for us to communicate with our customers is through social media programs like Facebook or Twitter. And while we use videoconferencing and instant messaging for internal communications, we do not employ it for external communications. Instead, we continue to lean toward using e-mail, the phone, and yes, personal visits for most of our customer interactions. Those revelations will surely leave some shaking their heads at our archaic communications practices.

To which we say “not so fast.”

We use the above techniques for direct customer interactions and to answer inquiries. But we are also fully engaged in a broader electronic communications effort that we think others can learn from when it comes to offering customers valuable information in a form that is most useful to them.

As might be expected, our main avenue for electronic communications is our website, The site serves a dual function: We have a public side to our website and a subscriber/member side. The member side is for customers who subscribe to NCCI services. It is open only to our data partners and provides them with a menu of support services and tools. But our members —and the press and public — are also very engaged in our public site. That is why we integrate our public and private services on our site.

As a promulgator of some of the most important rules and procedures for the workers compensation system, we are constantly trying to find the best methods for educating our customers in a manner that is understandable, accessible and available to them on their schedule.

How do we do that? Webinars.

In the past three years, NCCI has produced more than 100 informational webinars, which are available at no charge on NCCI’s public website. Designed to be viewed in 30 minutes or less and categorized by interest for ease of use, these webinars can be accessed conveniently over the Internet. Whether you're an underwriter, actuary, data reporter, product or claims manager, agent/broker, or just interested in workers compensation, you can benefit from an extensive library of online educational modules.

Webinars give viewers something very close to a live presentation, but make it available on demand. This saves on travel time and expenses as well as other training costs.

The customer response to our webinars has also been very positive. In fact, many of our customers have already incorporated NCCI educational modules into their own training programs.

It’s a program that works for us — and more importantly, works for our customers.

Every employee knows that at the end of the day we are only as good as our last customer interaction. So NCCI’s continuing challenge is to leverage the latest technologies to increase our communications abilities, while being mindful that some of our customers tend to move more slowly when it comes to adopting the latest electronic tools. Our task is to find the best and most workable tools to make each and every such interaction a success — whatever the form it takes.

Stephen J. Klingel has served as president and CEO of NCCI Holdings Inc. since 2002. Before joining NCCI, Klingel was a leader with the St. Paul Cos. for more than 25 years. You can reach him at .