The following media statement was provided to The Press on 27th November 2015, in response to questions about the findings of a survey conducted in 2014.

Our response to The Press was as follows:

“Southern Response is committed to working with our customers to settle their claims and get them back into safe, quality homes. Our job is to support our customers to arrive at a settlement option so they can get on with their lives.  To date, more than 25,000 customers have settled their claim with us.

“It is no secret that we have carried out a number of customer surveys since we were established four years ago to help us improve our communication and processes and to better support our customers’ claims. 

“In September 2014, we undertook a broad customer survey to look at our customers’ experiences with Southern Response and Arrow in the context of their perceptions about the wider recovery in Canterbury.

 “It’s an unusual position and, unlike insurance companies, Southern Response does not have any single similar entity in New Zealand to benchmark against.  In the September 2014 survey, we therefore looked to assess ourselves against the customer experiences of a number of different organisations across all parts of the delivery chain affecting our customers.  Out of this data we looked at areas for improvement, who we could work closer with and at gaining a better understanding of how the overall rebuild is affecting people’s attitudes.

“The results cannot be seen as representative of the wider community’s views; it was a small sample and intended as part of our processes for improving services and communication to customers.

“IPSOS notes that creating cluster groups based on attitudinal statements is common practice in research.

“In this instance, the categories were implemented to enable us to define broad groups of customer types and their typical thoughts and needs during the claim settlement process. Their attitudinal statements help us to create another layer of understanding of them, giving Southern Response the opportunity to understand their mindset and tailor services and initiatives appropriately,” said the spokesperson from IPSOS.

 “The results of our September 2014 survey categorised responses into common themes. The areas identified as needing work in this survey included:

  • Communicating more regularly to customers and better tailoring of that communication
  • Providing realistic time estimates for each stage of the process, to the extent possible
  • Providing the right level of information to help them through the claim settlement process.

“After getting this feedback, we implemented various initiatives and evolved a number of processes and a subsequent survey, in May 2015, looked at how much we had evolved. It was heartening to see evidence of improved perceptions of Southern Response, along with a higher rating for the overall experience customers had during their claim process.

“In a more comprehensive survey conducted earlier this month, Southern Response has evidence that more than 75 percent of the customers who elected to settle their claim via a cash settlement in the past 12 months felt they received a fair deal; and 40 percent said their perception of Southern Response improved as a result of their claim settlement experience.

“It is unfortunate that the 14-month-old September 2014 survey is being taken out of context and presented in a way that promotes an inaccurate reading of the results."  

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