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Question of the Day
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17 Point of Quality with Review Criteria

17 Points of Quality
with ALL Review Criteria




Satisfying customers through meeting their requirements and value expectations is the primary task of every employee.

1.1    Customer Requirements

  • Determining and communicating current requirements and value expectations
  • Addressing future requirements and value expectations
  • Providing service enhancements to customers
  • Updating customer requirements and promptly communicating them

1.2    Voice of Customer

  • Determining customer satisfaction.
  • Comparing customer satisfaction results to competition.
  • Improving customer satisfaction.
  • Gathering and using all sources of customer feedback
1.3    Customer Service Model
  • Interacting with customers to maximize agreements
  • Keeping all employees aware of customers and their needs
  • Providing customer commitments and guarantees
  • Responding to customers in a respectful, thorough and timely manners

1.4    Reliability

  • Monitoring satisfaction with products and services during customer use
  • Responding to customer needs during use of products and services
  • Informing customers of new or improved products and services
  • Knowing and addressing customers’ intended and potential uses of products and service

Verbal and nonverbal communications throughout all parts of the Agency are two-way, clear, timely, consistent and forceful.

2.1    Communication of Mission, Strategies, Policies, Initiatives and Expectations
  • Communicating by management and understanding by all employees
  • Planning communications to address needs
  • Integrating communications with business initiatives
  • Reinforcing key messages

2.2    Upward Communications

  • Establishing two-way communications as the cultural norm
  • Providing mechanism for communicating ideas, questions and feedback
  • Sharing results of actions resulting from upward communications

2.3    Action versus words

  • Supporting verbal communications with actions, behaviors and nonverbal signals
  • Acting in accordance with expressed beliefs and expectations

Management establishes mission, vision and values for the Agency and leads the initiative to set direction and align everyone in pursuit of them.

3.1    Mission/Vision Statement

  • Defining, Documenting and communication the mission and vision
  • Reinforcing mission and vision in context with Agency activities
  • Assessing progress toward missions and vision

3.2    Supporting Visions

  • Cascading visions at Agency levels that fit with and support the top level vision or adoption of the top level vision at other levels
  • Using vision to guide key decision making

3.3    Agency Values and Beliefs

  • Establishing values and beliefs that define desired culture attributes
  • Communicating, understanding and applying values and beliefs

Planning at all levels of the Agency keeps everyone focused on its vision, goals and strategies and provides a framework for achieving desired results.

4.1    Strategic Planning

  • Evolving from vision, goals and customer needs
  • Identifying and addressing performance issues
  • Maintaining dynamic strategic planning that responds to changing conditions

4.2    Tactical Planning

  • Translating strategic planning into functional objectives and tactics
  • Monitoring planning effectiveness and feeding information back to enhance plans and the planning process

4.3    Agency Planning

  • Anticipating changes in people and business needs
  • Enhancing structure effectiveness and people capabilities to respond to changing business conditions
  • Identifying and planning for environmental, health and safety requirements and issues

Financial and business improvement results meet objectives, show positive trends and substantiate Agency success.

5.1    Financial Results

  • Achieving planned financial performance targets
  • Maintaining positive trends in key financial performance indicators
  • Using financial results to achieve staff ownership and motivation for agency success

5.2    Business Improvement Results

  • Achieving non-financial business improvement goals
  • Improving non-financial measures that are contributing to ongoing business success
  • Using non-financial business improvement results to achieve staff ownership and motivation for Agency success

5.3    Operational Metrics

  • Establishing standard/consistent measures
  • Using measures to drive improvement
  • Improving trends that are meeting targeted objectives
  • Reevaluating objectives when exceeded

Employees are selected using criteria that promotes the needs and expectations of the Agency both in the short term and the long term.

6.1   Strategic Human Resource Needs
  • Translating overall requirements from strategic and tactical planning to specific human resource plans
  • Considering expected or planned changes in demographics of the work force

6.2    Human Resource Selection

  • Ensuring a balance of technical knowledge and people skills
  • Encouraging diversity of backgrounds in selected personnel

6.3    New Employee Orientation

  • Providing new employees with orientation that familiarizes them with the operating philosophies and practices of the Agency
  • Training new employees in the key aspects of the Agency and their role in it

People are recognized as key strategic resources. Development opportunities are provided to assure that each employee understands, supports and contributes to achieving Agency success.

