COVID-19 has long-reaching effects for many policyholders. While they may know their immediate pandemic-related concerns, insureds aren’t always aware of the smaller hazards that can affect their personal property. Insurance providers can seize this opportunity to drive value for their customers during these challenging times.
Insurance companies can use the following methods to deliver superior service to their customers:
Communicate more often. Customer confusion is high as they begin to question if their existing coverage meets their shifting needs. They may also have concerns about making payments if the pandemic impeded their ability to work. Increasing communication to address these concerns can ease the customers’ tensions. For example, insurance providers can update customers on new billing options, flexible payments, or changes to payment plans.
Be prepared for more claims. Customers that own rental properties may not realize it, but they’re likely to see more claims as the pandemic continues. Many people are working from home and leaving the house less. As a result, tenants are causing more wear and tear than usual. Insurers can give their customers simple tips to avoid some common pitfalls. Some examples include switching out old batteries in smoke detectors or making sure appliances are in good working order (i.e., replacing washing machine hoses to avoid water damage).
Take steps to prevent insurance fraud. Insurance companies often experience more instances of fraud during times of economic hardship. However, the financial fall out of fraud affects insurance providers and customers alike. Those losses often translate into higher premiums for customers. As a result, many insurers are turning to artificial intelligence to flag potentially fraudulent files for additional review.
Focus on digital innovation. Customers’ preference for technology isn’t a new trend, but COVID-19 has created more urgency than ever to provide digital services. Insurance providers should center their innovative efforts on digitizing services and solutions. Conducting business online allows customers to remain socially distanced while receiving the services most important to them. For example, providing additional channels of communication such as chat and text allows customers to find answers to their questions quickly without waiting on hold or for an email response.
COVID-19 has created uncertainty and confusion for many customers. Insurance providers can help alleviate those concerns and drive value by providing support where customers need it most. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about improving the customer experience.
Insurance providers know that first notice of loss (FNOL) plays a critical role in customer satisfaction for the duration of any given claim. However, any bottlenecks or frustrations can tank customer loyalty. Retaining existing customers costs much less than trying to secure new ones, so it behooves insurance providers to keep their existing client base happy. One of the easiest methods to achieve this is to enable text communication between claim adjusters and customers.
Claim adjusters can harness the usefulness of texting in the following ways:
- Reduce error-related delays. Insureds aren’t well-versed in insurance documentation. The effort involved is often cumbersome and frustrating. Their irritation intensifies over denials related to small clerical errors. Text message communication allows insurance adjusters to review documents and help customers make any necessary corrections before submitting the paperwork.
- Simplify sharing photos and videos. Following a loss, having a picture or video of the damage helps adjusters get a jumpstart on the claim. However, many images and video files are too large to attach to emails. Many insurers allow their customers to upload files via a mobile app, but this isn’t helpful if the insured doesn’t already have the app on their phone. Waiting for an app to download, creating a login, and figuring out where to upload photos will annoy the customer when texting is so much faster and easier.
- Eliminate lengthy voicemails and missed calls. Customers don’t like listening to long-winded voicemails, and many don’t check their inbox at all. According to a report by Adobe, email communication fares better with an open rate of 20-30%. However, text message communication blows both out of the water with a whopping 98% open rate. Texting often yields faster communication as well, as most people open texts within three seconds of receiving them.
- Enhanced accessibility. Most customers have a smartphone and know how to text with ease. This isn’t always the case when it comes to navigating a mobile app or attaching documents to an email. Texting is also beneficial for customers with hearing loss. Texting gives adjusters access to almost every customer, which allows them to deliver superior service.
- Streamline commonly asked questions. Insureds aren’t always familiar with their coverage, and the claims process can leave them with more questions than answers. Calling their insurance company, navigating a phone tree, and sitting on hold to get an answer for a basic question provides a subpar experience. Text communication allows customer support agents to field these questions while also producing a written record of the exchange. This frees up insurance adjusters’ time so they can focus on claim-related issues.
Text message communication provides benefits for both the customer and the insurance adjuster. It improves workflow while delivering superior customer support. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how text communication can improve FNOL and claims management for your insurance company.
Today’s customers have a significantly different approach to purchasing insurance than customers a decade ago did. They’re more likely to shop around online and they expect superior customer service and products. They also place a premium on transparency, which has forced many insurance carriers to overhaul their processes to remain competitive.
One of the simplest methods insurance providers can take to build a positive rapport with their customers is to implement chat support. Having the ability to receive customer support through text or chat programs can provide the following benefits:
- Provide faster solutions. Customers who need help understanding their policy or a claim don’t have the patience to navigate a confusing website or phone tree. They need to find the answers to their questions quickly to gain peace of mind or resolve an unpleasant situation. Having access to chat support can provide timely information and superior service.
