Call center agents often have the first interaction with customers. They set the stage for the customer experience, and many customers form opinions about a company based on these interactions. Agents need the right skills to provide high-quality customer service. These include:
- Solid communication. Good communication skills may seem obvious. Agents spend the majority of their job interacting with customers over the phone, texts, messages, and many other channels. Empathy is essential for customer satisfaction. Agents that work with detached efficiency may resolve calls quickly, but they can come across as cold and unfeeling.
- Avoiding repetition. Customers hate repeating themselves. Take notes about their problem and read any documentation from previous calls. Customers feel like the agent is wasting their time, does not care about solving their problem, or lacks knowledge when they have to explain their issue more than once.
- Finding creative solutions. Not every problem is easy to solve or has a clear path to resolution. Call center agents that use their resources to find unexpected solutions for the customers’ issues provide a superior quality of service.
- Maintaining organization. Some calls require follow-up, such as an insurance claim. These cases can remain open for days or weeks. It’s easy to lose track of them without proper organization. For example, sticky notes or sporadic handwritten notes can go missing. Electronic records can become jumbled if they’re all stored in one place. Customer service software can often remove these administrative hurdles, but organization skills are still essential for call center agents fielding several dozen calls a day.
Customers are often upset or have a problem when they connect with a call center agent. Agents that provide empathetic service and remain flexible when finding solutions deliver a superior customer experience. Contact Actec to learn how our nearshore call center solutions can improve customer service and customer loyalty.
First response time (FRT) measures how much time passes between a customer initiating first notice of loss (FNOL) and an agent responding to it. Customers want to be able to reach their insurance provider whenever they need them. Losses rarely give customers the courtesy of occurring during regular business hours, and how quickly an insurance agent responds significantly affects the customer’s claim satisfaction.
FNOL, FRT, and Customer Loyalty
FNOL and FRT go hand-in-hand to keep customers happy. FNOL represents 25% of a customer’s overall satisfaction with their insurance provider. In addition, industry research shows that the claims experience influences 87% of customers’ loyalty, while almost 80% will switch providers if their insurers’ responsiveness falls short of their expectations. A short FRT is essential following FNOL to retain existing customers.
Text and Chat for Better FNOL and FRT
The FNOL experience affirms customers’ expectations for better or worse. If they have a positive experience, they feel secure in their choice of insurance provider. If the experience is poor, it may reinforce the customer’s belief that they need a new insurer. Customer’s top complaints regarding the claims process include:
- Too slow (25%)
- Too difficult (22%)
- Too much paperwork (22%)
Text and chat services can address many of these pain points. Text messaging rapidly decreases FRT, as agents can respond within minutes of receiving a claim notification. Agents can also pull existing data from the customer’s file to partially complete the data-gathering process. Filling in known information can also reduce friction during the interaction. For example, the make and model of the customer’s car are already in the system. Customers are often already agitated when initiating FNOL and asking them for information they provided well before the loss will only increase their frustration.
Agents that communicate with customers through text messaging can also close their claims faster. Customers always appreciate an expedited claims process, but it can also net cost savings for the insurer. For example, customers need rental cars while waiting for repairs on their vehicles. Insurance carriers often cover the rentals costs, and closing the claim several days faster curtails that expense. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how text and chat services can improve your customers’ claims experience.
Investing in a call center can save companies hours of time while boosting productivity. However, how businesses communicate with their call centers will determine the effectiveness of this service. Business leaders should use the following strategies to reduce miscommunications with call center employees:
- Look for communication breakdowns or miscommunication bottlenecks. According to the Harvard Business Review, more than half of employees indicate the directions they receive at work are unclear or too vague. If half of the call center employees aren’t sure what their employer wants from them or what the business’ top priorities are, they may struggle to provide high-quality service.
- Keep emails to a minimum. Employees waste hours of their day clearing out their inbox of unnecessary emails. Most employees report that excessive emails take up too much time and affect their ability to focus on their top priority tasks. It’s also possible for important emails to get lost among the dozens of other emails vying for employees’ attention. Seeing a massive list of unread emails can tank employee motivation and morale as well. While email communication is sometimes necessary, businesses should limit the overall number of emails they send to employees.
- Encourage open communication within teams. Many businesses have a hierarchy of responsibility, which can make call center employees feel incapable of speaking up to their team leaders when they notice an issue. Cultivating an environment where employees feel comfortable with two-way communication within their team can identify problems, improve morale, and foster innovative ideas.
