Unless you were a policyholder, you might not have known Boston Mutual Life Insurance Co. was even operating in the Omaha market. But thanks to a new 5,000-square-foot office at 18135 Burke St. currently staffing up, company officials are confident lack of name recognition is likely to change in a big way over the coming years.
“The Omaha office is a second home office location for Boston Mutual,” said Omaha native Jennifer Helms, executive vice president – customer experience, innovation, projects & technology. “Omaha already had a clear connection to our employees but also to the industry we’re a part of.
“There are a lot of financial services, insurance and technology companies that have a home in Omaha and in the surrounding communities. I think it was an easy connection because those values of family, hard work, taking care of your neighbor that we live here in the Omaha area fit really well with our organizational culture at Boston Mutual.”
Old Company, Modern Outlook
Founded in 1891, Boston Mutual Life Insurance Co. is a national carrier that provides insurance solutions for individuals as well as enrollment and billing options at the workplace.
The new office, which has been operating since April, is known as an innovation lab and strategic project management office. The primary function of the location is to oversee various elements of company IT and technology related to the client experience.
“This is a physical space that is dedicated to collaboration, sharing of ideas, communication and to pull together the voice of the customer with our investments in technology, whether it’s internal for employee use or external for our producers and policyholders to do business with us,” Helms said. “We’re really focused here on the multi-channel approach to our business and customers.
“Part of what the customer experience, innovation and project technology team are responsible for here are tying together that voice of the customer with the investment in our process of technology.”
Insurance and financial services were traditionally slow to change with technology, in part because of the consumer demands for face-to-face contact. No longer, said Helms, as changing consumer habits and the lessons of the pandemic have turned the marketplace on its head.
“We need all of it; we need to be able to pick up the phone, meet face-to-face and we have a customer base that is desiring that interaction as well as the interaction online with technology,” she said. “We’re looking to invest in various technologies, various initiatives to enhance customer experience however our customers want to do business with us.
“What our end-users value most is having a way to do business with us that’s easy and in a manner they wish to do it. We are really in the best position now to support all of our stakeholders, whether it’s the policyholders, our producers and sales partners and employees with that multi-channel communication tool or multiple delivery methods for our services and products.”
The Total Package
Helms said as she has gone about staffing the new office, the ideal employee profile has also changed. Gone are the days when companies hired just for technical expertise or customer service skills or even industry-specific acumen. In today’s market, a little of each is what’s required.
“Our ideal candidate today would be someone who is very customer forward-facing; someone who understands from experience and someone who’s very team-capable,” she said. “We do need the expertise in various fields, whether it’s technology or the insurance business.
“But we also need the passion for the industry and we’re really looking for someone who is change-capable and willing to not only go with the change but help us lead the change in the innovation project and technology space.”
Helms, who graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said she sees many things in her company, the local labor force and her hometown that are a natural fit. The company’s “Making An Impact” program, for example, provides an easy way for employees to engage in the community organizations of their choice.
“The Omaha culture makes this an easy transition and an easy place to put a stake into,” she said. “Everyone in my industry is very open to sharing ideas, sharing lessons learned and making introductions and connections as we expand our footprint and get our brand into the Omaha area. That neighborly culture is completely in line with bringing in a new company.”
Omaha Office: 18135 Burke Street, Suite 120, Omaha, NE 68022
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