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Heise earns Distinguished Insurance Agency recognition

Chris Heise, an American Family Insurance agent in West Fargo at 722 13th Ave. E., has been recognized for customer satisfaction excellence under the J.D. Power and Associates Distinguished Insurance Agency Program. Heise joins other American Family agents who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to outstanding customer service. Heise, an agent for American Family since 1994, has qualified for this award for five consecutive years.

"Customer service is more important than ever," said Jack Salzwedel, American Family president and chief operating officer. "I'm proud that more American Family Insurance agents made the commitment to meeting the Distinguished Insurance Agency criteria this year than in any of the program's previous five years. That's truly saying something about their commitment to meeting our customers' needs."

The service excellence distinction was determined through a two-part evaluation process conducted by J.D. Power and Associates. The first part consists of a customer satisfaction survey, which measures customers' overall experience with their current American Family agent. In order to proceed to the second step, agents must meet or exceed the standards measured on a national benchmark established by J.D. Power and Associates' annual auto and home insurance customer satisfaction studies. Only agencies that perform in the top 20 percent of all agencies nationwide based on customer satisfaction surveys are eligible to become a Distinguished Insurance Agency.

Agents who meet or surpass the overall national average must then pass a rigorous on-site evaluation based on five best practice areas: proactive reviews of customer insurance needs, claims handling, positive customer contacts, responsiveness and office environment.

Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. American Family is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and 14th-largest property/casualty insurance group.