Joseph Serrano says culture can bring a little bit of life, and success, to an industry without much innovation. For Serrano, that industry is insurance.
Serrano’s CX Insurance Services is an outsourcing firm for property and casualty insurance companies. The company takes a more “scientific approach to customer experience analytics and insurance business processing” — borrowing lessons learned from other disciplines, Serrano says.
Prior to working in insurance, Serrano was a consultant for Deloitte, helping Fortune 500 businesses like Capital One and Thomson Reuters improve operations effectiveness.
Serrano seeks out employees who are not “typical insurance people,” but instead fit with the personality and culture of the company — “upbeat and energetic,” he says. Candidates are invited to lunch with associates to maintain the focus on culture during the interview.
CX Insurance Services’ office matches that personality, with features like a bocce court and ping-pong table. But the fun has a “cold hard business rationale,” Serrano says. “It’s impossible to deliver superior customer service without engaged employees…when people are happy and engaged they will be more effective.”
Culture for Serrano includes an emphasis on community service work. His company is involved with the Salvation Army because, “I’ve noticed a direct correlation between community outreach and amount of success a business has,” he says. It helps employees feel “tied in to something bigger than a paycheck.”
It’s certainly been the case for his company, CX Insurance Services, which has grown to 30 employees since its founding in 2014, Serrano adds. The company experienced 75% year-over-year revenue growth last year, and expects similar results this year.
— Traci Beach
Name: Joseph Richard Serrano
City of residence: Lakewood Ranch
Employer: CX Insurance Services Inc.
Title: Co-founder, President, & CEO
Birthplace: Hartford, Conn.
Years on the Gulf Coast: 8
Marital status/children: Married/one child
Alma mater/degree: Boston College; B.S. General Management
Best place to network: LinkedIn
Messy desk or clean workspace: Quite messy
Eat lunch out or at your desk: Varies
Best business lesson ever learned: While management is the application of resources to achieve an objective as efficiently as possible on-time & on-budget, leadership is the art of inspiring others to WANT to achieve more.
Weirdest job you’ve ever had: Folding quilts at Keepsake Quilting in Meredith, N.H.
A website that makes your job easier: Insurance Thought Leadership (insurancethoughtleadership.com)
App you use the most: LinkedIn
One thing you do everyday: Pray
Community group you’re most involved with: Tie between Salvation Army and St. Pete Free Clinic
Favorite off-hours activity: Not to sound evasive or philosophical, but I don’t really think about “on vs. off hours.” I try to stay focused on four core priorities regardless of day/time, etc.
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: My great grandmother and Jim Morrison
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: Honestly, I wouldn’t pick another.
Top item on your bucket list: Deliver a large and enduring impact on many, many people’s lives.
Your happy place is: On my couch watching the Red Sox
Your biggest fear: The ghost of a shark
Favorite Ted Talk: The Science of Sales
Skill you’d like to learn: Patience
Who would play you in a movie about your life: My friend Todd
Describe yourself in three words: Driven and quasi-witty