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J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Farmers Insurance Recognized for Call Center Customer Satisfaction Excellence for a Third Consecutive Year

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 General News J E 4
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WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Dec. 18 Farmers InsuranceGroup's HelpPoint claims center has been recognized for call center operationcustomer satisfaction for a third consecutive year under the J.D. Power andAssociates Certified Call Center Program.(SM) This distinction acknowledges astrong commitment from Farmers' HelpPoint claims call center operations toprovide "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience."

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050527/LAF028LOGO-a)

"Meeting the needs of customers is critical in running a successful callcenter operation, and the fact that Farmers' HelpPoint has passed the rigorousstandards to achieve certification for a third year in a row clearlydemonstrates their commitment to customer satisfaction," said JonathanBrookner, director of the call center certification program at J.D. Power andAssociates. "Customers of Farmer's HelpPoint are particularly satisfied withthe courteousness and concern exhibited by the call center representatives."

To become certified, the call center operations in Olathe, Kan., OklahomaCity, Okla., and Caledonia, Mich., successfully passed a detailed audit oftheir recruiting, training, employee incentives, management roles andresponsibilities, and quality assurance capabilities. As part of itsevaluation, J.D. Power and Associates conducted a random survey of FarmersInsurance claims customers who recently contacted HelpPoint to report a newclaim. HelpPoint handles more 5 million customer calls per year.

For certification status, a call center must also perform within the top20 percent of customer service, which is based on benchmarks established inJ.D. Power and Associates' cross-industry customer satisfaction research. Thecriteria used include evaluation of: courtesy; knowledge; concern for thecustomer; usefulness of the information provided; convenience of operatinghours; ease of reaching a representative; and timely resolution.

"By passing the rigorous standards of the certification process, Farmers'HelpPoint demonstrates a strong commitment to providing customers with aconsistent, positive experience with its claims call center," said VinceDonofrio, vice president of Farmers HelpPoint Operations. "Farmers' HelpPointhas created a highly customer-focused culture that stresses the importance ofmeeting customer needs."

The Call Center Certification Program was launched by J.D. Power andAssociates in 2004 to evaluate overall customer satisfaction with call centersand to help call centers in various industries increase their efficiency andeffectiveness by establishing best practices for handling service calls.

There are more than 75,000 call centers in North America and an estimated125,000 worldwide that help customers with product and service questionsacross a multitude of industries, ranging from credit cards, financialservices, investment services, utilities, service warranty and insurance totelecommunications, healthcare and office products.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is anISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating inkey business sectors including market research, forecasting, performanceimprovement, training and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality andsatisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumersannually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance,health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D.Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading globalinformation services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financialservices, education and business information markets through leading brandssuch as Stand
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