“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
Tom Raffio, President & CEO of Northeast Delta Dental and his incredible team of nearly 200 customer driven employees have once again pulled off an incredible year of revenue growth and market share improvements in a competitive dental health care insurance market. They administer dental benefits to more than 750,000 individuals and families and companies of all sizes in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The total population of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont is roughly 3.2 million. Northeast Delta Dental was selected as one of the Best Small Companies to Work for in America in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
In 1996 Raffio introduced the Guarantee Of Service ExcellenceSM (GOSE) program at Northeast Delta Dental. He had been instrumental in its launch in 1990 at Delta Dental of Massachusetts where the results were incredible. You can see the results for 2013 and previous years at: http://www.customer-service.com/deltadental
They are committed to providing exceptional service to their customers. To emphasize their commitment they guarantee results with significant financial refunds if they fail in any area. Customers and Northeast Delta Dental identified seven critical issues they felt must be delivered flawlessly every time. You can download the guarantee at http://www.customer-service.com/deltadental.
To help you understand let’s look at Guarantee #1. If you are a new customer and your transition to Northeast Delta Dental is not completely smooth, they will return up to one month’s administration fee. The customer determines if their transition is totally smooth (in 2013 they refunded $3,837).
No bureaucratic insurance company is willing to put hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line when the decision of whether a conversion is smooth is completely at the discretion of the customer.
The purpose of this blog is to share service strategy ideas you can use in your organization to dominate the market. Since the inception of GOSE, Northeast Delta Dental’s market share has increased from 20 percent in their three states to 60 percent in Maine, and 75 percent in both New Hampshire and Vermont.
Their average retention rate is 97 to 99 percent. The average industry rate is 80 percent. Northeast Delta Dental is a non-profit organization. Its reserves have grown from $8.5 million in 1995 when they introduced GOSE to $95 million now.
NO COMPETITOR HAS EVER COPIED THEM. The service strategy is the most powerful tool you can use to dominate the market and crush your competition. Only two firms in the world use a similar service guarantee.
I would like to see more companies create their own future like Tom Raffio has done with Northeast Delta Dental. When Raffio took over in 1995 there were 75 employees and they have grown from 301,000 covered people in northern New England to more than 750,000 in 2013. He also authored an incredible book last year titled There Are No Do-Overs: The Big Red Factors For Sustaining a Business Long Term. Every reader of this newsletter should pick up a copy if you want to learn the secrets of Northeast Delta Dental’s success.