Activities with Customers
Guided by our corporate vision and corporate philosophy, the Sony Financial Group is seeking to become the most highly trusted financial services group in Japan.
Utilizing Customer Feedback
Sony Financial Group companies have in place a framework under which feedback received from each company's customers on a daily basis is compiled and analyzed by divisions in charge of promoting customer satisfaction and raising quality. This feedback is reported to management and used to make recommendations on operational improvements and product and service enhancements. As a result of this approach, the Sony Financial Group's three businesses —life insurance, non-life insurance, and banking— have received high appraisals in customer satisfaction surveys conducted by outside institutions and the media.
Sony Life conducts annual customer awareness surveys by post, and in fiscal 2016 received valuable feedback from 5,757 policyholders. Since fiscal 2013, the company has been conducting telephone customer satisfaction surveys for Lifeplanner channel policyholders and is able to assess customer satisfaction
levels in such areas as frequency of visits, provision of information on new products and services, and speed of responses.
Sony Life analyzes feedback from customers and formulates specific improvement measures and plans, which it shares with various internal departments in an effort to improve services.
Shorter Wait Time for Payment of Insurance Claims and Benefits
In November 2016, Sony Life debuted an immediate remittance system and shortened the payment period for insurance claims and benefits. Previously, payments for insurance claims and benefits were made the day after the necessary procedures had been completed. With the new system, however, insurance claims and benefits for which procedures were completed within a certain timeframe will be paid—remitted—on the same day that procedures were completed. Through changes, particularly to this system and workflow, the time from receipt of documentation to payment for around 50% of insurance claims and benefits has been shortened by a day.
Launch of Industry’s First Benefit Claims Support Tool on Website
To address the needs of customers who simply want to find out how much they would be eligible for in the event of hospitalization or surgery, in March 2017 Sony Life launched a benefit claims support tool on its website that enables customers to get a rough estimate of benefits for hospitalization and surgery.
Introduction of Life Insurance Trusts through Lifeplanner Sales Employees
Responding to feedback from customers with concerns about the ability of beneficiaries and guardians to properly utilize death benefits upon the policyholder’s death as well as requests for advice from heirs, Sony Life began handling products, including life insurance trusts, from Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited, through its Lifeplanner sales employees. Through this tie-up, Sony Life will be able to meet a wider array of customer needs and offer a greater range of services.
Leveraging its unique advantage as an insurer that communicates directly with customers, Sony Assurance listens closely to its customers and strives to imporove services as required and provides updates on specific improvement measures via its website. In addition, customer feedback is centrally managed, compiled, and analyzed on a monthly basis by the Customer Response Service Department. Feedback is reported to management every quarter, and in particularly important cases, detailed reports are made on the causes of incidents and countermeasures are recommended as necessary. The feedback is also passed on to relevant departments, along with instructions on improvements and other matters. Based on this feedback, the company encourages daily efforts to enhance services and provide services of higher quality in meeting the needs of its customers. This commitment has earned Sony Assurance a solid reputation in customer satisfaction surveys conducted by third parties.
Approach Using SMS—For Easier-to-Understand, More Convenient Communication
Sony Assurance initiated an approach that takes the information collected from customers over the phone to build a quote and makes it accessible online so that customers do not have to go through the hassle of reinputting information already given at the time of phone inquiry. In conjunction, for customers with smartphones, the company uses a short message service (SMS) for sending texts to the URL of a customer-only gateway—the quote confirmation page—on its website. The company is working to simplify the online quote-checking process through the use of SMS.
Through this approach, the number of inquiries regarding access to the quote confirmation page has declined, indicating that Sony Assurance has been able to make the process easier to understand. Given this result, the company began using SMS for other services as well, including procedures for changing the vehicle covered under the policy. Going forward, the company will continue its efforts to provide even better services.
Heeding the feedback from customers, and to provide even better products and services, Sony Bank reviews the comments and requests from customers and strives to make improvements. Specific feedback and related details are made available on the Voice of Customer webpage of Sony Bank's website. Reflecting its efforts to improve services based on customer feedback, in fiscal 2016 Sony Bank was awarded a five star certification, with recognition in the inquiry desk and web support portal categories of the Five Star Certification Program administrated by HDI-Japan.
Enhanced Sony Bank WALLET Service—Enabling Payments through Foreign Currency Deposits for Teenagers
As Sony Bank’s foreign currency deposits were initially targeted at customers of ages 20 and above, so was the Sony Bank WALLET service to pay for purchases through foreign currencies. However, as the cash card enables easy local-currency withdrawals at overseas ATMs and, unlike a credit card, cannot be used for purchases exceeding the account balance, the Sony Bank WALLET service was sought after by customers who wanted this service available for their children when studying or traveling abroad. Accordingly, in November 2016 Sony Bank made some foreign-currency transactions available to children of ages 15 and above, thus enhancing the convenience of Sony Bank WALLET. The opinions of customers are much appreciated by Sony Bank, and the company will continue to strive to provide services fine-tuned to the increasingly diverse financial needs of its customers.
Reflecting Customer Feedback in Business
In recent years, customers of Sony Financial Group companies have often asked for advice regarding nursing care and health care in later life. In November 2013, the Sony Financial Group added the nursing care business to its business portfolio, seeking to evolve into a corporate group that follows customers through all stages of life and provide the basis for living comfortably, with dignity and peace of mind.