- Schedule team-building exercises. Creating a sense of community within the workplace is more challenging than ever in a COVID-19 environment. With so many people working from home with limited opportunities for socializing, call center employees can rapidly feel disconnected from their team. Businesses should consider virtual or outdoor team building activities that can comply with social distancing recommendations to keep up team spirit. These exercises can also help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Improving communication has a direct effect on productivity, employee engagement, and workplace morale. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how our nearshore call centers can help your business.
As technology improved over the past several years, the concept of filing insurance claims online shifted from a bonus to an expectation. Customers want to be able to initiate a claim from wherever they happen to be with whatever device is at their disposal. While many insurance providers kept pace with this demand by offering client portals and online apps, customer expectations have shifted yet again.
Insureds now require seamless communication with their carrier as well as services personalized to their lifestyles and needs. They also place a premium on rapid claims resolutions and settlements. Thanks to advances in artificial technology (AI) and machine learning, these goals are much easier to achieve.
AI can improve customer satisfaction in the following ways:
- Create insurance options in line with needs. AI’s single most powerful capability is gathering data and parsing it for commonalities, red flags, trends, etc. Harnessing data from the natural workflow of the insurance industry can provide insights on customer preferences based on their habits as well as their stage in life (i.e. homeowners, growing families, travel-oriented customers, etc.). AI can even determine the best time and method to offer these products as some consumers may prefer email communication while others would rather communicate via text message.
- Improve communication regarding purchased products. AI can provide basic customer service as chatbots either online or over the phone. Many customers have routine questions regarding their coverage that the bot can answer quickly to free up insurance representatives’ time as well as reduce wait times for customers. These bots can also often provide basic counseling regarding existing products and potentially offer recommendations for additional products that may meet the customer’s needs better.
- Reduce fraud. Insurance fraud doesn’t just cost carriers money in misrepresented claims and settlements. Those claims also take up valuable time and drive up the costs of insurance for other customers as well. By utilizing AI during insurance claims, the technology can recognize voice patterns that indicate deception and flag the case for further review. AI can also analyze data and identify trends that are typical of fraudulent claims and flag those files as well.
- Settle claims faster. Most insurance claims require a lot of documentation, some of which many insurers still perform by hand. By digitizing typical forms and paperwork, AI can eliminate the manual filing of forms and documents. This allows insurance agents to close more claims in less time.
By harnessing the power of data, insurance companies can enhance their workflow, boost efficiency, and improve customer satisfaction. To learn more about claim and document management technology, contact the experts at Actec.
Insurance companies don’t often have frequent communication with their clients until a claim arises. While most insureds are fine with this limited interaction, how their insurance providers handle claims is the single most meaningful and telling interaction they have. If an insurance company mishandles the claim or fails to bring it to a satisfactory resolution quickly, they run the risk of losing a customer.
What Claimants Want
High-quality claims processes have three things in common: they’re fast, they’re efficient, and they’re transparent. Customers are no longer willing to accept vague or murky answers regarding where their claim is in the process. They also expect an error-free claim to receive their settlement quickly. Delays, mistakes, or confusion all cause insureds to reconsider their insurance provider.
Better data and automation can help insurance providers streamline their claims processes. The following are some of the ways insurance providers can utilize data:
- Automatic first notice of loss (FNOL). First notice of loss occurs when the insured first reports the incident to their insurance provider. However, many vehicles come equipped with telematics that can detect accidents and injuries. While some vehicles will dial emergency services in the event of an accident, insurance providers can use this same technology to trigger a claim on the insured’s behalf. Vehicle sensors and video imagery can give insurance companies an idea of the extent of the damage to make sure the most relevant adjuster receives the claim.
- Drones and satellite imagery. Similar to using vehicle telematics to initiate FNOL for car accidents, insurance companies can pull data from drones and satellites following major storms to identify damage to the insured person’s property. When the customer calls to report the loss, their provider can already be several steps into the claim to expedite the process and improve the insured’s experience during a stressful time.
- Greater accuracy on repair timelines. When insureds file a claim for a vehicle loss or property damage, the first question on their minds is how long it will take to fix so they can resume their lives as usual. Insurers can pull from historical data to see how long certain repairs will take based on the type of damage or loss the insured reports.
- Reduce fraud. Fraudulent claims increase costs, which increase premiums for all customers. By harnessing data from social media, insurers can identify fraudulent claims. Utilizing AI can also red flag cases that score high for fraudulent behavior.
