How To Win The Claims Process? ‘Set Expectations And Over-Deliver’
Expectations play a huge role in customer satisfaction for virtually any medium or area of commerce. Insurance claims are no exception. But too often, insurance professionals immediately place themselves behind the 8-ball by setting expectations too high and not taking advantage of the room to maneuver that the claims process affords them.
This was an area identified for growth at 2014’s Independent Insurance Agents of Texas annual conference. While presenting, Timothy Wiedmeyer, vice president and chief claims officer with The Republic Group in Dallas, encouraged insurance agents and claims representatives to work on how they set expectations with some helpful examples.
“Insurance professionals often become victims of their own good intentions when they tell customers to expect more than can be delivered,” he told Claims Journal.
If there was an auto or property claim and the process took two to four days, for instance, Wiedmeyer suggests telling the customer that it could take “four days,” because “it’s still reasonable — and if it comes back in two or three, the customer is happy.”
“The most important thing we can do, all of us together, is set the appropriate expectation up front,” Wiedmeyer said. “Give ourselves a little bit of wiggle room and then exceed it — undersell and over deliver. I’m noticing that more and more with the service that I get.”
So what can an insurance agent do to help with the process?
First of all, schedule time to contact your clients when you notice a claim has been filed. Not every client will have the ability to meet with you in person, and that really isn’t necessary. A simple phone call or email divulging details of the claims process with an open invitation to contact you should there be any questions is a great way to set expectations properly. It also makes the client feel like you’re watching out for them.
Secondly, you might consider utilizing your online marketing channels to keep the lines of communication open with your customers. Wondering what you should be blogging about as an insurance agent? Consider the issues that your clients are currently facing and then craft an informative post around that. If you’ve never considered yourself a writer or content producer or you simply don’t have the time to put words on paper, consider hiring a freelancer to take the raw information and create some specific posts based on the information you provide. Then, don’t forget to share it to all your social networking channels. The great thing about this is that you can leave comments open and respond if your customers have any questions.
Finally, form a unified front. If you have an office where other agents are working for you, make sure that you’ve communicated with them on how to set expectations when a claim is filed. Show a unified front, in other words, and you can rest easier knowing that all your clients are getting the same strong service instead of being told a million different things.
When an insurance customer files a claim, they want to know they will be taken care of throughout the process from claims rep to agent communication. If everyone is doing their jobs correctly, the insurance leads will walk away with a favorable view of the company and will be that much closer to becoming a loyal customer for life. What say you, readers? What are some specific ways that you have been able to set your clients’ expectations and have them walk away from a claim feeling as if they were really taken care of? Sound off in our comments section.