- Improves transparency. Many phone trees inform customers that the insurance provider records calls to improve customer service. However, it’s not often clear how those calls help the customer, particularly if they have to repeat themselves every time they call in about a claim. With a chat service, the insurance provider has a text log of the conversation. Providing customers with this exchange via email or their customer portal enhances transparency efforts and improves trust.
- Decreases average handling time. Chat support programs often allow customers and insurance representatives to upload images or screen share. This cuts down on confusion and can allow chat support to resolve a customer’s questions faster as visual aids are usually easier to understand than verbal instructions.
- Suggest relevant or complementary products. The average customer has a basic understanding of their insurance needs, but they may not be aware of risks and coverage gaps in their existing policies. Having chat support can allow insurance representatives to suggest different policies or additional coverage options based on the customer’s existing products and questions. For example, a customer may inquire if their renters’ policy covers jewelry loss due to a covered peril. While many policies do offer coverage for jewelry, it often caps at a certain dollar value. As a result, many insurance companies offer separate policies for valuable property such as engagement rings. These policies are usually inexpensive and providing customers with information can help them make informed decisions regarding their insurance.
Chat support is a rapid, effective means to assist customers as well as build better relationships with them. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about implementing chat support.
When a customer first contacts their insurance provider to report an accident, theft, or other covered incident, they’re initiating first notice of loss (FNOL). Most insurance carriers know that FNOL is critical to securing customer satisfaction. However, insureds are often upset when they begin FNOL as they’ve just experienced a loss so their tolerance for mistakes or delays is low. Inefficient processes, clunky communication, and data intake errors will further upset them as well as lower customer approval and erode loyalty.
Thankfully, insurance providers can take the following steps to improve FNOL and customer satisfaction:
- Identify workflow bottlenecks. One of the most common customer complaints regarding their insurance company is a delay in claims processing. Whether the adjuster is missing critical information, the claim requires a specialized adjuster, or there are documentation errors, delays can derail customer satisfaction. Finding common headache sources during FNOL and rectifying them can keep customers happy.
- Provide options for FNOL. When an insured needs to report a loss, they don’t want to jump through several hoops to get to the right person. Providing several options for reporting FNOL allows insured customers to initiate FNOL when, where, and how they prefer. This means offering intake options via telephone, a web portal, text messaging, etc.
- Engage with customers digitally. Even with optimized claim intake processes, insurers may require more information than they captured during FNOL. Sending missing information alerts via text messaging allows customers to provide the information quickly and keeps the claim on track. Digital channels of communication such as chat support improve transparency as well as customers can receive updates on their claim status, settlements, and more.
Implementing chat and text functionality is of particular benefit to insurance carriers. It creates a new channel for claims intake while providing superior service to insured customers experiencing a loss. Chat support can also answer common questions regarding claims, which allows insurance adjusters to focus on processing claims faster.
If your FNOL process is creating more headaches than its solving, Actec can help. Contact us to learn more about enhancing FNOL, implementing new communication channels, and improving claims management.
It’s a well-known industry fact that first notice of loss (FNOL) is the single greatest opportunity to secure customer satisfaction during a claim. It’s also often a distressing time for the customer as they are reporting a loss. With emotions running high, a lackluster or poor FNOL experience can stain a customer’s perception of and loyalty to his or her insurance provider.
Uncontrollable elements also affect FNOL, such as the time the loss occurs. Accidents, thefts, and other damages don’t always occur during normal business hours. In order to offer customers around the clock service, many insurers invest in call centers. This gives them the ability to offer assistance to insureds whenever their loss may occur as well as handle a large volume of calls to prevent delays. However, many of these call centers operate through offshore channels. While offshore call centers typically come with a lower price tag, they also include several hassles that can damage customer satisfaction and retention.
The Benefits of Nearshore Call Centers
Nearshore call centers share many similarities with offshore options with a few key differences. Nearshore call centers still offer 24/7 service all year round, but the intake agents work in much closer proximity to the insurer than many traditional offshore entities. Because these agents are in a similar or closer time zone, communication with the insurer is much easier and faster. This expedites the claims process, allowing insurers to begin the next steps on a shorter timeline. It’s also easier to guarantee the quality of customer service.
Actec’s Nearshore Contact Center Solution
Customers need to have the ability to file claims whenever they occur. Following a loss, many customers will only have access to their phones. This likely means they will initiate FNOL through their insurer’s call center. Actec understands customers expect a hassle-free experience and having a high-quality call center contributes enormously toward that outcome.
