5 Pandemic-Driven Call Center Trends to Expect in 2022

Posted on

March 1st, 2022


The pandemic radically altered typical business operations. While many industries struggled to maintain customer engagement, the insurance industry experienced a meteoric rise in customer service calls. Customer needs shifted with dizzying speed, and insureds expected their providers to keep pace. For example, people drove less following the pandemic onset, and individuals with leased vehicles noted a preference for usage-based coverage. Liabilities also changed when individuals began working from home.

Many insurance companies rely on a call center to field their customer service calls. The sudden influx of pandemic-driven inquiries highlighted the bottlenecks and pain points of pre-pandemic call centers. The following are several call center trends insurance companies need to know for the coming year:

  1. The geographic distribution of call centers is changing. Offshore call centers come with several hurdles, most notably language barriers and cultural differences impeding service quality. Two-thirds of call centers around the world are in the Americas, which underscores the importance of nearshore call centers.
  2. Difficult calls and escalations are on the rise. Customer needs changed too fast for most insurance companies to update policies on how to handle the sudden increase in customer calls. Escalations increased by 68%, and difficult calls rose by 50%. The information bottleneck tanked the customer experience, and many insurers responded by revamping their call center to meet customers’ changing needs.
  3. Customer expectations continue to rise. Customers’ increasing expectations from their insurance provider isn’t a new trend. Technology revolutionized customer service and changed what customers require from their insurers. However, achieving a satisfying experience means meeting key benchmarks for customer inquiries. For instance, high-performing call centers answer calls within 20 seconds and resolve the customer’s problem within four minutes.
  4. The customer’s first call has significant ramifications on their loyalty. Customers have lower thresholds than ever for frustration. They are likely under stress when they reach out to their insurance provider, and an unsatisfying outcome degrades their loyalty. Fifteen percent of customers consider switching to a competitor if they don’t receive a satisfactory answer to their problem, whereas only one percent make this consideration when the customer service representative resolves their issue on the first call.
  5. Customers will seek out competitors after a single negative experience. One bad interaction is all it takes to risk losing customers. For example, one-third of Americans consider switching companies if they receive poor customer service.

Insurance providers need a call center that provides consistent and superior service. The customer experience is a key factor for their ongoing loyalty. Contact Actec to learn how a nearshore call center can benefit your company.

4 Traits Call Centers Need for Effective Crisis Communication

Posted on

December 21st, 2021


Insurance providers need a call center that can handle all their incoming calls, particularly when it comes to emergencies. When insureds initiate first notice of loss (FNOL), they’ve often experienced a high-stress incident. From house fires to car accidents, insurance call centers need to have the skillset to navigate customer crises. Here are several characteristics of call centers that communicate effectively during a crisis:

  1. High call volume preparedness. Some crises affect a significant number of customers. For example, hurricanes can damage property and vehicles. Insureds may find themselves homeless while waiting on repairs. Call centers need to have the capacity to handle a sudden influx of calls, particularly for imminent covered perils.
  2. Crisis management experience. Not every industry needs call centers with experience handling emergencies. Insurance companies need a call center staffed with agents that understand how to perform FNOL intake during a crisis and how to respond appropriately to frantic customers. Similarly, agents need to be able to identify a true emergency. What seems critical to a customer may not require immediate action. In those instances, agents need to know how to diffuse the situation and help customers navigate the next steps of their claim.
  3. Strong emotional intelligence. During a crisis, call center agents need to be able to identify how the customer is feeling and respond with empathy. Customers will likely be upset or angry during a crisis, and call center agents need to know how to contain the situation without allowing their emotions to affect the level of service they provide.
  4. Insurance providers need a call center that can adapt to meet their needs. Increased call volumes during a crisis often require additional agents to field all the calls in a timely manner. Some call centers achieve this by having agents on-call or tapping into a work-from-home network.

Accidents happen, and it’s not always possible to predict when disaster will strike. Insurance companies need a call center that can handle critical situations whenever they arise. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our nearshore contact center services.

4 Ways Nearshore Call Centers Avoid Cross-Cultural Miscommunication

Posted on

December 7th, 2021


Call centers are a boon to growing businesses. A dedicated call center can handle all incoming calls, answer common customer questions, and allow employees to focus on their primary tasks instead of working the phones. However, many offshore call centers struggle to bridge cultural divides, which makes it difficult to provide high-quality customer service.

Nearshore call center agents have enough geographic proximity to understand the customer’s needs, frustrations, and expectations. The following are several ways nearshore call centers improve communication and the customer experience:

  1. Language. Customers expect agents to speak their language fluently. However, call center agents need a nuanced understanding of the language as well. Agents that don’t comprehend common idioms or struggle to understand local accents will run into repeated frustrations.
  2. Culture. Greetings vary between cultures. Some cultures prefer friendly exchanges, while others expect direct and professional communication. Nearshore call center agents understand the customer’s culture, which facilitates better communication.
  3. Time zones. Many companies turn to offshore call centers because they can provide coverage outside of regular business hours. Nearshore call centers can provide extended coverage too, and their closer proximity makes it much easier to communicate business concerns. If a company wants to discuss changes to the call center or review KPIs, nearshore call centers are better equipped to meet during regular business hours.
  4. Communication channel. Customers have several options for communicating with a business. Some prefer to speak to a live person, while others may prefer to send a text or a message. Cultural divides can make it difficult for offshore call center agents to pivot from the phone to a chatbox. What sounds friendly with verbal inflection can seem cold over text.

