Introduction Allstate Insurance Company is considering offering customers the ability to submit claims information online that will automatically generate claims estimates. Marketing is important to Allstate because it will allow the company to conduct research that will produce data useful for management in determining whether this is a profitable expansion of service that will deliver additional customer satisfaction and ensure customer loyalty. Offering new products and services not currently available is an ideal way to generate new business as well as retain existing customers. Before any new products should be released a comprehensive business plan needs to be created. A business plan will help in the decision about what product or service to offer and the ways to collect and analyze data. A comprehensive marketing plan needs to include an overview of a company and its goals, a comprehensive description of the product, an understanding of how marketing is important, comprehensive SWOT analysis, development of marketing strategies, segmentation criteria, what the target market is and a description of their purchasing decision factors, understanding of the competitive landscape, product attributes and positioning strategy, price, place, and promotion strategies, as well as a way to evaluate the plan.
An overview of the existing organization
Allstate Insurance is one of the largest providers of homeowner’s insurance (Suite 101, 2009). Being such a large provider of consumer protection takes hard work and dedication from every individual in the company to provide consumers with the highest level of customer service. The claims department of Allstate has some of the most critical interaction with the consumers because it is during a time of need. Consumers contact the claims department when they have suffered a loss to establish a claim. The claims adjuster has the responsibility of obtaining claim pertinent information from the consumer to effectively evaluate the loss. At Allstate Insurance claims departments are separated according to customer needs. Large claims offices known as Market Claim Offices, MCO, are strategically located to provide adequate coverage of the nation. A Market Claim Office may preside over a few states or an individual state depending on claim volume and consumer coverage. Allstate has specialized offices that handle claims for the entire nation but only if they meet certain criteria. The Hudson Express Office out of Hudson, Ohio is an office with a focus on handling claims with a reduced cycle time or the time from claim submission to claim settlement. To meet this reduced cycle time the Hudson Express Office only handles smaller claims with a total loss under $10,000. Everything within the Hudson Express Office is completed in-house with no need for outside adjusters. A challenge area that arises because there are no outside adjusters is efficiently writing an estimate for the structure damages arising from a loss.
Description of the new product of service
Shortened claim cycle time ultimately results in higher customer satisfaction because the consumer can resume life as usual sooner rather than later. Allstate Insurance has implemented a new web-based customer service center to allow consumers to provide claim pertinent information via their computer through the use of the customer website. Consumers are able to enter file notes into the claim as well as submit a list of stolen or damaged items through the customer website that are instantly attached to the claim. An opportunity area for decreased cycle time is with regard to property estimates. An in house estimating system is utilized by inside adjusters to create a preliminary damage estimate. For smaller less complicated damage areas a web based estimating system would allow consumers to generate their own estimates. A simple web page can include multiple selections for damage areas including fences,