WIL Next: Rachel Switchenko

Rachel Switchenko, Plymouth Rock’s vice president of customer solutions

Plymouth Rock Home Assurance

Rachel Switchenko, vice president of Customer Solutions at Plymouth Rock Home Assurance Corporation, joined the carrier in 2020 after a decade-long career with Liberty Mutual, where she used data analytics to improve customer service throughout her various roles. 

For one of her first projects with Plymouth Rock, Switchenko took on developing and implementing a two-way text communication solution that enables digital customer service communications and Total Customer Experience training. Switchenko noted that she first identified the text solution as a top priority given the success that other departments, particularly in claims, had in implementing the same type of technology. 

“With insurance, there’s a lot of legacy systems we rely on. When we think about the future, new technologies are already here, so we can’t really wait to try something new,… It was a no-brainer to test that,” Switchenko states. 

Plymouth Rock’s partnership with Hi Marley, developer of an intelligent conversational platform built for P&C insurers, enables text-based communication for customers and allows the insurer to perform service improvements. 

“We have a small subset of our customers who use it more than they use phones [to call]. I still think there’s more we can do in the digital space, and digital is always moving, so it’s important to stay educated and open-minded. But I think that was a good and transformative way to prove that customers need more communication options with us,” notes Switchenko. 

Since the success of the text-based solution, Switchenko developed a cost benefit analysis to gain buy-in to fund omni-channel technology and a voice analytics solution. Switchenko is especially excited about building the omni-channel tool, as she believes it will simplify many processes and solve some of the challenges employees face in working training with a set of different digital tools.

“I think my peers and our presidents are really excited about it. There’s so much more opportunity when you have a tool that makes it easier for our employees, which then makes it easier for the customers,” said Switchenko. “There’s so many benefits in one tool that will allow us a lot of ease and a better customer experience.”

Switchenko and her team are also currently experimenting with a generative AI tool for some internal processes and simple self-service interactions, with hopes for providing improved efficiency in customer services.

Switchenko has not only proven a significant contributor to Plymouth Rock’s digital space, but she also provides developmental support to those in her team and advocates for the organization’s efforts in supporting women through its Association of Professional Insurance Women. 

Switchenko’s advice to women in the industry, and for those from different backgrounds, is to value your own unique perspectives and not to be afraid to speak up when you feel it is right.

“Don’t be afraid to identify a problem or an opportunity that you see — just because it’s the way people have been doing things, doesn’t mean it isn’t time for change. Bring your expertise and experiences to the situation, but be thoughtful about how you approach and bring people along the thought process with you,” stated Switchenko. “I’m somebody that always thinks that the diversity of our backgrounds, our experiences and our perspectives is really important. If we all grow up the same way, we’re going to be missing something on the team.”

She also emphasizes the importance of surrounding yourself with mentors and a network of diverse, career-minded individuals to provide advice and feedback and who will advocate for you. 

“It’s so important to find your people, at different levels, around you. Someone who is a mentor or sponsor, someone that you can talk to, someone who gives advice,” Switchenko says. “It’s also important to find people that you’re willing to do the same thing for, because we can’t always be takers — we have to be givers also. It is still a male-dominated industry, but it’s not an industry where women are not successful. And I would say those people don’t have to be women. Again, the diversity of who you surround yourself with helps you think about things differently and be a better version of your own self.”