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Direct Line: ensuring user satisfaction & revenues

With more than a million policy holders, Direct Line is one of the largest online car insurance companies in Italy. In 1985 it was Europe’s pioneer of direct purchase of insurance policies by phone. Today, Direct Line sees its online presence as the natural continuation of its earlier activity. Direct Line is part of the MAPFE group, a leader in the Spanish and Latin American markets, and a European top 10 insurer in terms of collection of premiums.

Web monitoring to deliver a satisfying web experience

Direct Line is committed to providing its potential and existing customers with first-rate service and competitive rates via its web site. In fact, the insurer’s web site is its first point of contact with its clientele. It offers a variety of services related to insurance policies and coverage.  People can connect to the insurer’s site, for instance, to check rates on car and motorcycle insurance, cancel a policy, declare a change of address for home insurance and personal coverage, make an appointment to have a windshield repaired, and learn more about tax deductions.

Because its web site is such an important sales tool, Direct Line seeks to offer visitors a comfortable web experience and efficient online services, in keeping with its policy of customer satisfaction. To make sure that it does, the IT department decided to implement Datametrie from ip-label. A measurement point was set up in Rome for monitoring response times and availability. Datametrie conducts a variety of tests (HP, WSDL, etc.) on the insurer’s website every 5 to 15 minutes, including a web site navigation scenario which follows a user path for obtaining a quotation on line.

One of the main reasons that the insurer decided to implement Datametrie GX is not just that it operates around the clock and issues instantaneous alerts (e-mail, voice, text message). For Direct Line, the decisive feature of Datametrie is that it allows technical teams to drill down to an incident.
It was not enough for IT staff to be made aware of problems; their aim is to be able to identify trouble spots and fix them speedily. Datametrie detects incidents and alerts on-call staff so that they can intervene without delay.

“ip-label pays great attention to our satisfaction with regular contacts and product updates. Datametrie enables us to improve user experience…its ability to detect the origin of incidents is especially appreciated”. Dario De Paoli, IT Production Services Supervisor

Proactively monitoring B2B web services

In terms of the company’s business, Datametrie GX plays an important part in helping to ensure revenues. As is true for insurance companies in general, aggregators – sites which compare insurance schemes – account for a very significant part of Direct Line’s business. These comparison tools generate leads for insurers, and results are important for maintaining competitive rates. Inversely, insurers have to make sure their information is distributed correctly so that aggregators can do their job. The web services involved, therefore, must be monitored – a task Direct Line relies on Datametrie to perform.

Internal reporting and communication

The drive to provide a smooth web experience for customers and ensure revenues by checking up on aggregators are two of the reasons why Direct Line selected Datametrie GX. A third major reason is internal demands. The IT department at Direct Line must fulfill a number of reporting and accountability requirements with respect to web site operation. Availability and response time targets are set once a year in an SLA, and IT must supply a report to the CIO and management every month.

The Datametrie console conveys information that speaks to technical teams, as well as KPIs with a direct bearing on business. The ip-label reporting tool gives the IT people what they need to report on their activity and results, and dialogue with business managers and executives on a monthly basis. Direct Line is satisfied because Datametrie GX dashboards are an efficient, effective way of communicating internally.

Future projects

Because his team uses Datametrie GX dashboards so regularly, Dario De Paoli explains that they are considering expanding to ip label’s Dataviz solution.

“We are looking at Dataviz for customized reports. It will be interesting to merge ip-label data with data from other tools, like Google Analytics, for instance. The portal overview will be great for communicating with our management,” says Dario De Paoli.