The competition remains high in the insurance industry, and insurance companies need every edge they can get to maintaincustomer loyalty while attracting new clients. Advancements in technology drastically changed how customers engage with their insurers. Many expect omnichannel communication options, and failing to meet this expectation can lose their business. Customers have a notable preference for real-time communication, such as chat and text messaging customer support. Here are several trends that emphasize the importance of chat and text customer service:
- Over half of customers (around 60%) expect a rapid response to their customer support questions. When an insured initiates first notice of loss (FNOL) or needs an update about their claim, they don’t want to wait several hours or days for a response. They are experiencing a stressful event and view long wait times for a response as poor service. Text and chat FNOL services provide rapid answers and soothe concerns.
- Only about one-third of businesses think text and chat services are important to customers. There is a notable incongruity between what communication channels customers want and what businesses think their customers want. Insurance providers have a ripe opportunity to improve their service by meeting customers where they want to engage—via text or chat.
- Customers between the ages of 18 and 49 indicate live chat is their preferred customer service channel. Millennials are 20% more likely to use chat services than baby boomers, while over one-third of Gen Z prefer chat services. Gen Z particularly dislikes making phone calls for their service inquiries, and over half of them avoid calling customer support altogether.
- Chat services are the most satisfying communication channel for most customers. Nearly three-fourths of customers that use chat services for their customer support questions report a satisfying result. This percentage tanks to 51% for email communications and 44% for phone calls.
- Chat services are an effective lead generator. Potential customers are wary of providing their contact details. Some are concerned about security, while others don’t want to receive a barrage of marketing emails, phone calls, etc. However, when customers decide to provide their information, over 40% prefer to do so through chat. Insurance companies need a chat or text option for customer service to maximize their leads.
Implementing text and chat services is critical to meet customer expectations and retain their loyalty. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about the benefits of text and chat customer support.
How a company communicates internally has far-reaching effects and contributes directly to its long-term success. It plays a critical role in how well a call center performs. The following are several ways effective communication improves a call center’s performance, the quality of customer service employees provide, and the company’s bottom line:
- Better productivity. Call center employees won’t perform well if they don’t understand their role or what their employer expects of them. Confusion often leads to frustration, which restricts productivity. Employees perform with much greater efficiency when they have clear guidelines and understand their responsibilities.
- Improves engagement. Managers communicate with call center employees regularly to ensure they understand the company’s goals and service expectations. However, companies need to ensure that line of communication goes both ways. Employees can’t engage as well with their work if they can’t seek input from management for clarification or feedback. Having open dialogue also shows employees that their managers appreciate their input and care about their workplace concerns.
- Better quality of service. Good internal communication often translates to improved external communication with customers. Effective communication helps call center employees feel confident in their role, which enhances the quality of service they can provide. Customers appreciate direct and transparent communication, and providing that improves their loyalty.
- Solves internal issues. Workplace tensions will simmer and explode without effective communication. Teams can resolve internal issues by employing active listening and formulating respectful and professional responses. These effective communication strategies can transform destructive arguments into constructive conversations.
Effective communication is a critical element of any successful call center. Communication strategies affect internal and external workplace relationships. Actec understands the importance of having an effective call center that delivers consistently high-quality service. Contact us to learn more about our nearshore contact center services.
Today’s customers are more empowered and want more involvement when engaging with their service providers. Many prefer self-service options and want to find answers to their questions on their own. As a result, they have elevated expectations when they reach out to their insurance company for assistance. They’ve likely already tried to resolve the issue, and they don’t want a quick fix. Customers expect representatives to be knowledgeable and go the extra mile to resolve their complex problems.
Customer loyalty is fickle in the insurance industry, and a single negative interaction is enough to send them looking for a new provider. However, lackluster service isn’t likely to stimulate customer loyalty. The following are several ways to provide stellar customer service in a hyper-competitive environment:
- Engage with social media. Customers are more connected than ever and having a social media presence is a must. However, social media pages are ripe for gathering data and enhancing customer service. For example, companies can follow customers back to see what they’re talking about and gain insight into their customer base. Insurers should respond to all comments as well—the good and the bad—to build trust and show the customers that their provider cares about them. Social media also helps gather unfiltered customer feedback, which insurance companies can use to improve the customer experience.
- Seek feedback through multiple channels. Not all customers engage with companies in the same way. Some prefer to complete surveys through email, text, or phone, while others prefer to leave reviews online. Social media is another great way to gather feedback through interactive polls. Essentially, companies should seek feedback where their customers are congregating. They are much more likely to yield useful information for improving customer service.