Customer loyalty is hard-won and easily lost. One poor support experience is enough to make a customer consider finding a new service provider. Customers are also much more likely to leave reviews after a negative experience, which can harm the company’s reputation. Companies need call centers that can resolve their customers’ needs and exceed their expectations without stumbling over cultural miscommunications. Contact Actec to learn more about the benefits of nearshore call centers.

How Powerful Telematics Technology is Changing FNOL

Posted on

December 18th, 2017


Car driverThe auto industry is no stranger to technology. Automotive technology has allowed for drastic improvements in driver safety as well as increased connectivity. With the rise of telematics, first notice of loss (FNOL) underwent a significant transformation.

Understanding Telematics

Telematics is more than just data. It is a connection between onboard computers and wireless technology. This connection allows the vehicle’s computers to share information with several platforms, improving safety and forever altering the FNOL landscape. One of the first major uses of in-vehicle telematics was with communications and security systems. If an individual was involved in an accident, the vehicle’s communication system could call for help on the driver’s behalf.
Another use for telematics was adjusting car insurance prices based on driver behavior. Insurance companies use a variety of factors to determine each individual’s insurance rate. However, with telematics, a driver could secure better rates by proving they do not speed, make hard brakes, and so on. Now, insurers can use telematics to establish FNOL as well.

Telematics and FNOL

Vehicles equipped with computers and sensors can do more than dial out for help in the event of an accident. Those sensors can pull details adjusters need to start the claims process such as where the accident occurred, how fast the vehicle was traveling at the time of the accident, what areas of the car were damaged, and more. This can allow the adjuster to begin working on estimates, expediting the claims process.
FNOL telematics allows insurance adjusters to resolve more claims in less time, which provides a boost to customer satisfaction. Happy customers are also more likely to recommend their insurer to friends and family, which can increase the customer base as well. To stay up to date with the latest FNOL technologies, contact the experts at Actec.

Absence Management and FROI

Posted on

December 20th, 2016


shutterstock_306793247 - CopyThe first report of injury (FROI) is a critical element for worker’s comp compliance. Even if the employer does not agree with the employee, the employer must file an FROI. Each state has its own FROI form, but the requirements follow a similar pattern. Employers must file an FROI after an employee misses five or more paid workdays due to an injury. The employer has seven business days from the fifth missed workday to file.
Employers should make four copies of the FROI form. One copy should go to each of the following:

  • The state
  • The employee
  • The insurer

Employers should retain the fourth copy for their business records.
Another circumstance that requires an FROI report is if the employee seeks medical treatment for a workplace injury. Once the doctor learns of the context behind the injury, they must file a report. This is to ensure an accurate timeline and detailing of medical facts (i.e. dates, times, and locations pertinent to the injury). Much like first notice of loss (FNOL) reporting, prompt FROI reporting leads to a better result. Delaying can cause confusion over the accuracy of facts and interrupt the return-to-work process.
FROI and absence management often go hand in hand. Returning to work after a workplace injury can intimidate some employees, especially if they missed a prolonged period of work. However, returning to work can improve the employee’s morale with the proper accommodations. A phased reintegration can provide financial and emotional benefits for the employee. This also benefits the employer as the employee can return to work faster without overwhelming them. To learn more about FROI and absence management, contact us.

Understanding FROI and SROI

Posted on

January 13th, 2015


Understanding what an FROI (First Response of Injury) and SROI (Subsequent Response of Injury) report is can have a huge impact on when, and how, your company handles Workers Compensation claims. Here’s a quick breakdown to help differentiate the two.

FROI – A report prepared by the employer, or other parties, that describes the events and injuries. It is also known by other names, such as the Employer’s Report of Work-Related Accident/Occupational Disease.

SROI – A report required twice a year while a claim is open; when benefits start, stop, or change; when a lump-sum payment is made or when a claim closes.

Electronic state filings for these reports can be a big headache in Workers Compensation Claim administration. Requirements vary by state, and missing or invalid data leads to time consuming resubmission, filing delays, excess staff time, and fines.

Click here to learn about solutions that will help with the review and submissions for each type of report.

Incident Reporting Management Enhances Productivity

Posted on

September 22nd, 2014


Incident reporting solutions improve employee productivity. Personnel are one of the most important parts of any organization, and employers should take steps to reduce their risks and liabilities. FROI (First Report Of Injury) is crucial for compliance with workers’ compensation guidelines. When an incident occurs, the insurance companies depend on the accuracy of information collected. The policy holders report a notice about the incident and the incident reporting management companies on the behalf of their clients handle workers’ compensation, auto, property, general liability and other long-term disability claims. They are experienced and trained specialists and capture all data using best practices.

