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Tracey E.Schelmetic

[August 16, 2004]

Dot Commentary

By Tracey E. Schelmetic
Editorial Director, CUSTOMER INTER@CTION Solutions™

GEICO Returns The Love


After the publication of my July 27, 2004 column, “I Am Not A Lizard, But…”, I received an unprecedented amount of e-mail responses.


Since the publication of my first column over five years ago, it’s not been unusual for me to receive a moderate amount of e-mailed comments post-publication of a new piece, and most of it has been positive and constructive. I have occasionally attracted comments from individuals who apparently do not occupy the third dimension, Planet Earth, any location too far outside the suburbs of Atlantis or any compound not under the direct control of Jedi Knights (in no particular order.)


I also occasionally attract the ire of L. Ron Hubbard fans, parents who don’t believe in vaccinating their children and geocaching fans (www.tmcnet.com/tmcnet/columns/tracey032002.htm) who don’t want their sport publicized so they can keep it exclusive from groups of noisy, GPS-wielding amateurs. On the flip side, some of my columns have attracted praise from slightly shadowy anti-government groups, space alien diplomats, flash mob organizers (www.tmcnet.com/tmcnet/columns/tracey080603.htm) and someone named Sven.


What I’ve never before experienced is such an overwhelming amount of positive responses from a company about which I’ve written. In the weeks since my praise of GEICO, I’ve received a steady stream of happy e-mails from GEICO employees ― from training managers and marketing personnel to front-line agents. I’d like to share a selection of them, because I think they speak for the company’s culture and policies. These GEICO employees chose to take the time to write to me and express how proud they are to be an effective part of their employer’s customer service policies.


I have edited the responses a bit in the interest of brevity. I extend thanks to everyone to took the time to write.




I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments about my company. I’ve been with GEICO for three years and have been impressed with their emphasis on customer satisfaction and our associates’ ability to interact with customers accordingly.


I also enjoyed your references to family humor throughout your writing. Our family upbringing plays a significant role in who we are and what we become in life. Keep them in your writing; the reference is applicable to everyone. And...c’mon, the Gecko is kinda cute.


We appreciate you as our customer.    


Thanks again,



SIU Operations & Training Manager





Thanks so much for your glowing article about GEICO! I’ve been with the company for almost 28 years and it makes me proud that our customer-contact folks did such a great job for you. It makes me proud, but not surprised. I was teaching a class to our new sales counselors in our Lakeland, Florida office a few years ago and one of the folks asked me if we had claims people who just drove around looking for accidents. 


After I said, “No, why do you ask?” she explained that she’d gotten a call from a lady who’d gotten into a fender bender on the highway. When the two drivers pulled over to the shoulder, another car pulled up, the driver hopped out and asked, “Are either of you insured with GEICO?” The other driver was, and the stranger (who was one of our claims adjusters) took care of the estimates right on the spot. Now that’s service, baby! The lady was so impressed she just had to switch to us.


I wish you many happy years with GEICO!



Human Resources Information Systems





I just had the article on GEICO forwarded to me by one of your readers. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to write about a good experience. In the insurance industry, no news is good news, because people usually just let you know when you screw something up. You would think a “gush” article like yours would swell our heads and breed complacency, but it doesn’t. Instead, it puts the pressure on and makes us strive to do it better every time we pick up the phone. If you decide to run out and buy a motorcycle, please let us know. We offer great product through our Cycle-Gard division. The Gecko looks even better riding his Harley. 


Thanks again,





Dear Tracey,


Thank you so much for your recent editorial concerning your switch and experience with GEICO. As an employee of this company, it is so refreshing to hear such terrific stories of our services and what a pleasure it has been in dealing with our company. Even after those tiring days of having over thirty different personality types on the phone (ranging from pleasant to quite unpleasant), it takes a tremendous amount of energy to maintain a professional attitude as well as a sincere personality. May the rest of your experiences with GEICO be just as positive.


Thank you,



Auto Sales




I just read your article about GEICO insurance company, and as a Claims Manager (I work in our Virginia Beach office) for the company, I was very pleased to hear of our great service and to read your words of praise.


I hope that we can continue to service your insurance needs and that we can maintain the high level of customer service that you have come to expect.


It sure sounds to me like we would not want to get on your bad side, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to have any dealings with Mom.


Thanks again.



Claims Manager



Ms. Schelmetic:


I could not resist writing you. I am such an enormous fan of writing and I also very much enjoy GEICO.  You are a remarkable wordsmith. I laughed out loud several times, which brought several inquisitive comments from my co-workers. As we are all employees of GEICO, I sent them your article, and now they are laughing as well. It is spreading like a plague across our department as I write. If we had an office in Tel Aviv, I am sure their problems would be worked out by noon.


I have been with GEICO for almost four years. They have promoted me four times and been incredibly supportive of my career. I continue to learn every day I work here and I absolutely love what I do. I am an analyst (read “data nerd”). I thought you might like to hear about the event that made me an employee for life. I had been with GEICO for about two months, when an e-mail arrived in my inbox. The CEO, Tony Nicely, was making his annual pilgrimage to the Iowa office, and I was being invited to meet him. All of the new employees were told that he would spend a half hour talking with us and answering any questions we had.  Mr. Nicely was charming and encouraged us to ask anything we wanted. Being new, we were fearless and let him have it with some very tough questions about the company. He answered every one of the queries directly and with a smile. After spending two hours with us, we were out of questions and we went back to work. At that moment, I decided I was going to give GEICO 30 years, as a test, to fully decide if I wanted to make this a career. Thus far GEICO has passed all muster.


I now work in the Corporate HQ in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It is quite a bit different than Iowa, but it is still just as amazing as the experience I had back home. I thank you for sharing your experiences with GEICO, as it has made my day.










I have just finished reading your article, “I Am Not A Lizard, But...” and I wanted to say thank you. I worked very closely with a dedicated team of recruiters, colleges and universities to recruit grads into our “front line” positions (sales, service and claims). It is feedback like your article that makes our jobs fulfilling. I plan to pass the article link on to some very deserving associates.



College Relations Manager





Thank you so much for this article!!


I appreciate your comments as a sales supervisor!! 



Sales Supervisor


Tracey Schelmetic may be reached for comment at tschelmetic@tmcnet.com.


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