- Respond quickly. Even if there is no immediate answer to a customer’s problem, insurance providers need to let their customers know they are working on a solution. Companies that reply quickly are way ahead in the customer service race than companies that leave their customers wondering if their insurer received their message.
- Surprise customers with thoughtful gestures. Monitoring social media channels is a great way to identify features customers want. Sending a tweet to a customer about a new service offering made based on their suggestion humanizes the organization and shows the company cares about their customers’ opinions. Gestures don’t have to be grand to have a positive effect, either. For example, insurance providers can send customers a gift card with a thoughtful message after experiencing a covered loss. Small gestures like this show the customer their insurance provider cares about the difficulties they’re facing during a stressful claims process.
- Use technology the right way. Trying to shoehorn a customer into an awkward technology funnel will fail to meet expectations every time. Technology should help customer service representatives provide the best possible service while meeting customers’ needs when and how they require it.
Implementing text and chat first notice of loss (FNOL) support is a great way to expedite the claims process and provide customers with a sense of agency during a stressful event. Customers can report accidents or other covered perils through their preferred communication channel, receive updates regarding their claims, or find answers to their coverage questions. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about the benefits of text and chat FNOL services.
First notice of loss (FNOL) represents the single greatest opportunity insurance adjusters have to set the tone for customersatisfaction. If any missteps occur, it’s incredibly difficult to turn the customer’s opinion around after the fact. Streamlining the FNOL process is vital to ensuring a positive start to the claim, but implementing effective change can be a challenge. Insurers may not know where in the process the bottleneck occurs, but technology can help illuminate and resolve those issues.
Automating for Intelligent Claims Routing
Some of the issues with FNOL can occur dependent upon which adjuster receives the claim. While insurers take steps to ensure the claim goes to a qualified adjuster, it can be hard to know upfront who is best for the job. Fields of experience, workloads, and years on the job all affect which adjuster is best for the claim. An insurer may think that a seasoned adjuster is best for a complex claim, but this isn’t always the case if that adjuster is already overloaded with work or doesn’t have experience in that type of claim.
Most insurers don’t have the time to dig down into the nitty-gritty details, which often results in changing adjusters as the claim progresses. This irritates customers because they have to repeat their story, re-send documentation, and other redundancies that hurt their overall experience and confidence in their insurer.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can prevent these repetitive tasks. AI can compare adjusters’ locations, availability, areas of expertise, and licenses to pinpoint the best adjuster for the claim without slowing down the claims process. Automating the claims assignment process saves managers time and reduces aggravations on the back end and front end alike.
Identifying key areas of slowdowns in the claims process can help expedite incoming claims, improve customer satisfaction, and boost an insurance company’s bottom line. The experts at Actec understand the frustrations insurers face when trying to overhaul their claims process. Contact us to learn how we can help streamline FNOL as well as improve your claims processes with our custom claims intake solutions.
Exceptional customer service is essential for an insurance company to succeed. Customers want to feel like a valued client rather than a file number, and they want rapid answers to their questions. They also place a premium on hassle-free claims. However, many insurance companies make several missteps when communicating with their customers. Miscommunications lead to frustration and a poor customer experience.
The following are some of the typical blunders insurance companies make when communicating with insureds:
- Chronic understaffing. Customers hate waiting on hold. They hate it even more when they have an urgent problem, such as a car accident or loss. It degrades customer loyalty to have consistently long wait times, as they feel undervalued. Call logs can provide actionable insight for staffing needs by determining when call volumes are highest.
- Limited communication options. It’s not always possible for an insured to call in a claim, and many prefer other communication channels altogether. For simple policy questions, some insureds would rather contact chat support. Others prefer email to maintain a record of communication. Customers expect to have several communication channels available to them, including phone, email, a mobile app, text, and chat support.
- Lack of adequate training. Customer service representatives need to be experts when it comes to the insurance products the company carries, how to answer questions about various policies, and how to navigate the claims process from FNOL to resolution. In addition to being knowledgeable, service representatives need soft skills, such as empathy and problem-solving.
- Not providing support 24/7. Accidents and losses don’t contain themselves to typical working hours. Insured need a way to establish first notice of loss (FNOL) wherever and whenever the incident occurs. If an insured can’t receive the help they need during a crisis, they’re likely to look for a new insurance provider. Insurance providers can meet this customer need by investing in a nearshore call center.
Nearshore call centers provide the benefits of an offshore service without the headaches. Nearshore service representatives are familiar with the customer’s culture and can respond with the appropriate empathy for the situation. Contact Actec to learn more about the benefits of a nearshore call center.
