Executive Interview: Barry Shrosbree, Senior Manager: 1Life

We spoke to Barry Shrosbree Senior Manager in charge of external call centre partnerships at 1Life to share some leadership wisdom with us.

1. 1Life provides life insurance products for distribution through external call centre partners. What are the drivers that can make this model a viable solution for external call centres and what are the major strengths of 1Life’s product offering?

Our strength in part, lies in the ease of doing business with 1Life. Our products are easy to understand and there exists an easy integration with partners, enabling quick setup solutions. There is then also the simplicity of our sales journey, our impeccable claims history and our ability to adapt and evolve.

In addition, we have a strong credible brand in the market.  We are an industry leader in customer experience as per the recent SACSI results, with an 81% satisfaction rate. Our commercial model is then also aimed at being a win-win, with the view of helping our call centre partners do business in a commercially viable way, taking care of their interests as well as that of the consumer

2. What do you anticipate will be high growth areas for call centres who join your stable?

1Life has spent a significant amount of time, energy and resources building a strong brand. Partners who join our stable inherently benefit from the brand effect with great opportunity to scale up their life and funeral business. In addition, our 4IR readiness allows for any contact centre to digitalise their operation, opening-up more opportunities. Any contact centre with the urgency to align to new technology and diversify, will benefit from a partnership with 1Life.

3. What do you consider are your major challenges in gaining significant traction for 1LIfe in the contact centre marketplace?

The main aspect is partnering with companies who have the compatible aspirations and values and have our best interest at heart. Being aligned, certainly is the golden ticket.

4. What functionality are you finding most important to your users?

It has to be the ease of integration and concluding business safely, easily and speedily, combined with the simplicity of our sales process and system, as there is no additional system integration required.

5. What type of business environment do you expect over the next twelve months?

We’re optimistic about economic improvements to come over the next 12 months on the back of really tough conditions recently experienced industry wide in light of COVID.  Many market participants will still be in recovery mode and rebuilding, but from a call centre perspective we can definitely see the improvements.

6. If a user had to select one solution among the various alternatives, why should they select 1Life?

1Life is an innovative and digitally receptive company.  To partner with us means you are joining hands with an established brand that is well-liked in the market and completely consumer focused. We have great resources at our disposal and we offer easy to deploy solutions.  Most importantly, we are a partner interested in the success of your business.

7. Has the sales cycle changed in the last twelve months?  If so, how?

I wouldn’t say the sales cycle in the call centre space has changed as such, however the dynamics of the environment has evolved. With POPIA in play, there is a greater responsibility on businesses to ensure they adhere to the requirements set out in the act. This will have put additional focus on ensuring that data sources, campaigns etcetera, are all above board.

Consumers have also been bombarded from every corner with a plethora of offerings. So now, more than ever, it’s crucial to engage and add value to clients with solid offerings and great service.

8. What do you believe are the greatest challenges that contact centres face in today’s environment?

Quality of data, financially constrained consumers and consumers who have been overwhelmed by offerings, resulting in confusion and even frustration.  So, it is important to offer products or services of value and partner with the right people.

9. What is your vision regarding the trends for the future of the industry?

We’ll likely see more movement towards digital enablement and advancements. Also, additional steps to protect clients in product acceptance, technological advancements for authentication and hybrid types of approaches to client engagement which is already making its way into the industry.  Basically, I see change and a constantly evolving milieu.