Improving FNOL Processes with Technology Changes

Posted on

February 1st, 2022


First notice of loss (FNOL) represents the single greatest opportunity insurance adjusters have to set the tone for customersatisfaction. If any missteps occur, it’s incredibly difficult to turn the customer’s opinion around after the fact. Streamlining the FNOL process is vital to ensuring a positive start to the claim, but implementing effective change can be a challenge. Insurers may not know where in the process the bottleneck occurs, but technology can help illuminate and resolve those issues.

Automating for Intelligent Claims Routing

Some of the issues with FNOL can occur dependent upon which adjuster receives the claim. While insurers take steps to ensure the claim goes to a qualified adjuster, it can be hard to know upfront who is best for the job. Fields of experience, workloads, and years on the job all affect which adjuster is best for the claim. An insurer may think that a seasoned adjuster is best for a complex claim, but this isn’t always the case if that adjuster is already overloaded with work or doesn’t have experience in that type of claim.

Most insurers don’t have the time to dig down into the nitty-gritty details, which often results in changing adjusters as the claim progresses. This irritates customers because they have to repeat their story, re-send documentation, and other redundancies that hurt their overall experience and confidence in their insurer.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can prevent these repetitive tasks. AI can compare adjusters’ locations, availability, areas of expertise, and licenses to pinpoint the best adjuster for the claim without slowing down the claims process. Automating the claims assignment process saves managers time and reduces aggravations on the back end and front end alike.

Identifying key areas of slowdowns in the claims process can help expedite incoming claims, improve customer satisfaction, and boost an insurance company’s bottom line. The experts at Actec understand the frustrations insurers face when trying to overhaul their claims process. Contact us to learn how we can help streamline FNOL as well as improve your claims processes with our custom claims intake solutions.

How to Improve Your Call Center’s Internal Communication

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September 21st, 2021


Quality customer service is the core goal of any call center, and it relies on call center agents’ communication skills. However, a call center will struggle to perform if internal communications are problematic. Contradictions from management, misunderstandings, and unclear directives can wreak havoc within a call center and reduce agents’ abilities to reach their target key performance indicators (KPIs).

Improving internal communication provides several benefits, including increased productivity, heightened employee morale, and a boost in profits. Companies can implement the following to improve their call centers’ internal communication:

  • Provide clear communication expectations. Employees use a variety of channels to communicate, such as emails, texts, phone calls, or in person. Outlining expectations for tone and usage of these channels can eliminate confusion and frustration.
  • Define each employee’s role. When employees don’t understand how their job contributes toward a team or company-wide goal, they’re likely to struggle or disengage. When employees know each other’s roles, it also empowers them to seek the right individual when handling a problem.
  • Incorporate transparency into training. Onboarding and ongoing training are critical to honing employees’ skills, but that may not be clear to everyone on the team. Explaining the why behind the training demonstrates honesty and respect for employees’ time.
  • Avoid spam-like communication. Employees aren’t machines, and they’re likely to glaze over when they open a long-winded or not-relevant-to-them email. Embedding pleasantries like “We appreciate your time and effort!” at the end of an email with little value comes across as empty and false. Emails should be easy to scan and truncated to the most salient points.

Ineffective communication within a call center can lead to information silos, process breakdowns, and unsatisfactory customer service. Excellent communication, both internal and external, is the backbone of a successful call center. Actec can provide your company with the high-quality call center you need. Contact us to learn more about our nearshore call center solutions.

4 Customer Service Trends Businesses Need to Know in 2021

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August 10th, 2021


The past several years have seen massive shifts in customer expectations, and the customer experience is more critical than ever. Recent reports underscore this fact, as three-quarters of customers list stellar service as a key factor in securing their loyalty. However, providing superior service in 2021 differs vastly from previous years.