Actec’s nearshore call center operates 100% through US-based phone systems and any recorded data remains within the US. In addition to adhering to stringent IT standards, our nearshore facilities are also PCI compliant. We strive to provide secure, high-quality call center services that offer scalability to keep pace with your company as it grows. To learn more about improving the call center experience at an affordable rate, contact the experts at Actec.
It’s not uncommon to see job postings for insurance adjusters include desired skills such as fast worker or excellent multitasker. With so many boxes to check on any given claim, most adjusters believe they need to complete three tasks at once to stay on track. However, this approach often leads to time-consuming errors that can delay the claim. If adjusters take a single-task approach, they can usually complete their claims faster with fewer mistakes.
What is Singletasking?
Instead of trying to perform several tasks at once, adjusters tend to be more effective if they focus all their efforts on completing one task before starting another. Avoiding distractions is vital as it allows adjusters to seamlessly flow from one step to the next without losing track of where they were in the claims process or forgetting to complete a different task because they began a new one halfway through.
How to Speed Up the Claim Cycle
The following are several ways adjusters can remove distractions for flawless claims workflow:
- Turn off all devices that require active listening—no television, no radio, no podcasts or audiobooks, etc. While some tasks may be tedious, active listening distracts adjusters’ attention, which can lead to errors.
- Set office hours and stick to them. Otherwise, adjusters should turn off their phones and allow messages to go to voicemail. Stopping to answer the phone every 10-15 minutes can derail progress on a claim.
- Do not check emails. Emails are notorious for consuming the workday. Adjusters often start with good intentions—checking for updates and the like—but a five-minute once-over can turn into upward of an hour of clearing out spam or replying to emails out of habit rather than to advance any claims. Set specific times of day for checking emails to avoid the temptation.
- Perform work in batches. When following up on claims, stack them in a pile and work through them from top to bottom. Do not take calls or listen to other voicemails at that time. This creates confusion and can result in accidentally overlooking a claim. The same is true for emails or writing estimates.
- Put up “Do Not Disturb” signs. This is especially vital when traveling for claims. Housekeeping for hotels coming and going can disrupt workflow, as can well-intentioned friendly coworkers dropping by to chat before heading out to their next claim.
Closing claims faster and with fewer errors improves an insurer’s bottom line while boosting customer satisfaction. To learn more about improving claims processing and management, contact the experts at Actec.
Customer retention is a huge part of the financial stability equation for insurance providers. It costs significantly more money to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing accounts, but many insurers struggle to identify what is important to their current clients as well as pain points that influence them to find a new insurer.
What Do Policyholders Want?
Not much has changed on the playing field regarding what policyholders want from their providers, which leaves many insurers flummoxed on what needs modifying. However, customer expectations are significantly higher than in previous years due to a massive increase in technology. Researching rates, typical settlements, and more are easier than ever. Online reviews and mobile apps also play a critical role in how individuals choose their insurance providers.
However, the single most pivotal influencing factor on a customer’s loyalty is their claims experience. This explains why 30% of customers report they’re considering changing insurance companies in the coming year despite 93% describing themselves as satisfied with their current provider. What’s even more telling is that customers who filed a claim in the preceding two years reported they are twice as likely to switch providers. What’s intriguing is the claim outcome, good or bad, doesn’t play a role in their decision.
6 Key Claim Factors That Cause Customers to Defect
Because customers with positive claims outcomes are still more likely to switch insurance providers, insurers need to know what aspects of the claims process is driving the change. While the perceived fairness of the settlement will always top customers’ lists, insurers need to focus on the following to guarantee customer satisfaction during the claims process:
- Speed of settlement
- Transparency of the claims process and explanation of the next steps
- Ease of communication with the insurer to receive an update at any time
- Regular, timely updates without the customer reaching out first
- Empathetic insurance representatives
- Multiple communication methods to discuss the claim including phone, email, mobile app, etc.
The biggest takeaway is that the final outcome of the claim isn’t always what matters to customers. Even if they receive a settlement that makes them happy, customers will start shopping for new providers is the experience of the claims process is lacking.
If your insurance company is struggling with an outmoded claims process, Actec can help. Contact us to learn more about our full-cycle claim and incident reporting solutions.
Improving claims management efficiency is a multi-pronged effort. It isn’t enough to streamline processes or hire the best people. Insurers also need to upgrade their technology and enhance communication efforts. By making the necessary changes, efficient insurance providers can gain an edge on the competition. Clients value swift claims resolutions with few hiccups. By processing claims swiftly and accurately, insurers can improve customer satisfaction, increase revenue, and lower costs.
Start with the People
Insurance agents are the first people customers will interact with during a claim. Finding the best candidate relies on several factors. These include:
- At the very least, employees should have stellar qualifications. Unqualified employees can cause delays and make expensive errors.