Commercial and personal insurance carriers, third party administrators and self-insured companies utilize services of incident reporting management companies for reducing their costs. The incident reporting process starts when a person reports to the incident reporting company. Each state has a different FROI form and it is required to be completed in quadruplicate. One copy is sent to the employee, one to insurer, one to the state and one is retained for business records. It is necessary to hire the services of a reliable company so that the FROI form is completed promptly. In order to ensure accurate claims, the form must be completed in full and quickly accepted by the state on the first submission.

The cost-effective claim and incident reporting management helps companies in achieving long-term success. The specialists use all means of communication and organization to enhance their clients’ experiences. These include telephone, email, fax and web entry to make sure that comprehensive reporting is done in the most accurate way. While selecting an incident reporting management company, it is vital to ensure that the company files reports timely and accurately to avoid any re-filing fines. The company should be experienced in this field and provide customized solutions as per client’s needs. Hiring the services of such companies improves the work environment for all employees while staying in compliance with the state laws.

Actec Systems: Comprehensive Incident Reporting

Posted on

September 5th, 2014


Actec Systems has been providing claim reporting and other data intake services for many years. The experienced specialists are dedicated to providing solutions to commercial and personal insurance carriers, third-party administrators, FMLA services and more. They follow a complete incident reporting process to ensure that the reports are filed on time and accurately, thus avoiding re-submission and hefty fines. Full-cycle reporting starts with a comprehensive analysis of your needs, goals and the current process of your custom workflow. They ensure accuracy, minimization in call times and reduction of follow-up calls.
With Actec, policyholders can call the moment an incident occurs because Actec Intake Specialists are available 24/7, 365 days a year. They collect and disseminate critical
information such as commercial and personal lines claims, short-term disability and long-term disability claims as well non-claim reports and inquiries. VoIP solutions are utilized for connecting policyholder account information with intake specialists. They complete call statistics and then the associated time tracking is summarized. The trainers and supervisors of this incident reporting company monitor daily calls, listen to live calls along with remote observation of FNOL intake. All calls are stored as .wav files and can be easily accessed.
The incident reporting process does not end at the recording of vital details. These claim reports are required to be converted to actionable information so you can manage risks effectively. Complete incident reports are communicated to key recipients and the urgent reports are immediately flagged as high priority according to your business rules.  Actec maintains first reports of injury (FROI) for worker’s compensation and does all state filing
processes of FROI as well as subsequent reports of injury (SROI). This incident reporting company provides you with all the data needed to monitor your performance such as the efficiency of in-house solutions, follow-up calls, filings and distributions and many other vital details.
The incident reporting process is aimed at reducing claims paid out, decreasing administrative costs and reducing overall expenses. The actionable data provides you with a complete overview of your organization for managing risks and
increasing profits.  For more information, contact us.

Outsourced EDI Filing

Posted on

July 25th, 2014


Mandatory EDI (electronic data interchange) filing may be the biggest of all headaches in Workers Compensation Claim administration. Requirements vary from state to state. Missing or invalid data leads to time consuming resubmission, filing delays, excess staff time, and even fines.

Our Electronic State Filing Program carefully reviews all submissions for both FROI and SROI as well as annual filing requirements. We follow up for any missing or incomplete information making sure submissions received are accepted. Though these tasks can be accomplished in-house, for most organizations it is more efficient and effective to outsource it to experts in the field.

The state of California recently released statistics to all companies filing Workers Compensation (FROI). Actec had a success rate of 99.1% of all reports submitted that were accepted by the state on the first submission. The industry average for the one-year period was 77.4% acceptance on first submission. Actec works diligently to make sure your reports are filed timely and accurately, thus avoiding re-filing and potential fines. To learn more about how an ESF program can improve operations at your organization,
contact us.

First Notice of Loss Key Terminology

Posted on

July 11th, 2014


There several important terms when discussing first notice of loss. Though many are unfamiliar with the concept, it stands as a crucial component of many successfully operated large businesses.

  1. FNOL – Abbreviation for First Notice of Loss, the initial report of a claim or incident resulting in loss of an insured product. A crucial element of insurance coverage.
  2. FROI – Abbreviation for First Report of Injury, the initial report of a claim or incident resulting in injury to an employee. A employer practice required by law.
  3. Claim Management – The conveyance of an insurance-related claim through a system of communication and investigation to ascertain the appropriate compensation. The more adept and timely the claim management, the less shrink for insurers and the higher satisfaction for clients.
  4. Incident Reporting – A system of documentation for FNOL in which specific details must be thoroughly recorded to ensure proper claim management. Well-trained personnel and a modern, sophisticated incident reporting medium significantly reduce costs due to slow resolution, shrink, and other organizational issues.
  5. Claim Intake Specialist – Personnel cross-trained in claim management and incident reporting to deliver maximized resolution for client and insurer with minimized investment of time and resources.

Numerous other components comprise a comprehensive FNOL program, but familiarity with the basic terms makes it much easier to understand the process of first notice of loss and the benefits of leveraging FNOL in large businesses.