Well 2020 has been interesting hasn’t it?
We started this year with the total devastation of the worst bushfire catastrophe in my memory, with an implausible amount of our Aussie bush burnt to cinders, unfortunate deaths and livelihoods left in tatters for way too many. The stories were even further cemented with our own Marketing Manager Aiden going on assignment for a month as a long time Army Reservist to support down south. The remnants of the fires were still evident on my trip back from Moreton Island last week, hopefully something that isn’t to be repeated for some time.
Just as we thought it’d be safe to get out and explore again; along came our friend COVID. A “Once in 100 year pandemic” – this sentence keeps repeating itself in my mind. I vividly recall the day we had a suspected case in the building complex at our HQ in Western Sydney; the decision not to risk our staff and send everyone home, the mad scramble to get our technology right, the week or two when it wasn’t, then what became the “new normal”. Catching up with people on video calls, forgetting to remove myself from “mute” (I still have this issue) and all of the uncertainty around events, changes to schedules and to the way we did our everyday work.
Managing the business through it all was a real challenge at times. I am very proud to say that we were able to keep all of our staff (and put a few on!) during this difficult time; with our activity levels ramping up shortly after the initial dive. Like many 4X4 and off-road touring related organisations that I interact with regularly, despite the obvious challenges, it would seem there has been an upswing of more and more people getting involved in our hobby. And with such an amazing country to right under our nose, I’m not really that surprised.
Whilst we aren’t out of the woods, we survived it and I think we are all stronger for it. Those first few weeks of lockdown certainly gave me the time to appreciate the simpler things. A walk in the arvo with the kids, the importance of teachers and what they bring to our future generations, the challenge of not being able to see parents and grandmother as regularly as before, but more than anything the resilience of humanity. As a Sydneysider, there are specific challenges with the flare-ups around me, but I’m really hopefully that we can see an end to this distraction sooner than later.
In the meantime, we have had some opportunities to get out and about. We did have a quarterly team training and bonding camping trip out at our training partner Getabout’s lovely property at Marangaroo. Our new recruits got to have a wheel of our Ranger Raptor (which came back excessively muddy – the video footage was a sight for my own sore eyes!) and the Everest.
It also gave us some much needed face to face time which we had all sorely missed. Personally, I did more off-roading this year than I had done in a great while – a good team behind me meant I had countless trips out to Lithgow, a trip up north to Point Plommer, north west to the beautiful Warrumbungles National Park, down south to Green Cape, north again to Barrington Tops with Pat and his team and last week up to Moreton Island with The Offroad Adventure Show crew. I’ve really enjoyed shaking of the mall-crawler status of the Ranger Raptor – it did everything I’ve thrown at it with ease and at times fully loaded with our Track Trailer at up to 1.5t in tow. I’m a firm believer that you cannot relate to your customer unless you do what they do, so I’m really glad I was able to get out and about and indulge the passion more this year.
We started new relationships this year also, working with the teams at All4Adventure and 4WD24/7; there’s not many places a red-blooded 4wder will turn and not see us, especially over the Christmas period. We have also been busily working with our underwriter Hollard to plan out what will be a big year, with a few tasty product enhancements and new products to better service the needs of the off-road touring enthusiast.
One thing I am particularly proud of this year is our customer service. 18 months ago we made a significant investment to in-house our sales and service function and move our claims provider. I’m proud to say that in this time our Net Promoter Score (NPS) results have regularly been in the 70’s for claims and not far behind for policy service. What this means is that 70+% of claimants rate us either a 9 or a 10 out of 10 for various dimensions across the claims lifecycle; from timing, to repair quality and service. Those who have worked with this sort of customer satisfaction process will recognise how strong these numbers are; a credit to the teams who support our customers across policy and claims. Further to this, we have built a Google rating that many insurers would be envious of. When I last looked, I couldn’t find another insurance brand (many of them don’t even allow or publicise it) that had a Google score as high as ours. At the time of writing our score was 4.4 – a tremendous result by an amazing team that I am truly proud to work with.
But there’s no room to rest on laurels, there is always room to improve and we will continue to take your feedback as we grow.
I sincerely thank all of our loyal customers and followers, I couldn’t be more excited about 2021 and what it will bring.
From myself, my team and family, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year.
PS: See below our operating hours over the break!
Last day of trade: 24th December
Office closed: 25th- 28th December
Return to Office: 29th December
Office closed 1st January
Office open 2nd Jan