Sharing is caring – why businesses should talk to each other


Justine Burn

Head of Distribution and Business Systems, AA Insurance

At AA Insurance we’re all about learning and sharing ideas. In the past, we’ve mainly kept this in-house, but just recently we hosted 50 fellow Contact Centre leaders from around New Zealand, and across various industries, to see what we do.

How did this come about? Well, in one of my previous blogs I spoke about AA Insurance being named Supreme Award winner at last year’s CRM Contact Centre Awards. One of our responsibilities was to host some of the major conference attendees before this year’s winners were announced.

The intention of the visit was to share our operations, our insights from taking part in the awards and the audit process, as well as show why we’re a great place to work and deliver a fantastic service experience to our customers. * It’s about giving back to the industry, which helped us with some of our own actionable insights throughout the awards process.

Last year, our Contact Centre Manager had the pleasure of visiting the Qantas and Auckland Transport Contact Centres, and enjoyed observing the differences in layout of each centre, understanding their call volumes and team structures and learning more about how they focus on their customer service experience across various channels. 

While we haven’t entered this year – due to cost and time restraints - it’s still important we continue to learn from others, as well as share our learnings, so we can stay relevant in today’s work environment. And by others, I mean other businesses as well as our own staff.

Our staff are literally our eyes and ears when it comes to our customers, because they speak with them every day. So, we listen to our staff to support them to better help our customers. One way we gauge our effectiveness is through the results of the IBM Kenexa Best Workplaces survey, and the many feedback sessions and forums set up throughout the company. The staff engagement survey may happen once a year but the feedback, discussion, learning and improvements continue throughout the year - in teams, areas and across functions.

Some of the feedback and discussion with my own team has led to some great outcomes for all. We’ve started a number of initiatives specifically for learning and sharing. Keep/Stop/Start sessions delve into the issues or areas for improvement that are actionable and constructive, while Knowledge Hour sessions help fill any knowledge gaps for staff, who are learning more about different areas of the company to help them in the role. These types of initiatives are invaluable for our staff, which in turn pays off with exceptional service for our customers.

It’s great to see the discussion, brainstorming, idea generation, constructive feedback and continuous improvement flowing throughout AA Insurance, from staff as well as those from other companies. This type of two-way conversation is what keeps us fresh, always looking for a competitive edge, drives us to improvement and keeps us all learning.  Without it we’d become static and stale because, in the words of Henry Ford, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got”.


*AA Insurance just been named one of New Zealand’s top companies for ‘most enchanting’ customer experience, alongside trusted brands ANZ and Air New Zealand.


About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 800+ staff look after 440,000 customers with nearly 880,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Eden Park, support youth charity Blue Light, and have been consistently recognised by: Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands (10 consecutive years since 2011) and Quality Service Award for Car Insurance (since 2015), Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers (2013-2018), and the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015) that recognises New Zealand’s most successful companies. Last year, AA Insurance was also named Consumer’s 2019 People’s Choice award winner for car, home and contents.

AA Insurance has an A+ (Strong) Insurer Financial Strength Rating given by Standard and Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd. For further information visit

For more information please contact:

Nicole Steven, Botica Butler Raudon Partners, (09) 303 3862, 021 025 31886 or email

Amanda Fifield, AA Insurance Limited, 027 406 1787 or email

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