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.
Exceptional customer service is essential for an insurance company to succeed. Customers want to feel like a valued client rather than a file number, and they want rapid answers to their questions. They also place a premium on hassle-free claims. However, many insurance companies make several missteps when communicating with their customers. Miscommunications lead to frustration and a poor customer experience.
The following are some of the typical blunders insurance companies make when communicating with insureds:
- Chronic understaffing. Customers hate waiting on hold. They hate it even more when they have an urgent problem, such as a car accident or loss. It degrades customer loyalty to have consistently long wait times, as they feel undervalued. Call logs can provide actionable insight for staffing needs by determining when call volumes are highest.
- Limited communication options. It’s not always possible for an insured to call in a claim, and many prefer other communication channels altogether. For simple policy questions, some insureds would rather contact chat support. Others prefer email to maintain a record of communication. Customers expect to have several communication channels available to them, including phone, email, a mobile app, text, and chat support.
- Lack of adequate training. Customer service representatives need to be experts when it comes to the insurance products the company carries, how to answer questions about various policies, and how to navigate the claims process from FNOL to resolution. In addition to being knowledgeable, service representatives need soft skills, such as empathy and problem-solving.
- Not providing support 24/7. Accidents and losses don’t contain themselves to typical working hours. Insured need a way to establish first notice of loss (FNOL) wherever and whenever the incident occurs. If an insured can’t receive the help they need during a crisis, they’re likely to look for a new insurance provider. Insurance providers can meet this customer need by investing in a nearshore call center.
Nearshore call centers provide the benefits of an offshore service without the headaches. Nearshore service representatives are familiar with the customer’s culture and can respond with the appropriate empathy for the situation. Contact Actec to learn more about the benefits of a nearshore call center.
The insurance industry has made significant strides toward improving the customer experience in recent years. Many have updated customer documents to reduce industry jargon and increased engagement with their customer base. While these are promising first steps, insurance companies need to harness new technology to deliver the experience their customers want. Some examples include:
Show Customers the Value of Data Sharing
Today’s customers expect services tailored to their needs, but meeting that expectation relies on having accurate data. Insurers that collect customer information during every interaction can provide personalized policies and other product recommendations that align with their customers’ lifestyles, risk profiles, and more. Encouraging customers to share these details also gives insurers an opportunity to demonstrate their transparency by explaining how they use that information.
Implement AI at Every Stage of the Customer’s Journey
Insurance providers have started dabbling in AI integrations. Some use AI chatbots to provide answers to customers’ simple questions regarding their coverage or claims. Insurers also use AI to automate certain aspects of the claims process, while others use the technology to detect fraud. Applying AI technology to all customer interactions expedites claims processing, resolves customer questions quickly, and provides an overall better experience.
Offer Omnichannel Communication
Customers hate waiting on hold, waiting for email responses, and waiting for claims updates. In short, they hate waiting, and it erodes their satisfaction and loyalty. Offering omnichannel communication allows customers to engage with their insurance provider when and how they prefer. Insurers should aim to expand upon the typical communication channels like phone and email to include social media, text, and chat.
Customers expect a personalized experience when they interact with their insurance provider. They also want convenience and rapid solutions to their problems. Text and chat communication offers insurance providers a chance to use a more personal communication method to improve the customer’s experience and exceed their expectations. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about implementing chat and text communication.
Superior customer service is the foundation of every successful company, regardless of sector or industry. Many companies rely on call centers to handle their customer service, and they need to know call center agents are delivering the quality of service customers expect. Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) can identify where a call center excels at customer service as well as areas that need improvement.
Modern technology provides a wealth of data to understand customer satisfaction but focusing on the wrong KPIs wastes time and money without improving the service quality. Here are some of the most crucial KPIs to improve customer service:
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). CSAT scores are the top KPI when it comes to customer happiness. Companies measure this KPI by asking about the customer’s overall satisfaction with the product/service. Customers rate their experience on a five-point scale: very unsatisfied, unsatisfied, neutral, satisfied, or very satisfied. Companies track CSAT scores by calculating the percentage of customers who select satisfied and very satisfied, with the goal of reaching 100%.
- First Contact Resolution (FCR). FCR scores are a good measure of how well call center agents resolve customer issues on the first call. Businesses can identify they have an FCR problem if agents often have to escalate the call to another representative or if the customer has to call back again.