7.1    Development Process

  • Using education and training as a key vehicle in building Agency and individual capabilities
  • Developing all employees as key strategic resources
  • Seeing employees as a major source of competitive advantage
  •  Emphasizing career development
  • Establishing a formal development process

7.2    Needs Assessment/Training Programs

  • Assessing development and training needs
  • Using needs to plan training and development activities
  • Reviewing needs assessment regularly and updating as appropriate
  • Providing sufficient training techniques and job skills for success in job assignments
  • Provide cross training to broaden employee knowledge and competencies

7.3    Performance Metrics

  • Stating goals/objectives for individuals and/or workgroups
  • Using performance reviews to increase production/set goals
  • Rewarding outstanding performance

All employees are involved in establishing and achieving initiatives for performance and improvement goals.

8.1    Management Involvement

  • Holding staff and workplace meetings in a planned, scheduled and effective manner
  • Maintaining open door policy
  • Leading by example and hands-on involvement
  • Leading improvement initiatives

8.2    Functional Involvement

  • Having input from impacted parts of Agency
  • Involving appropriate personnel in improvement activities
  • Working in a teamwork manner that is cooperative and seeks mutual advantage
  • Monitoring and evaluating effectiveness of interfunction activities

8.3    Internal Customer

  • Understanding and applying the internal customer concept
  • Responding to internal customer needs
  • Monitoring internal customer performance and improving internal customer satisfaction

8.4    Empowerment

  • Establishing a culture whereby employees, while doing their job function, have the decision making authority to continually improve their services, processes and performance
  • Exhibiting empowerment behaviors that push information knowledge, decision making, and rewards throughout the Agency
  • Reinforcing empowerment behaviors

Employees are motivated through trust, respect, recognition and a work environment that is conducive to the well-being and growth of all employees.

9.1    Climate and Environment

  • Believing that employees want to do a good job
  • Having a positive atmosphere of trust and respect at all levels
  • Creating a climate for resolving problems that fosters risk and is
  • Providing equipment, materials and information to do the right things right the first time
  • Viewing change positively
  • Showing pride in work, self, Agency and performance.

9.2    Recognition

  • Recognizing individuals and groups regularly and fairly for measurable contributions to business and improvement successes
  • Communicating recognition widely
  • Celebrating successes

9.3    Employee Well-Being and Satisfaction

  • Improving environment, health, and safety factors
  • Making special services, facilities and opportunities available to employees
  • Evaluating employee satisfaction
  • Complying with applicable regulatory requirements

Well chosen partnerships with carriers and other markets are key to providing excellent products and services.

10.1  Carrier Prospecting

  • Identifying markets that best fit the business plan
  • Soliciting the preferred company prospects

10.2  Agency Contracts and Other Agreements

  • Achieving win-win contracts and agreements
  • Managing terms and conditions of contracts and agreements for compliance
  • Reviewing contacts and agreements proactively and proposing appropriate changes

10.3  Product and Service Expectations

  • Comparing product and services to customer value expectations
  • Matching products and services to customer expectations
  • Maintaining awareness of products and service options
  • Improving products and services

Required information is clear, accurate, timely, useful, accessible and integrated with products, services, processes and procedures.

11.1  Information System

  • Selecting and managing information needed to drive improvement of overall Agency performance
  • Supporting the business with complete, timely, accurate, useful, secure, clear and appropriate information
  • Providing feedback measures of internal performance on meeting customer requirements
  • Documenting system used to implement the improvement initiative

11.2  Process Management

  • Defining and communicating the desired way to perform each business process
  • Ensuring consistency in performing the work processes
  • Keeping the defined process steps up-to-date with changes and improvements

11.3  Information Improvement

  • Recognizing information quality as an essential element of performance
  • Stressing E&O prevention through the Agency.
  • Identifying and using corrective action techniques to determine and resolve information quality problems
  • Using information to set priorities for improvement actions
  • Providing reliable information through secure hardware and software
  • Using competitive comparisons and benchmarking as input to information improvement

Processes and the products and services created by them are jointly designed as an integrated system. 

