When government reform pushed this Belgian child-benefit fund into an open market, Parentia found itself in a competitive, customer-centric market instead of an industry that was simply paying out child benefits.
“Customer service has always been a priority. We want to be a partner for parents so they can spend time doing what matters to them: raising their children.” Bart De Bock, product manager at Parentia
In an effort to further improve customer service, Parentia decided to invest in digital. They updated their website and created a portal where customers could manage their file. But when COVID-19 forced offices to close and employees to work from home, Parentia quickly realized they needed to restructure even their essential client services.
“Before Pexip Engage, people called us or came to our offices, but we didn’t make appointments. Sometimes five people would wait in line; at other times, our employees had nobody to assist,” De Bock said.
COVID-19 changed all of that. “Our physical offices were closed, and employees had to work from home. They remained contactable by phone for customers, but they couldn’t reach us in person anymore.”
It was a problem since not everyone has access to digital. However, instead of losing heart, Parentia used the time to implement a digital scheduling system for May 18th, the day when their offices could partially reopen.
Ten days before the reopening, Parentia signed on with Pexip Engage. By the time offices reopened, customers could book appointments on the website, or call Parentia to make one. “There are still people who don’t have access to digital channels, and the lockdown meant that those people weren’t able to access our services. Pexip Engage created greater accessibility for these customers: they can now book an appointment over the phone.”
"Pexip Engage managed to swoop in during an international crisis with a feasible solution, and they implemented it in record time. They have helped us transform our customer-facing function, giving us a preeminent edge against our competitors. - Bart De Bock, Product Manager, Parentia
Pexip Engage also set up a callback system so Parentia could pre-screen customers to see if an in-person appointment was truly necessary. “Some problems we can solve by phone, meaning people don’t need to travel. It’s helped us manage the flow of people who come into our offices, heightening safety for everyone.”
Parentia plans to expand its digital offering with a video-chat service and a chatbot to help employees advise customers in new ways. The goal is to position Parentia as the digital leader among child-benefit funds without losing face-to-face services.
Change can be difficult, but if the past relationship between Pexip Engage and Parentia is any indication, Parentia’s staff will have no trouble adapting to future digitization. “Questions were addressed promptly by Pexip Engage’s excellent team, meaning we prevented frustrations from bubbling up. It was a big change, but we all felt supported throughout the process,” De Bock said.
“Our employees started seeing the useful side of the system very quickly. They realised that they could help our customers over the phone rather than just face-to-face. The system has received an extremely positive response, and it has helped us bounce back from the lockdown to provide our services in a safe, responsible, and personal manner.”
Pexip Engage’s system has helped us manage the flow of people who come into our offices, heightening safety for everyone.