Most insured don’t think about their insurance provider until they need to make a claim. How smoothly and quickly that claim processes play a significant role in customer satisfaction and retention. If your claims processes are frustrating customers or costing your insurance company business, Actec can help. Contact us to learn more about improving claims management.
Insurance is one of those expenses that seem burdensome up until the policyholder needs to make a claim. Whether the individual is in a car accident, experiences a loss due to flood damage, or any other covered incident, insurance becomes indispensable. However, there are many pain points for customers when it comes to their insurance providers. If insurers don’t take steps to rectify these issues, they may find their customers leaving in search of better insurance options.
The biggest areas where many insurance providers fall short include:
- Meeting young clients’ expectations. Millennials are more likely than other generations to shop around for a new insurance provider following a dissatisfying interaction. They expect emails or text updates about the status of their claims. They also expect to be able to access their claim information from the convenience of their phone on an app.
- Explaining insurance rates breakdown. Several factors affect insurance premiums. Insurance providers consider the type of car the customer drives as well as his or her age, gender, marital status, credit history, miles driven per year, and zip code before offering a rate. However, most insurers don’t explain how much weight they give to each category and this can make it difficult for insured customers to understand their premium or how to reduce it.
- Explaining coverage. Insurance providers know the terms of their policies inside and out. However, many insurance representatives struggle to present insurance products and packages in a way that is easy to digest for the average customer. Insurance jargon can confuse or mislead customers regarding their coverage.
- Processing claims correctly the first time around. Insurance companies want to resolve claims quickly just as much as the customer does, but several issues can trip them up in the process. Health insurance companies are notorious for claims processing errors. While claims processing has improved over the past decade, there are still a significant amount of denials. This leaves customers frustrated and drags out the settlement process.
The competition among insurance providers is fierce, as millennials have shown they have no qualms switching companies. One sour claim experience can result in the loss of a customer as well as any potential referrals that customer may have provided. To learn more about improving claim management, contact the experts at Actec.
It costs insurance providers a lot more money to obtain new customers than it does to retain existing ones. That’s why improving customer satisfaction is an ongoing process for most insurance companies. However, customers aren’t going to care about great rates if their experience filing a claim is a disastrous one. When the claims process is more arduous than the event that triggered the claim in the first place, insurance providers will quickly discover they have a retention problem on their hands.
Whether a policyholder is calling to report the damage to their home, their vehicle, or some other covered item, first notice of loss (FNOL) represents the single greatest opportunity to influence customer satisfaction. Insurers that manage the stress of the claim right from the start can help customers feel at ease. Any claim that has a rocky start is unlikely to improve in the eyes of the customer so insurance providers need to make FNOL count.
How to Help Put Customers at Ease During FNOL
Customers filing a claim are likely to be in a turbulent frame of mind. Insurance representatives can help put customers at ease in the following ways:
- Be empathetic to the customer’s situation
- Answer all questions that customer may have
- Provide a clear picture of the claims process
- Be direct in how long the claim should take from FNOL to settlement
- Provide information on the next steps to simplify the claims process for the customer
If an insurance company fails to put a customer’s mind at ease about the outcome of the claim, they’re unlikely to secure that customer’s loyalty.
One of the most challenging aspects is getting a handle on empathy. It’s easy to offer condolences following FNOL, but that does nothing to ease the situation for the customer. Reacting to the reality of poor customer satisfaction following claims, many insurers are overhauling their approach to FNOL. Some examples include helping arrange estimates or coordinating with contractors on the insured’s behalf.
Building loyalty is challenging in the insurance industry and FNOL is the key to getting started. Helping the insured customer feel secure throughout the claim process starts when they first report the loss. To learn more about improving your claims process, contact the experts at Actec.
Payers and providers are often at odds when it comes to filing insurance claims. While payers want clean claims free of errors, providers want prompt payment. These aren’t always adversarial goals, but frustrations and errors can happen if a payer or provider is hasty while processing a claim. Errors can take a while to fix which costs both parties in resources and time as they rework the claim.
Of all the challenges providers have to navigate while processing claims, the following are the most headache inducing:
- No or slow information from the payer. Following any service, providers code the claim and submit it to their payer. However, waiting for an update can be a long process that leaves many providers wondering when or if they’ll receive payment. As a result, many providers follow up frequently, which takes up valuable time.