- Employees need to have the right attitude to manage claims and interact with customers. When a customer calls in to report an incident or to get an update on an open claim, they are likely to be in an emotional state. Employees need to be able to interact with customers in a pleasant, calming, and professional way.
Implement Good Processes and Technology
Establishing a solid claims process can help eliminate redundancy and unnecessary steps. The following is an example of a good workflow:
- Create the claim
- Verify the claim
- Request corrections if necessary; verify again
- Provide an expert review
- Based on the review, reject and close the claim or resolve the claim
- If the claim is to go to resolution, seek final approval from superiors
- Close the claim
Insurers that implement a solid claims management process can then focus on improving the technology side of the claim. They can automate certain processes to streamline the entire experience. Today’s customers expect a certain level of speed and care that outdated legacy systems cannot provide.
Communication Is Key
Many customers report dissatisfaction with their experience because the claim took much longer than expected to resolve. While insurance providers cannot speed up certain processes, they can manage customers’ expectations. By utilizing effective communication, insurance agents can keep customers abreast of where the claim is in the process and how long it will take to reach a resolution.
If your insurance company is struggling with inefficient claims processes, Actec can help. Our Full-Cycle Claim and Incident Reporting Solutions provide improvements to first notice of loss (FNOL) and claims management. To learn more, contact us today.
Closing a claim is an insurance adjuster’s primary goal for any file that crosses his or her desk. The insurance industry expects no less, either. Insurers and policyholders alike want a claim assigned, investigated, and closed as fast as possible. When claims linger, customers grow frustrated and retention rates decline.
Owner vs. Employee Mentality
However, many adjusters seem to struggle with closing claims rapidly. One reason is that some adjusters have an employee mentality over an ownership mentality. There are several legitimate reasons that can stall a claim such as an insured client not providing information or an outside service such as an auto repair facility not communicating well. Adjusters with an employee mentality will wait for the information to come to them. Adjusters that take ownership of their claims will seek out that information for faster claims resolution.
Give up the Myth of Multitasking
A common trend on job applications is to include “excellent multitasking skills.” However, multitasking as an adjuster can lead to errors as well as bring workflow to a halt. For example, when adjusters try to gather data following first notice of loss (FNOL) for multiple claims at once, they run the risk of mixing up claims or recording incorrect information. This will require more time later on to undo the mistakes in order to close the claim.
Instead, adjusters should give single-tasking a try, which is focusing on bringing one task to completion before moving onto the next without distractions. This means:
- Turning off message notifications on computers and on cellphones
- Avoiding checking emails while working on a claim
- Turning off podcasts, webinars, and anything else that requires the adjuster to be an active listener
- Putting up Do Not Disturb signs around workspaces to ensure no interruptions
Making these two changes can do wonders for improving insurance adjusters’ workflow and time to resolution for claims. Of course, a vital aspect of ensuring that claims process in a timely manner is excellent FNOL intake. FNOL represents the single greatest opportunity to secure a customer’s satisfaction as well give the claim a favorable start. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how we can improve your claims process.
While gaining new customers is vital to an insurance company’s success, retaining existing customers is more so. This is because it costs significantly more money to acquire a new customer than it does to retain one. If an insurer is experiencing a high volume of customer turnover, they may need to examine their claims process. The claim cycle is a vital part of the customer’s experience. By streamlining how customers file claims, insurers can improve customer satisfaction and retention.
Meet Customer Communication Expectations
Today’s customers want technological solutions to their insurance needs. This means an insurance company should offer communications through several channels including a website, a mobile app, and traditional methods of communication (e-mail, print, etc.). To remain competitive, insurers need to upgrade their system to allow customers to complete a variety of tasks from their phones or tablets. Some examples include:
- First notice of loss (FNOL)
- Updating policy information
- Requesting information about new or existing policies
- Communicating about open claims
Customers want a variety of electronic communication options. Insurance companies that fail to meet these expectations will lose their customers to more technologically advanced competitors.
Prompt and Accurate Claims Processing
Customers dislike complicated or lengthy claims processes. Improving communications and minimizing the amount of back and forth required to close a claim go a long way toward improving customer satisfaction. For example, if an insurance agent provides the wrong information or requests information from the customer several times, that customer will be unhappy with his or her experience. If this occurs every time the customer tries to make a claim, they will eventually find a new insurance provider.
Implementing an effective claims processing system can help insurance companies address any issues with how they resolve claims. Actec’s Full-Cycle Claim and Incident Reporting Solutions allows insurers to customize their entire claims process including FNOL intake, managing client and customer-specific questions and scripts, and much more. To learn more about improving how your company manages claims, contact us today.