CAT season is here so we wanted to take a moment and highlight the importance of excellent customer service. No matter the type of assignment you are deployed to, every interaction provides an opportunity to shine! In many instances, we are working with people that are going through an incredibly stressful situation. Be it a fire total loss, fender-bender or anything in between- we are there to assist them through the claims process with our empathy, kindness and knowledge.
Here are some great customer service tips to keep in mind:
Practice Active Listening
There’s an expression: “Listen, don’t just wait for your turn to talk.” While we operate in production based environments (number of claims closed, calls taken, inspections completed), it is important to really listen to what the other party is saying and be in the moment. In the face-paced world we live in, you will be remembered for your attentiveness and attention to detail – this is a good thing!
There are four components to active listening:
- Clarifying: Asking questions to make sure you understand all questions and concerns.
- Paraphrasing: Rewording what was just said to confirm you understand.
- Reflecting Feelings: Using phrases like “that must have made you angry” or “you seem pretty excited about that” demonstrates empathy and shows that you’re paying attention.
- Summarizing: Finishing a conversation with a quick summary of the most important points ensures that everyone’s on the same page.
Use Positive Language
Positive language is a great way to avoid accidental conflicts sprung from miscommunication. While the change is subtle, the effects are drastic.
For example; Say the turn-around time for an insured to receive their claim payment is 7 days.
Consider the following responses:
Negative Language: “I can’t get that check to you until next week. It takes at least that long with all the red-tape and administrative procedures.”
Positive Language: “You will receive your check next week. I have completed the estimate and all the paperwork now to make sure that it is sent to you as soon as possible!”
Redirecting the conversation from negative to positive places focus on the proposed solution. When the outcome takes center stage, it reduces the odds that customers will be upset.
Harsh words or complaints are not always a sign that something is wrong. Sometimes great feedback is buried within the anger, so it is important to give credence to every message.
When an interaction begins to go south, stay consistent in tone and process with the CARP method:
Control the situation.
Acknowledge the dilemma.
Refocus the conversation.
Problem-solve so the customer leaves happy.
Working through these steps can keep you on track, even during the most difficult encounters. It keeps the interaction from veering off into other areas like “insisting you’re right” and “taking unnecessary abuse.”
Do it Right the First Time
Yes, this one seems obvious, but try to ensure first-contact resolution is a priority. There is nothing customers appreciate more than getting helpful advice the first time around.
Commit to continuous improvement
Ask yourself at the end of the day, “What is the thing you are going to do tomorrow to make your customer service remarkable.” Listen to how your fellow adjusters, managers, client and policyholders to identify what impresses you, as well as what doesn’t!
We understand and appreciate the hard work and dedication of our folks in the field. Each of you embodies the Eberl spirit of “Adjusting the Standard” in the execution of your duties; service to our customers; and interactions with each other.
We would like to share a few of the comments we have received from our client staff, management and agents about the excellent customer service our claim representatives provide!
“…we just wanted to let you know that Don had been doing an excellent job working with our clients. He contacts them in a timely manner, explains things to them, settles their claim and keeps us informed what is going on. It makes out job much easier! Please let him know we are very happy with his service.”
- Carrier Client Agent
“…Lastly, Chipper was extremely friendly and took his time to anticipate, listen, and explain all my questions. I believe he is an asset to your firm…”
“… Bottom line, Brett is an exceptional claim handler. His ability to communicate effectively with people with differing experience levels would make him indispensable in the trainer role… He identifies when the insured just doesn’t understand what is being explained. I witnessed Brett on a number of occasions tailor his explanations to fit the circumstances. Brett used common sense examples to help explain some of the more complex settlement discussions that take place when handling claims…”
- Carrier Client CAT Team Manager
“…When I called in for a third time on this claim, after my insured and the shop had called several times, Amy stepped up and took care of everything! She figured out the errors that had been made, called the shop, called the insured, called me back and made an absolute terrible experience for my client, the shop, and myself a good one in the end. Amy is extremely sharp, professional, and knowledgeable. She knows what needs to be done and how the client should be treated.”
- Carrier Client Agent
Once again, we thank you for your hard work and dedication. We are hoping for a busy season ahead!