- Customer Effort Score (CES). The CES is an excellent indicator of how easy it is for a customer to complete an interaction or use a service. Customers expect low-effort interactions, and providing frictionless service is key to securing customer loyalty. Customers that put in a high level of effort to find solutions to their problems are more likely to look for a new provider.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS uses a scale of one to ten to assess how likely it is that a customer will recommend the company’s product or services to others. Promoters are customers who answer with a nine or ten. Respondents that choose seven or eight are passive, while anyone that selects six or below are detractors. Most organizations consider this the ultimate question, as it signals if the business is doing well and if customer relations are good.
Tracking the above KPIs can allow call centers to improve the quality of service they provide. However, companies need to ensure they’ve invested in the best call center to suit their needs, and no amount of KPIs can overcome a bad match. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our nearshore call center services.
Small- to mid-sized businesses may think call centers aren’t something they need to concern themselves with. However, as business begins to flourish, lagging customer service can bring growth to a halt while eroding income potential. Companies that notice the following signs need a call center if they want their company to flourish:
- The phone never stops ringing. An uptick in customer calls is great for business unless the company doesn’t have the staff to handle all the calls. If employees are constantly fielding incoming calls, they’re going to struggle to complete their other tasks. A call center lightens employees’ workloads so they can focus on their primary jobs.
- Too many voicemails to sift through. Companies without call center support will start each workday listening to voicemails left overnight. Most of these voicemails won’t be emergencies, but companies can’t afford to keep an urgent request waiting as they work their way through the queue. A call center can field these calls and identify which requests need immediate attention.
- Delays in replying to business prospects. The world of sales is fast-paced, and companies can’t afford to leave potential clients waiting. Customers aren’t content to wait for an answer and will look elsewhere to find a solution. If another company provides an immediate answer, they will earn that customer’s business. If customer calls reach levels that the company can’t manage promptly, it may be time for a call center to meet customer needs and expectations.
- Current customers display increasing levels of frustration. Keeping the current customer base happy is just as important as securing new leads. If existing customers have to leave a voicemail and wait until the next day for a reply, their satisfaction and loyalty will drop accordingly. If a company sees a sustained uptick in frustration from its customer base, it may need a call center to handle the calls.
- The expense of more customer service employees limits growth potential. In-house customer service representatives are valuable, but they’re hard to maintain as a company grows. Expansion is exciting, but the company needs to be able to increase its customer service along with its business prospects. Call centers provide a much more cost-effective solution than hiring a slew of in-house employees.
If your business is experiencing any of the above, it’s time to consider a call center. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how our nearshore call center solutions can help your company.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in chasing new leads and securing more sales. However, closing sales and meeting KPIs aren’t enough to secure long-term customer loyalty. Customers need to feel heard and validated when they contact customer service. Companies that cultivate empathetic relationships with their customers will achieve sustainable success.
How to Lead with Empathy
Customer expectations shift often, and the pandemic put a spotlight on virtual communication. More customers are shopping online from a variety of devices, and they expect companies to meet them on their preferred platform. Text doesn’t convey tone, so businesses need to take additional steps to provide the empathetic communication customers expect.
- Talk like a regular person. Whether a customer contacts support via the phone, email, or messaging, the responding agent needs to reply like a human. Using canned greetings and replies comes across as robotic and cold. It also makes the customer feel like another box to check. For example, companies can take a more relaxed approach to email communications. Instead of signing emails with Regards or Sincerely, opt for a more empathetic approach such as We’ll talk soon! or Looking forward to hearing more.
- Engage in more small talk. Repeat customers or long-term clients appreciate it when a company remembers details about them. Asking about their recent vacation or how an ailing family member is doing shows that the customer isn’t just another file among many. For new clients, companies can include additional fields on intake forms. Some examples include the customer’s favorite novel or a text box for a fun fact about the customer. These fields provide opportunities to learn more about the customer. They provide talking points for customer service agents.
- Restate the problem. Customers usually contact support because they’re experiencing an issue with a product or service. They’re likely already frustrated, and feeling misunderstood will only increase their irritation. Begin with a statement such as “Thank you for explaining the situation to me. I want to make sure I’m understanding you correctly before we continue.” Then provide a summary of the customer’s problem and their feelings about it. Restating the customer’s problem shows the agent is actively listening and cares about the customer’s needs.
- Ask how the company can do better. Establishing trust and loyalty requires more than listening. Companies need to find out what their customer’s pain points are to provide exceptional service. Asking customers about their experiences with the company can provide insight into areas that need improvement and where the company excels. It also shows the customer that the company cares about their experience and wants to make it as stress-free as possible.
Empathy requires authenticity when communicating with customers. Whether the customer calls, texts, or emails, empathetic responses build trust and customer loyalty. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about expanding and improving your communication channels.
Call 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Handling 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:
To learn more about what services best suit your organization and discuss implementation strategies, contact us.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.