Employees may quip about burnout, but true burnout goes beyond a brief dip in energy after completing a challenging project. Employees can rebound from short-term stressors after taking a break. Chronic workplace stress has farther-reaching effects. A long weekend away from work can’t overcome the exhaustion, frustration, and disengagement caused by burnout.
Burnout happens for several reasons. Employees may have a poor work-life balance, a toxic manager, problems at home, a dysfunctional team, or unrealistic productivity expectations put upon them. The ongoing pandemic adds another layer of constant stress, and employees are struggling with burnout more than ever.
Employee burnout isn’t abrupt, and employers can take steps to prevent it from worsening. Many employers are familiar with the common signs of burnout. These include emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion; disengagement; loss of productivity; cynicism toward their work; and increased sensitivity to critique. Burnout can also cause physical symptoms, such as panic attacks, nausea, and headaches.
However, burnout can start with subtle symptoms that management may not recognize. Employers that know these signs can take proactive steps to address them and prevent them from worsening. Some lesser-known indicators of burnout include:
- More frequent illnesses. The physical manifestations can go beyond headaches and stomach troubles. Excess stress increases employees’ susceptibility to illnesses. Burnt-out employees may also use sick leave because they can’t handle the stress of going to work. Regardless, a sudden uptick in absences due to illness can be an early indicator of burnout.
- Behavioral changes. Sudden behavioral changes can take several forms. A once punctual employee may start to arrive late or duck out early. A bubbly employee may become withdrawn and surly. A shift in grooming and wardrobe can also be a red flag, as it indicates the employee no longer cares about their appearance.
- Workplace socialization changes. Once outgoing employees may abruptly become distant if they’re struggling with burnout. Social employees may isolate themselves or snap at coworkers who attempt conversation. The pandemic has made this symptom harder to spot, as many employees are working from home.
- Working harder. Left unchecked, burnout will eventually result in disengagement and lost productivity. However, an employee that abruptly doubles down on work is a subtle early symptom of burnout. Employees struggling with burnout often experience a loss of confidence in their work. Some feel compelled to prove themselves to their employer, which manifests as working through lunch or consistently working overtime.
- In the initial stages of burnout, an employee’s quality of work may begin to suffer. These changes aren’t dramatic and can present as a lack of attention to detail, barely meeting deadlines, or turning work in late. These employees often don’t seem to care about turning in sloppy work, either.
Burnout is on the rise as a result of the public health crisis and subsequent labor shortages, but also because many corporate environments have become complacent or inattentive. Of particular relevance is that it can be harder to recognize the signs with a remote workforce. Web meetings are a part of the solutions, with increased visibility and communication. But absence tracking software makes it easier to identify attendance trends, such as absenteeism or an uptick in sick leave. Actec’s absence tracking mobile app is a self-service tool that centralizes all your attendance data. Contact us to discuss your absence management needs.
Attendance tracking software provides several benefits for organizations of all sizes. Companies can use the technology to organize different worker classifications, track remote employees’ hours, manage requests for paid time off, and more. Paper systems are prone to errors, as companies may record hours incorrectly. Time theft and buddy punching are common with paper systems, and companies can lose a significant amount of money by paying for those fraudulent hours.
Here are some of the top strategies for managing employee attendance:
- Rein in overtime. Overworked employees are more likely to experience burnout, stress, and lack of motivation. Their productivity also declines the longer they work overtime. Overtime is also expensive, as companies have to pay employees one and a half times their regular pay rate. Attendance tracking software can keep employers aware of how much overtime occurs, which allows them to make data-driven changes to reduce it.
- Combine attendance tracking with scheduling. Attendance tracking software can streamline employee scheduling, timesheets, absence tracking, and leave requests. Combining all this information in one location allows businesses to see how the company operates in real-time. It also allows employers to see attendance trends at the department and individual levels.
- Reduce absenteeism. Unplanned absences occur for several legitimate reasons. However, employees who habitually arrive late, leave early, or skip out on work entirely create costly problems. They disrupt projects, brew discontentment among the rest of the staff, and receive pay for work they aren’t doing. Employers can use attendance tracking software to identify and address absenteeism before it becomes a systemic problem.
- Control vacation hours. Employees deserve their vacation leave, but companies can accidentally create labor gaps if they approve too much leave at once. Attendance tracking software centrally locates all leave requests, which prevents short-staffing headaches.
Absence tracking software streamlines scheduling, attendance tracking, and leave requests. Companies can also see employee attendance without having to contact each department first. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our absence tracking mobile app.