12.1  Agency Automation

  • Translating customer requirements into new technology needs or enhanced technology
  • Planning for development or acquisition of needed technology
  • Reviewing and/or testing new technology to ensure trouble-free application
  • Evaluating technology in regard to customer satisfaction and meeting organization goals
  • Using new or enhanced technology to improve quality, cycle time and performance.

12.2  Systematic Approach

  • Considering all processes when introducing a new process or changing a process
  • Minimizing system-related inhibitors to process effectiveness
  • Focusing on improving process cycle time
  • Matching product/service characteristics and process capabilities for high value

12.3  Agency Support

  • Ensuring the Agency structure supports the processes as an interactive system
  • Providing functional interaction on processes that cross-functional lines
  • Supporting continuous process improvement in a proactive and consistent manner
  • Involving all functions early in process designs to ensure integration, coordination and capability

12.4 Performance Verification

  • Verifying processes before use and thoroughly understanding and effectively managing them
  • Performing formal reviews or verification to assure products and services meet all requirements
  • Measuring performance in delivering products and services

Contributions of business associates (vendors, partners, alliances, subcontractors, etc.) for business opportunities, products and services meet all requirements and add value to business results and performance improvements.

13.1  Business Associate Processes

  • Integrating business associate processes with internal processes and plans to support business objectives
  • Establishing business associate requirements by involving internal functions as appropriate
  • Involving key business associates early and continuously to assure requirements are mutually established, clearly understood, effectively communicated and consistently met

13.2  Management of Business Associate Performance

  • Determining and measuring how well business associates are performing
  • Communicating performance information to business associates
  • Working with business associates to improve quality and performance

13.3  Business Associate Relationships

  • Identifying the key contacts for building strong business associate relationships
  • Developing these relationships to maximize agency performance
  • Nurturing these relationships to ensure ongoing effectiveness

A defined sales and marketing approach is established and is being effectively utilized in creating sales and agency awareness.

14.1  Sales Process

  • Establishing sales processes that target growth
  • Evaluating and analyzing process to track trends
  • Establishing and tracking objectives and goals
  • Taking into consideration operational metrics such as retention rates/lost business

14.2  Marketing Process

  • Quantifying benefits of new or modified marketing processes
  • Established marketing process to attract Agency’s targeted audience
  • Tracking marketing efforts to see trends
  • Improving position due to efforts

Accountability objectives, measures and indicators for Agency performance are established, reported, analyzed and effectively used. 

15.1  Performance Measures

  • Initiating key performance measures at all levels of the Agency
  • Using results of key measures to improve performance
  • Providing visibility of performance measures throughout the Agency

15.2  Work Group Objectives

  • Aligning performance and improvement objectives with Agency goals
  • Maintaining performance indicators
  • Evaluating team performance on achievement of improvement goals and objectives

15.3  Improvement Trends

  • Using measures that are aligned with vision and other key areas
  • Using measures to drive improvement
  • Improving trends that are meeting targeted objectives
  • Reevaluating objectives when exceeded

Well chosen activities within the community to not only give back but also to establish your name and services as a premier business.

16.1  Community Involvement

  • Integrating civic responsibilities into business activities
  • Maintaining a professional image in the community
  • Monitoring presence in the community and how they fit in with business objectives

16.2  Public Responsibility

  • Communicating improvement processes and results to public
  • Participating in outside activities aimed at quality improvement
  • Presenting the Agency to the community as a premier business partner

Innovation is planned and effectively utilized in developing, implementing and improving processes.

17.1  Pursuit of Innovation

  • Assessing competitors process innovations
  • Benchmarking most successful processes
  • Planning and using appropriate innovation for competitive advantage

17.2  Equipment and Facilities

  • Quantifying benefits of new or modified equipment and facilities
  • Evaluating effectiveness of processes and determining equipment and facility enhancements that are appropriate

17.3  Process Improvement

  • Using innovative process improvement methods
  • Involving innovative capabilities of personnel from all job functions to improve processes

17.4  Continuous Improvement

  • Using customer feedback, internal measure and other information to identify
  • improvement opportunities
  • Using new or enhance technology for improvement and competitive advantage
  • Monitoring new development for effectiveness and timeliness
  • Using process control techniques to identify sources of improvement
To find out how you can begin your journey to the Five Star Agency Designationsm, please contact Heather Kramer, CIC, Vice President  & COO at 800.742.6363 or by email at