4 Ways to Improve Call Center Communication

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October 26th, 2020

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Artificial Intelligence Improves Customer Satisfaction

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May 25th, 2020

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

How to Leverage Data to Improve Claims Processing

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April 20th, 2020

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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.

4 Things Insurance Companies Struggle to Do Well

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March 23rd, 2020

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

How to Harness FNOL to Improve Customer Satisfaction

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February 24th, 2020

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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.

4 Most Common Pain Points of Insurance Claims

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February 10th, 2020

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

4 Key Elements that Improve Customer Claim Satisfaction

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December 30th, 2019

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

How to Improve Customer Satisfaction During a Claim

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December 2nd, 2019

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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.

Are Your New Adjusters Making These Mistakes?

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September 3rd, 2019

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There is a steep learning curve for new adjusters just as there is for anyone entering into a new career track. Insurance adjusting has a broad appeal due to how easy it is to enter the industry and how lucrative it can be straightaway. Once an adjust passes their state license exam, they’re good to get started. They also know they won’t get paid until they close their claims. This usually results in the mentality to close as many claims as possible. However, several hurdles impede an adjuster’s ability to close claims rapidly and these challenges can result in mistakes.

Insufficient Preparation for Estimate Writing

The vast majority of claims work is spent writing estimates. With hurricane season in full force, new insurance adjusters can expect several claims to come their way in the next few months. However, while they’ll be juggling several claims, which means a good deal of money is at stake, they’ll also be struggling to get a handle on accurate estimate writing.

Programs exist to assist with this, but learning them takes time that veteran adjusters won’t have when natural disasters strike. New insurance adjusters need to learn the ropes of estimate writing and understand the basics well in advance of known busy seasons for insurance claims. This will reduce how long it takes the new adjuster to close claims, meaning faster payouts.

Disorganized Processes and Procedures

New adjusters will need a systematic, step-by-step process for how they work claims. Failing to do so will often leave new adjusters bouncing from task to task, missing small details, or forgetting certain steps. Small mistakes can result in kicked back claims, which take up valuable time to untangle and resolve. Organization is key in keeping details straight and having airtight procedures for working claims can ensure they process smoothly from start to finish.

Actec understands the challenges involved in processing claims. Customer tensions are high and adjusters need to process claims quickly to keep everyone happy. Contact us to learn how we can help improve your claims life cycle from first notice of loss (FNOL) to closing the claim.

How to Improve the Insurance Call Center Experience

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January 7th, 2019

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When customers dial their insurer’s customer service number, they usually go through a phone tree before connecting with a live person. More often than not, customers make use of this number when they have a problem. This means they’re likely on edge and customer service representatives need to be prepared to handle the call with finesse. A knowledgeable and friendly representative is likely to yield better results than an inexperienced and aloof one.

However, every customer service representative has to start somewhere; without practice, they can’t improve. The following are several methods representatives can utilize to improve the customer’s experience:

  1. Build representatives’ confidence. A customer service representative who isn’t sure of him or herself is likely to stumble through many of their calls. Insurance companies need to provide representatives with the right tools to help them gain confidence in their ability to answer any question a client might ask them as well as offer creative solutions for customers’ problems. Providing onboarding training is a good start, but implementing quarterly training can help keep their skills sharp.
  2. Emphasize soft skills. Most customers become frustrated with customer service representatives because they can come across as uncaring or robotic. Soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and adaptability are just as important as technical know-how. Insurance companies should provide training for soft skills to teach representatives how to be compassionate while providing accurate information.
  3. Offer peer-to-peer coaching. Training can provide representatives with the foundation they need to offer quality customer support. However, they will encounter situations or develop questions they may feel uncomfortable discussing with their supervisor. This approach to coaching also fosters better relationships between employees.
  4. Focus on quality. Several key performance indicators (KPIs) can help an insurance company pinpoint areas to improve. For example, the industry standard for answering calls within 30 seconds sits at about 80-85%. If an insurance call center is taking longer than this to answer calls, they are already at a disadvantage regarding customer satisfaction.

Customer service representatives field dozens of calls each day. Making sure that each conversation is a satisfactory experience for the customer is vital to customer retention. To learn more about improving the insurance claims call center experience, contact the experts at Actec.