Customer service expectations are always evolving, and companies need to know what their customers care about most. Here are the customer service trends defining 2021:

  1. Customer service is synonymous with the brand. In the wake of the pandemic, customers interact less with businesses in person. Most of their communication occurs online or over the phone, and call center agents are experiencing a massive uptick in support tickets. Online shopping is also driving this trend. Without face-to-face interactions, customers engage with a brand almost exclusively through its customer service representatives.
  2. Customers are reexamining companies’ values. The pandemic forced people indoors and gave them ample time to reflect on what matters most to them. Customers are extending this thought process to businesses and are taking a hard look at company values. Customers want to buy from companies that prioritize social responsibility, diversity, and empathy. It’s no longer enough to provide the fastest service or the greatest convenience. Companies need to prioritize these values to earn a customer’s business and loyalty.
  3. Transparency and data security. Half of a brand’s customers will leave after a bad experience, but it’s not always an unhelpful agent or issues with an order that drives them away. How a company collects customer data and what they do with it matters more to customers across the board. One survey found that 71% of customers would drop a brand if it disclosed their data to other entities with express permission. Companies must perform the sensitive balancing act of personalizing the customer experience without encroaching on their privacy. Transparency about data collection, use, and distribution is critical to earning a customer’s trust.
  4. A demand for messaging. Many customers contacted a business via message for the first time as the pandemic forced them indoors. Most of those individuals plan to continue messaging businesses. However, messaging is a broad term that encompasses many platforms, and customers want to engage on their preferred communication channel. Tickets across all messaging channels leaped in 2020, including text, live chat, social media, online forms, and email.

Companies need to engage with customers where they are, and this means adopting omnichannel communications. Your business risks losing its customer base if you’re lacking messaging channels like chat and live text. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our messaging solutions.

How to Maximize the Digital Customer Experience

Posted on

July 27th, 2021


The pandemic forced companies to change how they do business as stay-at-home orders limited how they could interact with customers. As people adjusted to working from home and shopping online, their expectations for digital interactions evolved. Customers aren’t as forgiving of clunky digital experiences, and companies need to keep up with the latest trends. Here are a few pivotal elements companies can implement to enhance the digital customer’s experience:

  1. Business conduct matters. People are no longer content to purchase products and services without knowing how they’re rendered. If a business claims to be eco-friendly, it needs to show proof. Showing customers how the company produces its goods and services establishes a positive character and culture. Gaining customers’ trust goes a long way toward earning their business.
  2. Measurable differentiation. Companies often boast that they’re innovators in their field, but the words fall flat without proof. With a flood of competition, companies need to work harder than ever to show how they are different and why a customer should choose them. Companies can do this by investing in causes that align with their values or producing unique solutions for customer’s pain points. Telling customers how the company is different is easy, but showing it will be critical to securing customer loyalty.
  3. Chat programs. Offering chat services isn’t new, but customers’ expectations of it have changed. Customers want rapid solutions. They don’t want to sit and wait much as they would on a phone call. Chatbots can provide immediate answers based on the customers’ inquiries, which eliminates a previously frustrating experience.
  4. Omnichannel communication. Customers want the option to connect with a company through a variety of channels. Some prefer traditional phone calls, while others want to use a contact form. Customers want modern options as well, including chat, text, and social media interactions. Companies need to be available when and where their customers need them, which means expanding the available communication channels.

The digital customer experience has become more nuanced in the wake of the pandemic. Companies need to be able to pivot and keep up with customer preferences and trends. Investing in a chat and text program can help bring your company in line with customer expectations. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our chat and text solutions.

4 Ways Nearshore Call Centers Outperform Offshore Outsourcing

Posted on

July 20th, 2021


near shore fnolCall centers are an effective means to deliver timely customer service for a growing company. Many businesses turn to offshore call centers because they’re often less expensive. However, offshore call centers have several hidden issues that many companies don’t discover until they start losing customers. Here are some of the top ways offshore call centers fall short:

  1. Unforeseen costs. The appeal of an offshore call center is almost always the lower cost of labor. However, hidden expenses often undercut most of those savings. For example, any protocol or software modification a company requests comes with a hefty price tag. Offshore call centers can create legal headaches for the company too, as they are often aggressive about reaching key performance indicators (KPI). If the call center breaches Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) protocols, companies can find themselves at the center of an expensive lawsuit.
  2. Lack of familiarity with the company. Offshore call center agents aren’t likely to know the culture of the company. Their goal to reach their KPIs can cause them to overlook the company’s end state. While they may be securing more sales, their approach can result in an inferior experience for the customer. Over enough time, customers will seek a new provider that delivers the service they expect.
  3. Culture barriers. Offshore call center agents often struggle to relate with American culture, which can result in unsatisfactory customer support. Language barriers are also a significant problem. Even if agents are fluent in English, they are often unfamiliar with slang terminology or regional accents. If the agent and customer struggle to understand each other, the agent isn’t likely to resolve the customer’s issue.
  4. Limited oversight. Companies place a lot of trust in offshore call centers, but it’s almost impossible to observe how agents interact with customers. If a call center misunderstands or fails to adhere to company protocols, the substandard service they provide will hurt the company’s reputation.

Nearshore call centers eliminate the above concerns for several reasons. Chief among them is their cultural familiarity. Nearshore call centers understand American laws and culture due to their proximity. It’s also easier to communicate with nearshore call centers as the time zone difference isn’t as significant. Contact the experts at Actec to discover how nearshore call centers can benefit your business.

ESF, Catastrophe, and After-Hours Reporting in FNOL

Posted on

June 1st, 2021


catastrophic fnolHandling events that are challenging to anticipate lives at the heart of first notice of loss. Our philosophy is that any and all customer requirements take absolute precedence. In this vein, a variety of services are pertinent when it comes to covering FNOL and Absence Management needs. Through our proprietary intake solution, we have fewer constraints than a software/ASP vendor, and can implement customizations quickly.

In addition to the various essential first notice services, we cover electronic state filing as well as call center support for catastrophic events and after-hours developments. Our custom solutions leverage a variety of features including:

  • Customer set-up profiles provide flexibility in customizing workflows, including personalized greetings, lines of business, custom questions and report types, policy, carrier and claim office assignments, distributions, etc.
  • FROI and state specific questions maintenance system
  • Catastrophic escalation identification and tracking
  • Robust distribution module
  • To learn more about what services best suit your organization and discuss implementation strategies, contact us.

    4 Ways Technology Improves Customer Loyalty

    Posted on

    May 11th, 2021


    An insurance company’s reputation relies heavily on the quality of its customer service. Customer loyalty is harder than ever to retain because of the sheer volume of options available to customers. A single bad experience can cause a repeat customer to give their business to a competitor. The onus is on businesses to remain competitive through first notice of loss (FNOL) and other interactions, and many are turning to technology to meet rising customer expectations.

    Technology can improve the customer experience in the following ways:

    1. Mobile self-service features. Sometimes, customers want to find the answers to their questions themselves. They don’t want to wait on hold or for a representative to look up information they can find on their own. Businesses can meet this need by implementing automated chat or text programs. Customers can then use self-service technology to resolve their simple questions without delay.
    2. Faster response time. When customers a covered loss, they want it resolved as soon as possible. They don’t want to leave a message or wait for their insurer to respond to their email. The customer threshold for frustration is low, and every minute they spend waiting fuels their dissatisfaction. Text and chat services open a channel of communication that guarantees a rapid response.
    3. Greater convenience. Part of providing stellar customer service is how convenient the process is for the customer. If the customer sat on hold after navigating a convoluted phone tree, the representative who eventually fields the call is starting at a disadvantage. Providing multiple channels of communication allows customers to engage with the company on their preferred terms.
    4. Holistic communication. More channels of communication create more opportunities for misunderstandings without technology. Text and chat software allows businesses to deliver the same quality of messaging regardless of how the customer contacts them. Electronic records also provide customer service representatives with historical data to offer faster, personalized assistance.

    Technology is a limiting factor for the quality of service an insurance company can provide. Without the proper tools, customer service will fall short of customer expectations. Implementing text and chat technology can eliminate customer pain points while quickly resolving their most pressing concerns. Contact Actec to learn more about improving customer loyalty with our text and chat support solutions.

