December 07, 2011 14:46 ET

Dalbar Announces Its 2011 Annuity Service Award Winners in Financial Services

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Dec 7, 2011) - Today Dalbar released the 2011 winners of its annual Annuity Service Award. AXA Equitable-Equivest, New York Life, Pacific Life, Prudential Financial and SunAmerica Annuity and Life Assurance Company emerged as the leaders in customer service in 2011.

For over two decades, Dalbar has conducted rigorous testing of service delivery and, each year identifies those annuity firms that were found to be above their peers in service to clients after a full year of rigorous testing.

Important service attributes that dramatically and clearly differentiate these firms from the industry at large include:

  • When call center representatives at these firms initially engage clients, they greet them warmly and politely and establish an immediate appreciation for their business more than 95% of the time. This compares to an industry average of 69%.
  • Understanding the inherent complexities of annuities, these firms excel at ensuring that clients understand all information provided and set expectations as to what the next steps are for each client. This is demonstrated more than 85% of the time, compared to the industry average of 53%.
  • Consistency in delivering at a superior level. This award was first introduced 15 years ago and New York Life has earned it 12 times, Pacific Life and Prudential Financial, 11 times, AXA Equitable-Equivest 7 times and SunAmerica Annuity and Life Assurance Company have earned it 5 times.

"These firms have demonstrated that it is an organizational imperative to serve clients well," said Kathleen Whalen, Managing Director at Dalbar. She added, "They stand behind the business strategy and moral obligation to provide superior service and have the track record to prove it."

The award is based on systematic testing of customer service throughout the year. Dalbar conducts thousands of tests to measure how financial companies respond to the need for service from their customers. Companies that exceed a variety of industry benchmarks after one year of testing earn the Dalbar Annuity Service Award.

Dalbar, Inc., the nation's leading financial services market research and consulting firm, is committed to raising the standards of excellence in the financial services industry. With offices in both the US and Canada, Dalbar develops standards for, and provides research, ratings, and rankings of intangible factors to the mutual fund, broker/dealer, life insurance, property and casualty, and managed account industries. Measurements include investor behavior, customer satisfaction, service quality, communications, Internet services, and financial professional ratings.

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