Company blog

This blog is prepared by Square One's leadership team and is intended to give you a behind the scenes look at starting-up a new company in a very mature - and sometimes stodgy - industry. This isn't a blog about insurance, which would be pretty boring even for us insurance geeks.

Sticking to our knitting

During a strategy session last summer, we started batting around some ideas for future expansion. At the time business was steady, but we felt we had things pretty well in hand, and might be ready to take on some new challenges soon. Our board of... [...]

Usability testing – a sobering experience

Based on all the positive feedback we received about our online quoting tool, we thought that we had done a pretty good job! But one thing we have learned over the years is that it’s always wise to test things out. So, we recently subscribed... [...]

Our new office

Time flies when you’re having fun, and our 3 year office lease at 1008 Homer Street in Vancouver was up at the end of December. While we could have chosen to stay (with a 10% rent increase), we took the opportunity to look around to... [...]

Making our first TV commercial

Since recently posting our new TV ad on our website, we’ve had a number of questions about how we went about getting it produced and how much it cost us. Given that, I thought today I’d give you the backstory on how our commercial came... [...]

Google and our Ontario Expansion

As discussed elsewhere, we’ve been pretty successful at targeting customers who have gone online to do a home insurance related search. We’re pretty comfortable with the acquisition cost of this channel, and these individuals really align well with our target demographic (and appreciate the effort... [...]

Conversion Rate Optimization – What’s that all about?

Believe it or not, our original business plan had only 10% of quotes completed online – we expected the rest to be done over the phone. When we first started to offer online quoting back in December 2011, the it almost immediately jumped to 50%... [...]

Why no-reply reply email addresses “send the wrong message”

Further to a previous blog post about customer interactions, another pet peeve of mine is companies that send you an email using an email address that you’re not allowed to reply to – you know – Most big companies seem to send their “system... [...]

Facebook promoted posts – we’re a believer!

With the recent flooding in southern Alberta (BC, and Ontario), many of our policyholders were inquiring if home insurance protects against flood damage. In addition to responding to those individual inquires, we thought it would be worthwhile distributing the answers more broadly. Social media was... [...]

Why do so many companies offer such crappy customer service?

For most companies, it’s really expensive to “acquire” a customer. In the insurance industry, an acquisition cost of hundreds of dollars is not uncommon. (Acquisition cost is generally calculated as the total expense of a marketing campaign divided by the number of new customers that... [...]

An interesting social experiment.

Here at Square One, we measure everything, and that allows us to do some interesting social experiments. Of course, the experiments are all in the name of improving our business, and optimizing our customers’ experiences! As we’ve mentioned in a previous post, our referral program... [...]