March 10, 2020



If this headline grabbed your attention, You, my friend - are in for a surprise.

This is about RIOT-ing, but perhaps not in the same way you were thinking.

Stop me if you you’ve heard this before. A company is founded by someone with a passion, a dream or a completely new way of doing something, years go by and the company flourishes or becomes obsolete.

I submit to you that there is a very fine line between flourishing and obsolescence ….SUCH was the case with my latest company “ RIGHTSURE “ anyway....

A short backstory ( because it matters ) RIGHTSURE was born from the ashes of a billion dollar financial firm that was a casualty of the Great Recession. A handful of us, suddenly found ourselves without a company, mortgages to pay, kids to feed and a passion for Insurance, with necessity being the mother of invention…. RIGHTSURE was born.

Fast forward to 2017.

In it's first decade RIGHTSURE has acquired dozens of other agencies, been involved in half a dozen joint ventures with much larger financial firms, raised millions of dollars, secured millions more in financing and done some really neat reinsurance stuff with billion dollar conglomerates. BUT…….. as 2017 approached I could sense we were all getting too comfortable again.

The hours worked in each day were getting shorter, our sales volumes were leveling off, our paid time off now exceeds a full month a year -so the cubicles are often empty AND Our health insurance doesn’t suck as bad as some others, All these " income statement impacting " benefits and the fact that every single month we engage is some type of corporate fun event, food event, community event etc. wasn’t having a positive effect on corporate results.

My tiny brain kept spinning the same thought " If this is what was happening on the corporate side of the house, what was happening on the side of the house where it matters most ( the customers side ) "

I began to see call reports showing hold times in excess of 4 and 5 minutes ( an absolute eternity if you are a customer ). In the past our Customer Services Reps would handle 80 to 100 calls a day each, compared to an average now 35 to 50. Our Quote times returned to clients could be measured in ( SIGH ) hours and days, NOT minutes.

We spent more money in technology investments in the past 2 years than in the 7 previous years combined and the end result was our customers ( literally the people who keep us in business ) are waiting longer to get assistance and when they do get through – I wasn’t proud of the service levels or the experience we were giving.


I am convinced that A #RIOT was the answer.

I made RIOT signs,

I made RIOT emails,

I created RIOT events.

In keeping with the general mood of one half of the population of our country (alternating every 4 to 8 years of course ) we needed to RIOT.

I suppose I should tell you that for purposes of this article, RIOT stands for





Our FIRST RIOT Started with several emails describing new training methods that all staff must complete. A rigorous set of 112 training modules to deliver exceptional world class service and HOW TO WOW every customer, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Our SECOND RIOT Started with our sales staff getting call coaching on how to solve a problem instead of sell a policy.

Our THIRD RIOT began with completely upending our small commercial lines operations and starting from scratch, nothing was sacred, everything would could be sacrificed.

Our FOURTH RIOT came in the form of a corporate beautification day. Every single staff member drew a number and each number coordinated with something that needed a deep clean. Everything from Cubicle tops, chair legs, conference table chairs, microwaves, copiers, printers and of course all of dirtiest of dirties that everyone avoids during a normal work day.

Psst, Hint, there is MUCH MUCH more rioting to come.

We will not fade into obsolescence. We shall flourish.

Ah yes, but I was speaking earlier about the difference between flourishing or becoming obsolete. I can tell you with great conviction that our RIOT was worth it. Employee engagement is back. Call hold times are improving and the customer experience at the center of our business is where everyone is focused again. What I am not convinced of is, Was it the RIOT, or the fact that the crew at RIGHTSURE realized that somebody cares and told them they make a difference and are valued.

Whichever method it is…..let me encourage you to start your own #RIOT or something that shows your people you care.

If we take care of our partners, associates and employees, they will take care of our customers.

~ Go. Start your own #RIOT ~

Photo by Randy Colas on Unsplash


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