Three stakeholder groups are at the core of our business: customers, employees and agency owners. This section of the report describes our overall approach to engaging with these core audiences within the context of Allstate’s corporate responsibility initiatives.
We make a conscious choice to lead by serving our stakeholders. Our position in multiple customer segments, insurance products, geographies and investments enables us to fulfill our short- and long-term commitments to our shareholders, customers, agency owners, employees and communities.
By taking this approach, we give customers the power to protect their loved ones from risk and prepare for the future. We provide agency owners and financial specialists with opportunities to build trusted relationships with customers. We provide our employees with knowledge and training to help them work with purpose and perform at their peak. And we continually adapt this support based on active engagement with all of our stakeholders.
Please send correspondence, comments and questions regarding this report to: CorporateResponsibilityFeedback@allstate.com.
Constantly Seeking Feedback, Adapting to Changing Needs
We care enough not to guess about what our customers and other stakeholders need and what they expect from us. We ask and we engage. We continually survey our stakeholders to learn what we are doing right and where we can improve—and we use the results to drive and shape our business strategy. Here are some things we learned in 2014:
- Customers told us that the No. 1 driver of their satisfaction with Allstate was a trusted relationship with their agency owner. As a result, we focused on increasing customers’ contact with and support received from their Allstate agency—not just when they buy a policy or file a claim, but on a regular basis, at every phase of their lives.
- Allstate employees are, overall, very satisfied with their work environment, their leaders and their ability to do the right thing for customers. However, we also know employees serve customers best when the employees are healthy and feel good about their careers and financial security. Consequently, we’ve designed a comprehensive suite of physical and financial wellness programs, career development opportunities and other initiatives to help them perform at their best and be the best possible resource for customers.
- Our surveys tell us that agency owners can have their greatest impact on customer satisfaction by providing quality service and customized advice. Their knowledge of insurance products and services, familiarity with local markets, and hands-on, local presence make them an invaluable resource to customers. We support them through providing comprehensive education and technological resources, like eAgent, a cloud-based relationship management system that makes it easy to access customer data and provide solutions anywhere there’s an Internet connection.
Fresh Ideas from Outside Our Company
We continue to engage NGO representatives, investors, opinion leaders and policymakers, as well as Allstate employees and agency owners, in our stakeholder panel to evaluate our progress and identify new challenges in sustainability.
In April of this year, we organized a stakeholder-engagement panel discussion with Ceres, a leading nonprofit organization advocating for sustainability leadership. Representatives from nonprofit organizations, consumer groups, investors, sustainability experts and select peer corporations participated in that discussion. We asked them all to candidly assess our corporate responsibility program’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. The conversation surfaced important recommendations in several areas:
Climate Change: The session kicked off with an in-depth discussion centered around Allstate’s climate change statement, with very positive reactions to its 2014 release and significance. Stakeholders asked Allstate to demonstrate greater leadership in raising awareness about climate change, while drawing a more direct connection between climate change mitigation and benefits to our business. They recommended that we articulate more clearly how climate change affects our risk management strategy and more fully integrate its impacts into our enterprise risk management approach.
Social Impact: Stakeholders recommended that Allstate more closely integrate our community engagement with the larger causes we support. An example was provided whereby a connection could be made between domestic violence and Allstate’s social impact work in financial empowerment, with a greater emphasis on supporting women in the workforce.
Materiality: Stakeholders requested more information about what Allstate is doing to safeguard data privacy, and recommended we address this topic in more detail as a material issue.
Overall, this feedback was immensely helpful, especially as we consider enhancements to crucial aspects of our reporting strategy, such as the development of our approach to managing climate risk and broadening our diversity programs.
Insight into Our Corporate Reputation
For the past five years, we’ve worked with Reputation Institute, a leading research and advisory firm focused on corporate reputation, to measure our reputation among specific stakeholder groups using our proprietary metric, the Allstate Reputation Scorecard. Allstate’s reputation research, verified by this third-party source, gives voice to more than 8,000 consumers, customers, employees, agency owners and financial specialists, investors, policymakers and opinion leaders each year. It helps us track the health and effectiveness of our relationships with stakeholders, provides an ongoing understanding of what’s expected of us and measures the impact of reputation on our business results.
In 2014, we continued to earn solid scores from our stakeholders, with an overall score of 74, which is in the “strong” range. This was two points ahead of the previous year’s score and is the highest score to date.
Corporate reputation scores are measured on a scale of 0–100, corresponding to the following ratings:
Our improved reputation reflects more favorable perceptions of the company’s performance in several areas. We were also pleased to note that:
- Most customers are satisfied with their policies, and 94 percent feel that Allstate at least somewhat delivers on its Customer value Proposition.
- Firsthand exposure to agency owners through local events and volunteerism positively influences customers’ perceptions of Allstate’s community involvement. However, we have work to do in this area. About 69 percent of our customers are not sure whether Allstate is involved in their community.
Understanding what’s important to each of our stakeholders enables us to focus our efforts and tailor our products, services and communications more effectively.
Guidance from Agency Owners and Senior Leaders
The National Advisory Board and the Agency Executive Council both provide a forum for company leaders, agency owners and financial specialists to address business issues and work together to develop solutions to improve the agency business opportunity and best deliver the customer value proposition. The National Advisory Board brings together company leaders and a cross section of Allstate agency owners and financial specialists from around the country to address national business issues and develop solutions. The Agency Executive Council gathers approximately 20 of Allstate’s most successful agency owners and financial specialists to discuss business decisions and strategies for improved customer service and business growth.
These two organizations provide valuable perspective, and help develop actionable solutions for company and agency success by:
- Voicing opinions from agency owners and financial specialists across the country on key issues
- Suggesting and exploring ideas, and providing agency owners’ points of view on the company’s strategic direction
- Influencing the way Allstate’s business decisions affect agencies and customers
- Supporting an environment of mutual trust and respect between company leadership and agency owners and financial specialists
We use a similar structure to support agency owner and financial specialist engagement within each of Allstate’s 13 regional offices and Allstate New Jersey in the U.S., and within Allstate Canada. Regional advisory boards typically include agency owners and financial specialists from the National Advisory Board, as well as others who can speak to the interests and concerns of fellow agency owners and financial specialists in their regions. The boards communicate directly with Allstate’s field senior vice presidents and their leadership teams to provide regular feedback, raise issues and collaborate on key initiatives.