A lot of the conversations I have in this business revolve around claims. Discussions of loss ratios, catastrophic claims, and simple fires always seem to revolve around what it’s doing to our insurance companies or our profit sharing potential.
But what about our customers?
We get so wrapped up in what claims are do to us that I wonder if we give what it’s doing to them much thought at all! For us, a claim represents a cost, an inconvenience and maybe a little lost income. For our customers claims are disasters. They represent major disruptions and perhaps destruction of their lives.
We need to reorient our thinking. For us claims are why we’re in business. They are also tremendous opportunities.
Most of our interactions with customers revolve around their money and how much of it they have to fork over to us. They don’t really think we’re ever going to give any of it back. Certainly, their view of us as caring, compassionate people is not well developed. Neither is their loyalty.
But when disaster strikes we have an opportunity to take our relationships to new and powerful levels. But we have to not only care when the time comes but we have to show it.
Do we show up at the scene of the accident? Do we visit our customer at their burned-out home? Do we have a “disaster claims kit” to deliver to them with meal vouchers, a list of helpful phone numbers and other useful items? Do we call back regularly during the claim process to make sure they are ok and their problems are addressed? Or do we just file the claim with the carrier and move on (do we even know a claim was filed if the customer called the carrier directly)?
People leave companies and agents not just because they weren’t happy about their coverage. They leave because no one cared.
The flip side though is even more powerful! When you give great customer service to someone who has had a loss you lock them in. And when you go above and beyond the norm you create raving fans who not only won’t leave but will bring you more customers!
Claims are our business. They are why we exist. They are also our greatest opportunity to grow!