- Claim denials. While a denial at least lets providers know where they stand in the claims process, it’s not the update they were hoping to receive. The denial process is often murky as payers aren’t always clear on the reason why they denied the claim.
- Vague feedback. Continuing with the above point, payers return claims unpaid for a variety of reasons, but they always include a code as to why. However, these codes can be vague and frustrating for providers such as claim/service lacks information. Without any specification as to what is missing, providers have to hunt and guess for the reason.
- Rules are different for every payer. Even if the services that providers offer never vary from person to person, the method of coding differs among payers. This makes it challenging to navigate the claims process as one payer may consider a submitted claim clean while another may reject that same claim. Compounding the problem, rules change often with little notice, which can muddle claims as well.
Improving communication between payers and providers can help reduce rejected claims and expedite payment for services. However, submitting clean claims the first time around is also critical to saving time and reducing hassles. Implementing a full service claims management program can help achieve that goal. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about improving claim management.
If an insurance provider’s claim cycle is out of touch with modern expectations, they will struggle to keep up with their more tech-savvy competitors. Optimizing the claim cycle can boost customer satisfaction as well as improve their loyalty. Insurers looking to improve their claims cycle as a means to boost customer retention should focus on the following areas:
- Be proactive. Accidents happen and claims follow suit, but insurance providers can take steps to avoid costly, time-consuming claims. This means running risk profiles on clients to identify who is most likely to report a loss. Instead of waiting for a high-risk client to submit a claim, insurers can take steps to help them reduce their risks.
- Make the process customer-centric. Insurance companies used to make business decisions that met their own preferences first before considering their customers’ outlooks. This was often the case because operations could flow more smoothly with convenient structuring. However, what is helpful for the insurer may impede the customer. Insurance providers that wish to remain relevant need to take steps to provide personalized, transparent, and rapid services that make the process easier for customers.
- Provide swift responses. Identifying threats and opportunities early allows insurance providers to develop a rapid response plan. Anticipating customer’s needs and concerns can keep business operations flowing smoothly. For example, younger generations rely heavily on social media and online reviews of companies and their services. By using smart software or artificial intelligence, insurers can monitor social media posts that mention them in both a positive and negative light. This gives them the opportunity to engage to prove their superior service skills.
- Go digital. Mobile apps for insurance providers aren’t a new concept, but some insurers are taking technological advancements to the next level to give them an edge. Connected devices, data analytics, and the Internet of Things are transforming how the industry operates. The data gives insurance companies actionable insights to improve the customer experience as well as detect fraud sooner.
Customer expectations are ever increasing and insurers need to be ready to meet them or risk heightened customer turnover rates. If your existing claims process is struggling to keep up with customer demands, Actec can help. Contact us to learn more about our claims management solutions.
It’s common knowledge that first notice of loss (FNOL) represents the greatest opportunity to establish the insured’s satisfaction level. After this point, it is difficult to move the needle so it’s vital to ensure a smooth start to the claim. However, there are other factors at play when it comes to customer loyalty and retention.
How Millennials Are Changing Insurance Claims
It’s no surprise that millennials and other younger generations have a preference for technology when it comes to initiating and managing their claims. There is also a growing mentality that customers should be able to receive updates on their claim anywhere, at any time, in any way they so desire. This most often means having access to an online portal either through their smartphone, tablet, or computer.
In fact, when polled, 52% of auto claimants and 54% of homeowner claimants reported they would not recommend a provider that bars or lacks access to their preferred digital channel. Among customers that ranged between the ages of 18-24, that statistic jumped to 58% for both categories.
What makes this loss of recommendation so damaging is that younger generations rely on technology for research. If their peers are leaving negative reviews, it makes it very difficult for that insurer to appeal to them. Exemplifying the point, 41% of customers under 35 will post to social media and review sites about their negative experience compared to only 26% of customers aged 35-54 and 17% of customers 55 and older.
The Effect of Technology on Customer Expectations
The biggest challenge insurers are facing isn’t a shift in what their customers expect; it’s a change in where customers set the bar. Technology has allowed claims to move from FNOL to settlement faster than ever while granting customers unparalleled levels of access and control over the process. The pace isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon given the rate and sophistication of new tech and devices available on the market.
While every generation is growing more tech-savvy, there is no doubt that younger generations are driving the demand for transforming the claims process. Retaining customers lies in meeting these heightened expectations with a foolproof claims process. Contact the experts at Actec to learn about our custom solutions for your claim intake needs.