How to Transition Your Insurance Company to a Call Center

Posted on

March 22nd, 2022


Customer service is the backbone of any successful insurance provider. Customers expect a knowledgeable representative to provide rapid resolutions to their questions and problems. However, it’s not always cost-effective to staff a customer service department in-house. As a result, some insurance companies spread their limited customer service agents too thin. When this happens, long wait times, over-worked employees, and dissatisfied customers accumulate.

Insurance providers need to make themselves available whenever and wherever the customer needs them. Investing in a nearshore call center can address this need without breaking the budget. However, transitioning to a call center requires thoughtful planning and transparent communication with employees. Here are a few methods to help insurance providers implement a call center with minimal interruptions:

Train Employees on How to Use the Call Center

Employees won’t inherently know how to interact with a new call center. Training employees on how the call center functions limits chaos and confusion. Some areas to cover include:

  • Know who to call. Employees may need to get in touch with the call center support department on occasion. The employee in charge of call center communications needs to know the contact number and email for initial communications, who is next up in the chain of command, and the typical response time. It’s a good idea to train the rest of the team on this information if the team lead is out for the day.
  • What to do when communication lines go down. Employees need to know the business’ forwarding number if the line of communication to the call center disconnects. How calls forward from a business to its call center varies. Some companies engage it manually at the close of business, while others use an automatic system. Insurance providers that use manual forwarding should train all relevant employees on this process.

Outsource the Easiest Tasks First

Companies can outsource almost any business function. However, it’s best practice to train call center employees on the simplest tasks first. Companies can increase the call center’s responsibilities once they establish a baseline for how the call center functions.

Call centers can improve customer service and the customer experience. Insurers can engage with their customers in a timely manner, provide rapid answers about policies or claims, and more. Contact Actec to learn more about the benefits of implementing a nearshore call center.

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.

4 Benefits of Nearshore Call Centers

Posted on

July 27th, 2020


Many businesses are well aware of the benefits of a call center. For certain industries such as insurance, having a call center is a necessity to remain in business. Accidents rarely happen during business hours, and customers need to be able to file a claim when the loss occurs—not the following day when their insurance provider’s office opens. However, selecting the right kind of call center is critical to maintaining the company’s image as well as keeping customers happy.

Many people associate call centers with countries across the world, which is typically the case for offshore call centers. They may be based out of India, the Philippines, or many other international countries. Conversely, nearshore call centers are located in a similar geographic location to the business that hires them. Having a nearshore call center can reap the following benefits for businesses:

1.      Familiarity with culture. For businesses in the US, nearshore often means Mexico, Canada, or nearby islands. One of the biggest benefits to this is that these locations often have cultural overlap with US customers. This eliminates the struggles between cultural barriers, which can facilitate better service.

2.      Similar business hours. Nearshore call centers can offer extended business hours while still being reachable during a normal working day. For example, if a nearshore call center is three hours off from the business’ location, executives from both sides can find overlapping working hours to discuss business concerns.

3.      Improved proximity. When a company needs to conduct training or hold business meetings at a nearshore call center, executives can travel to the call center with minimal hassle. While nearshore call centers are a short flight away, many offshore call centers require lengthy flights that consume several days. Shorter flights and similar time zones also mean less jet lag for these business trips.

4.      Improved customer satisfaction. Many nearshore call centers only hire 100% bilingual employees to ensure there is no language barrier. However, given that a significant portion of the US speaks Spanish, having a bilingual nearshore call center based out of Mexico can help serve a wider range of customers. Having similar cultures helps in this area as well, as call center employees can better empathize with customers during a crisis.

Investing in a nearshore call center allows businesses to focus on their core skills rather than fielding customer phone calls. By freeing up that time, businesses can concentrate their attention and efforts on growing their company and improving their bottom line. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our nearshore call center solutions.

Are Your Call Centers Improving FNOL or Hurting Customer Retention?

Posted on

June 15th, 2020


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.