    Effective Ways to Drive Value for Policyholders

    Posted on

    April 20th, 2021


    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.

    4 Ways to Provide Excellent Customer Service

    Posted on

    April 6th, 2021


    An insurance company may offer the best rates with the widest array of products but still lose customers to a competitor. The leading cause for this is poor customer service. Poor service can take many forms, including not resolving the customer’s issue, lacking reliability, or difficulty reaching a representative.

    Insurance providers can implement the following to deliver consistent customer service that exceeds expectations:

    1. Knowledgeable representatives. Service representatives can’t troubleshoot or solve a customer’s problem if they aren’t familiar with the products. However, baseline knowledge isn’t enough. Support employees need to be subject matter experts on the insurer’s products. This helps them deliver superior service as well as make other product recommendations that compliment the customer’s existing coverage.
    2. Innovative problem-solving. Resolving the customer’s problem is the primary goal, but customer service doesn’t have to stop there. Customers aren’t likely to share their experiences when the service is straightforward. They are happy to have their issue dealt with, but the experience wasn’t noteworthy. Insurers can take customer service to the next level by offering customers more than they expected when placing the call. Examples include a small customer loyalty discount on their upcoming payment, a personalized card thanking them for their business, or useful company swag (e.g., mugs, water bottles, pens, etc.). The key is to go above and beyond, as that is more likely to drive positive reviews and referrals.
    3. Personalize the service. Customers can tell when an agent reads them a scripted response, and they don’t appreciate it. It demonstrates that the agent isn’t familiar with the customer’s products or isn’t adequately perceiving the problem. Service without personalization leaves customers feeling like they’re file numbers rather than individuals. For example, if the agent sees that a customer’s birthday is coming up, the agent can wish the customer a happy birthday to personalize the experience.
    4. Deliver on promises. When customer service representatives make promises or give their word, they need to make sure they follow through. When an insurance company doesn’t deliver on a promise, the customer feels angry and disrespected. Agents should note the customer’s file with the details, so other representatives will know what the customer is referencing if they call back.

    A significant element of delivering excellent service is investing in a high-quality call center. Nearshore call centers ensure that the agents have similar cultural experiences with the customers, which allows them to have greater empathy and understanding for the customer’s needs. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about the benefits of a nearshore call center.

    4 Ways COVID-19 Changed Insurance Buying Habits

    Posted on

    February 23rd, 2021


    The pandemic has changed several aspects of society, from how people gather to how children attend school and even how consumers purchase insurance. While factors such as age, location, and income all influence insurance purchases, recent consumer surveys have identified several trends regardless of demographics. Some of the most significant trends include:

    1. Fewer life events. Life events that typically drive insurance purchases, such as weddings and having children, aren’t happening during the pandemic. Many consumers are delaying these things in favor of waiting out COVID-19. Many are also dealing with unemployment or a reduced income, meaning they have less cashflow for insurance purchases.
    2. Increased desire for life insurance. Over half of American consumers see a greater need for life insurance due to the pandemic. However, while more people want life insurance, traditional underwriting requirements like medical exams are harder to complete. Unsurprisingly, half of the consumers indicated they’d be more likely to buy a life insurance policy that uses simplified underwriting.
    3. Consumers are shopping around. Over one-third of consumers plan to shop around for or switch to a new auto insurance provider. Reduced cash flow is once again the driving factor behind this trend. It’s a direct reflection of the desire to keep insurance costs down to save money.
    4. Consumers prefer digital channels. Nearly 60% of consumers used a digital platform to shop for auto insurance. Digital channels were growing in popularity before the pandemic, but they’re in high demand now to stay socially distant while shopping.

    Having digital channels to engage with customers meets their preferences and needs. It helps improve customer loyalty and can give businesses an edge over carriers that don’t offer digital options. Actec’s text and chat support solution can help answer questions customers may have, streamline communication, and more. Contact Actec to learn more about integrating text and chat support.