4 Traits Call Centers Need for Effective Crisis Communication

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December 21st, 2021

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

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

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

5 Tips for Hiring the Best Call Center

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September 14th, 2020

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Many growing businesses turn to call centers to handle the influx of customer service calls. This allows their employees to spend more time on providing specialized services or focusing on other, high-priority tasks. However, switching to a call center represents a significant change in company culture and employee responsibility so businesses need to make sure they contract with a call center that best meets their needs.

The following are some guiding principles for identifying top tier call centers:

  1. Make security a top priority. Many call centers have moved to the cloud for several reasons. It’s easier to install technology and render services that way. It’s also a good fit for businesses that have agents operating at multiple sites. However, companies will want to make sure their data is secure as well as investigate what redundancies and data recovery the call center offers in the event of a disaster.
  2. Look for compassion. Businesses need more than a person to answer a ringing phone. They need a friendly voice to help answer customers’ questions or resolve their issues. This is particularly important in the insurance industry when handling calls related to a loss. First notice of loss (FNOL) is the single greatest opportunity for securing customer satisfaction. Having a compassionate agent can help achieve that goal.
  3. Ensure a call center’s services align with business goals. Businesses should identify what they need from a call center and compare providers that meet their established criteria. Creating this short-list in advance saves time by avoiding interviews with providers that don’t offer the necessary services. This is particularly important for businesses that require special features like chat support or around the clock services.
  4. Meet with the call center. A provider may check every box from security to friendliness to specialty services and still fall short of the mark. Several providers may look good on paper, but businesses need to perform their due diligence by taking a tour of the call center’s facilities. If the call center’s leadership and management style differ vastly from a company’s culture, there could be significant clashes later.
  5. Determine how much location matters. Call centers can be offshore, nearshore, or onshore. Onshore call centers often have restrictions on hours of operation either due to time zones or expense. While offshore call centers are often cheaper, there can be a significant cultural divide that can cause friction between customers and the company. Nearshore call centers offer the best of both worlds by having similar cultural experiences and decent proximity for business meetings while providing enough distance to cover more hours of service.

Outsourcing calls gives companies a competitive edge for several reasons. For example, if one business has a customer service line and the other does not, potential customers are more likely to opt for the option they can call with their questions. Customers also prefer businesses that offer extended hours for customer service calls beyond the traditional 9:00 to 5:00. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how investing in a nearshore call center can improve your business.