Cirencester Friendly has hired Michelle West-Wiggins as director of customer experience, a newly created position.

West-Wiggins was previously head of customer experience and claims, but now takes on this new role and becomes a member of the executive team.

In addition, Robert Higgins has been promoted to claims manager and will report to West-Wiggins.

She has been at Cirencester Friendly for eight years and has been a force for service standards.

West-Wiggins said: “I am really excited to be taking on this new role. Our team is truly passionate about delivering the best possible customer experience and it’s fantastic to now be able to represent them and our work on the Executive Team. I am determined to build on the hard work we’ve already done and ensure that Cirencester is synonymous with exceptional service.”

CEO Andy Morris added: “I’m delighted to welcome Michelle to the Executive Team, she thoroughly deserves her promotion. During her time with Cirencester, she has continually showed extraordinary dedication and enthusiasm, building a fantastic team around her. At a time when numerous surveys, including the one released recently by Defaqto, point to a drop in service standards in our industry, I am proud that our Society is bucking the trend. We have consistently exceeded expectations in customer service, scoring very highly in the Institute of Customer Service surveys, and Michelle and her team deserve a lot of credit for this. I look forward to the extra value I know she can achieve in her new role.”

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Last year, Cirencester Friendly expanded its product range by launching a short-term benefit option to its My Earnings Protected income protection product.

This product provides cover for up to two years per claim, providing an affordable way to cover household bills should they be unable to work.

Furthermore, My Earnings Protected was designed to be flexible and affordable. It also offers deferres periods ranging from one to 52 weeks, cover up to age 70, and a maximum benefit of 65% of income with a limit of £52,000 a year.