Every call counts

Published: May 2016


Luckily these are very rare for International SOS members. Less than 1% of the people we support ever require an evacuation. It is general advice that the vast majority of members need. Excellent service is paramount, no matter how small the issue may be. Through the analysis of big data, International SOS is keeping their fingers on the pulse of our members’ evolving needs and expectations.

Female in Philadephia AC


We welcome calls from members before, during and after travelling. Answering a  simple question early can avoid a serious problem later. This is better for the member and can ultimately save their company time and money.

Prior to travel, members may ask us what inoculations they need. Or what places to avoid for security reasons. More general questions might cover visa requirements or transport availability. We have also been asked “where can I get a replacement passport in West Africa?” or “what should I do after I have been pick-pocketed in Brazil?”. We answer them all.

While abroad our teams are always on hand for any medical and travel security issue. Be it major or minor. A member can talk directly to a doctor or security expert within a few minutes. The many general assistance queries are dealt with by our customer services executives. They have invaluable local knowledge and access to our vast information systems. Our worldwide network means we can handle calls in almost any language too.


We pay particular attention to how we respond to these ‘everyday’ calls. We want each call to be a positive experience for our members. Kim Danks, Assistant General Manager - Quality, has been leading this work. She spoke to Hotline about plans and progress.

“We have always encouraged client and member feedback on how we are doing. Their views have truly helped shape our service offering. We also recognise that what might be a priority today, may not be a priority tomorrow. It is crucial we keep our fingers on the pulse of what is needed. That way we can create a service designed by our members - for our members.”

We are listening to both client businesses and individual members. After calling our Assistance Centres, members are asked to evaluate their experience. All research is conducted to the international quality standard for market research: ISO 20252.

The results help us identify what is driving positive experiences with us and what factors are becoming more increasingly important for the future. 18 months ago we found that the biggest driver of satisfaction was efficiency - so we reacted by ensuring that our service was optimised to meet this expectation. 18 months on, we see this gradually evolving: efficiency is still important, but other factors are coming to the forefront. So, we adapt our service again.

“We listen to thousands of members’ views each time. It is crucial to continuously improving their experience. We listen, we analyse, and we adapt. Then we repeat the process. This way, we evolve with our members”, says Kim.

The process is working. Since 2015, 71% of our members were very likely to recommend our service to colleagues, friends or family. 88% of members were ‘very’ - ‘extremely’ satisfied with the service they have received.

As Kim concludes, “The results are staggeringly high, especially when we compare to external benchmarks. However, we cannot afford to stop listening. Not for a minute. We see it as a core part of caring for people. You pay close attention and you do your very best to help them.”