Your Policyholders Deserve Excellence at Each Contact Point, Including FNOL
We talked about the importance of obtaining complete and accurate information on FNOL (first notice of loss) calls. But this is just the starting point. Coupled with it is the customer experience, that is, the expectation of excellent customer service and call quality.
Several things make up excellent customer service. Here are the key considerations.
Provide a Polite Answer
Have you ever called a business and wondered if you reached the right place? It happens too often. They speak too fast, mumble, or lack focus. Maybe all three. What a negative first impression that provides.
A positive customer experience begins with a polite and professional greeting. It should communicate clearly who the caller reached. Also, make it sincere, and don’t rush. This is especially important on FNOL calls, since the policyholder is undergoing some trauma and may be struggling to think clearly. Don’t make this call any harder for them.
Balance Efficiency with Empathy
The policyholder has just suffered a loss. They’re likely a bundle of emotions just simmering beneath the surface. Never lose sight of that. Take a moment to let them know you understand their situation. Be empathetic.
Yet in addition to being heard, they also want to complete the phone call as fast as possible. Therefore, efficiency is a second critical element that they expect. But never rush them. Agents need advanced training to walk this delicate line, so they can be both efficient and empathetic at the same time. This results in a positive customer experience.
Address All Issues
How often have you been on a call when the representative tried to end it before you finished? It happens too often. They view you as an interruption, and they want to get back to some other task as quickly as possible, but you’re in the way.
Contrast this to a professional call center agent who knows to not end the call prematurely. Therefore, when they believe they have addressed the callers’ concerns, they ask, “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
This gives the policyholder time to seek clarification, ask questions, or bring up another topic. It’s far better to give them this opportunity—even if they say “no”— then to finish the call and leave them frustrated or force them to call back.
Deliver a Positive Sendoff
Once the agent has addressed all the policyholder’s needs, it’s time to wrap up the call. Too many untrained telephone representatives simply say goodbye and hang up. That’s shortsighted and misses an opportunity to leave a positive lasting impression. Although saying “Have a great day” or “Thank you for your call” isn’t appropriate for FNOL situations, there are other opportunities to end a difficult call on a positive note. How about, “I’m sorry about what happened and will pass on this information right away.”?
Leave the Caller Feeling Pleased
From a customer experience perspective, the critical goal is for the caller to feel satisfied with what just took place. Following these steps will help make this happen. And even if you fall a bit short on some of these items, remember, it’s how the call ends that forms the lasting impression. So, finish strong.
These customer service pointers form the backbone of standard operating procedures (SOP) at accomplished FNOL call centers. They train for them, pursue them, and apply them to every call. Isn’t that what your policyholders deserve when they just suffered an insurance loss?
Ansafone is your expert FNOL outsource provider. To learn more, contact our resident FNOL expert Ricky Morse at 225-301-3736 or RMorse@ansafone.com. He’ll answer all your questions and help you outsource your calls the right way.