On April 15-18, 2018 the SPLICE team attended the PLRB Claims Conference & Insurance Services Expo along with over 3,000 Insurance professionals from across North America who gathered to share their offerings, ideas, and to check out the up-and-coming Insurance Technology that promises to enhance CX within the claims process. Excitement was in the air and attendees were clearly engaged! Since 2017 was wrought with natural disasters throughout the US and beyond, improving the claims process was top of mind.
For those of you that couldn’t make it to PLRB this year, I’ve summarized what I consider to be the most valuable customer service and engagement takeaways:
- Positive Conflict Cycle & Constructive Dialogue
As an Insurance Provider, you need to be ready to deal with clients in their time of need. Keep your emotions in-check to ensure you’re not reactive, regardless of what the client may send your way. Avoid the urge to defend yourself, as this often invites a counter attack. In short, check your ego at the door.
- When Clients Talk, Make Sure You Listen
We know that listening is important. But are you actually listening to your clients, or approaching the conversation with ready-made assumptions? The key to diffusing a client’s emotional state is allowing them the opportunity to vent and express their frustrations, fear, and anger at the situation.
- Paraphrase the Clients’ Concerns
An effective strategy to enforce active listening is to paraphrase what is being said. Simply put, take what the client says and deliver it back to them in your own words. It can be as simple as saying, “let me be clear that I heard what you said”, and reiterating your interpretation of the statement. Then, ask for a reverse paraphrase to be sure the client understands you in turn. Rest assured, this will be valuable for both parties’ recall of events.
Empathy absorbs tension. For victims of natural disasters, it’s easy to lose perspective. Loss is difficult! Be mindful of your tone and acknowledge your feelings of responsibility—this may mean extending an apology. Sure, you didn’t create the catastrophe, but extending an offer of apology is sure to go a long way.
- Find a Mutually-Agreeable Solution
It’s critical to leave the customer feeling understood and satisfied with the resolution. To aid this, talk straight (don’t skirt the truth), and take the time to set clear expectations. It will be worth it in the long run.
- Take Action
Make things right. Avoid handing off clients for someone else to provide them with a solution. Create transparency in the resolution process and make restitution when/if possible.
Keep in mind that the best retention strategy is effective claims resolution. This may involve different tactics to keep hostility at bay, depending on the situation. If you can master the art of handling sometimes stressful customer encounters with dignity and style, it will undoubtedly lead to increased customer retention rates.
Looking for ways to improve communication throughout the claims process? SPLICE can help! Contact us at 1-855-777-5423 or click here.