Using empathy to improve injury claims outcomes

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In addition to improving process efficiency, fighting fraud, and constantly striving for better results, claims managers at insurance companies are now focusing more on improving customer satisfaction. clients as a key element in improving the performance of their injury claims portfolios.

While empathy is one of the keys to improving customer satisfaction, achieving measurable results requires a multi-faceted strategy involving employee training, effective planning, and a true understanding of needs and wants. client. Here are 10 tips to help insurance claims managers dramatically improve customer satisfaction.

  1. Know your customer. This is fundamental for any effective interaction, whatever the sector. From the first contact and throughout the claims process, the claims adjuster and any other team member who is in direct contact with a claimant should know their expectations regarding the process and how they prefer to conduct their interactions. . For example, do they prefer self-service? How often do they want to be updated? Which communication channel do they prefer? The more we are able to personalize the customer’s experience, the sooner they will realize that we are focusing on their needs and recovery.
  2. Streamline the process. Make the process as easy as possible for adjusters, so they can focus their attention on individual claims and claimants. Insurance adjusters shouldn’t get bogged down in excessive paperwork and reporting; the process for them should not be overly detailed or too manual. By allowing adjusters to focus on empathy, you will be able to instill trust and build trust in employee-customer relationships.
  3. Make sure the training emphasizes empathy. Ultimately, injecting empathy into customer interactions comes down to individuals connecting one-on-one through a simple process. However, you don’t build empathy into all customer experiences without investing in employee training; you have to practice it and teach active listening. In addition, employees must understand, recognize and be able to respond to the enormous diversity of customer needs and wants. Apply training to meet specific needs or personalities, so employees can tailor their words and formulate responses to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
  4. Be prepared to meet various customer needs. Along with effective training, this means having the tools and resources to understand individual customers. This information enables claims adjusters to establish that essential personal connection. For example, a lot of useful data about individual customers is often already entered at the point of sale and in the subscription process. This includes how customers prefer to be addressed (formal name or first name), their preferred form of communication and the best time to reach them. All of this data can be captured or pre-populated on the app. So when adjusters receive a claim, they already have a significant amount of information to adapt that experience. When data has not been entered into the request or subscription processes, you can often tap other data sources to apply to the claim.
  5. Collect the information you need to improve the customer experience. Current claims management approaches tend to be heavily adjuster-focused: gathering information, meeting a client / claimant for the first time, validating contact information and the facts of the claim, asking direct questions about how they prefer to be contacted, how often they want to be raised and get a lot of that person-to-person. Insurers can enhance this experience through the use of digital tools and data. Thus, from the customer’s point of view, the interaction becomes more consistent with what he has experienced with other service industries. Instead of going virtually blind on that first client encounter because they don’t have pre-fill demand information, insurers can tap into multiple data sources to fill this gap.
  6. Help adjusters focus more on claimants. Today, a variety of publicly available information can validate a person’s identity, as well as other communication channels, addresses, phone numbers, and language preferences. Much of this information can be attached to a complaint early in the process to remove some of the core data collection and validation work of the experts, allowing them to focus on other aspects of delivering a customer experience. personalized.
  7. Capture efficiency gains in validating claims. At the same time, there is also publicly available data that insurers can use to validate the circumstances of the claim and confirm related facts, such as photos of claim or accident and detailed descriptions or reports of this. that really happened. These various sources of information can also remove much of the initial work for claims professionals so that they can focus on how best to handle a specific claim and meet individual client needs. For example, as different geographies reappear after the COVID-19 pandemic, customers may prefer low contact or non-contact models. This can be supported by digital interfaces, such as the virtual measures adopted by many industries throughout the pandemic.
  8. Don’t overlook the need for effective claims planning. The initial work on any claim should be completed early in the claims process, ideally at the first notice of loss. The concepts of prefilling, knowing your customer, personalization, empathy, and connecting with the customer all need to happen from the start. Additionally, in moving from low-complexity to very complex questions, there will be areas where you need to augment that data – perhaps through artificial intelligence or predictive analytics – to drive the complaint and guide customers to where they are. the most appropriate way and improve their life. Customers generally need things to happen quickly so that they can have confidence in the process, and while human interaction is a part of it, effective data integration also helps experts make accurate and timely decisions. throughout the complaints process, thus building customer confidence.
  9. Be transparent. This is another key to creating superior customer experiences and being empathetic. Customers want to know what’s going on behind the scenes. In these situations, technology and analytics can create intersection points where adjusters can react to information quickly instead of getting bogged down in fact finding and leaving customers uncertain. We now have data and analytics tools that help quickly spot cases where there is a risk of fraud, so adjusters can process cases faster and stay in touch with the customer.
  10. Take care to assign the right adjuster to a claim. One way to hurt a customer’s experience is to mix a file from one adjuster to another. This invariably poses a challenge for customers who then have to retract the story multiple times during a complaint. Using new data and performing more robust analysis up front allows insurers to be more efficient in their claims triage, allocation or segmentation process.

From the client’s point of view, having a single interlocutor representing the insurer throughout the case improves their experience. At the same time, from an insurer’s perspective, data and predictive analytics can help spot complex claims or those that are more likely to involve litigation so that they can be traced to adjusters. with the relevant experience.

While the investments associated with training employees, leveraging new and alternative data sources, and applying sophisticated analytics to help improve the customer experience may seem significant, results can often be tracked and tracked. measures. At the same time, delivering exceptional customer experiences in a consistent way can build reputation and translate into broader business opportunities. Meanwhile, these measures are becoming increasingly critical for the insurance industry as new and different competitors emerge from different industries in the digital world.

About George Naftzinger


Naftzinger is Director of Business Development and Strategy for Carpe Data.

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