Monthly Archives: August 2011

Social Media and Insurance Meet

Not too long ago I realized that social media was not just something for kids to keep in touch with each other or for young start-up businesses to first reach their target audience with and something worth being involved in. Social media is now something that has to be done in every business in order to stay relevant and ahead of the competition. This goes for the claims industry as well.

Jump On Board

An article recently published by Karen Furtado in Property Casualty 360 said that 80% of insurers are monitoring social media and strategically planning around them. Insurers are using social media to not only keep in touch with their contacts but to also learn from them, grow their business, and also protect their business. We, as an industry, should know that the customer is what makes our business. If they feel that they are not getting the treatment and service that they expect then they now have the power to express their dissatisfaction to others in the span of a couple of minutes through using social media. By being a part of social media we can monitor the bad and the good opinions and make changes to better suit our customers.

Social Media Meets Customer Service

With that being said, we have to remember that our business is about customer service. Customer service should take place in the field as well as in our social media components. Take a look at the article Karen Furtado wrote and see if you agree.

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People Always Ask Me

As President of International Insurance Institute, I receive requests (at least 3 times a year) from companies in the U.S. to help them set up claims handling operations outside of the U.S. (usually in India).

Even Kids are Outsourcing

The goal of these companies is to handle claims for the U.S. customers but lower the expense dramatically by using inexpensive labor.

If you think about it, anything that can be handled by internet and telephone these days can be handled anywhere in the world, so I understand the lure to set up such operations in order to reduce a companies largest expense which is typically personnel. Sure, they will start with the easy stuff like glass loss, but they’re going to work their way up to the harder stuff.

Whenever I receive these calls, I always decline (I’m not interested in helping move jobs out of the United States, thank you very much!). But you know what, If I don’t do it somebody else will. And from what I understand this is already happening.

The push towards customer service in the claims industry is not only the concern of the companies themselves, but should also be the concern of the employees within them. The ability to deliver truly outstanding customer service has a direct connection to job security. Once someone outside of the U.S. can deliver customer service “almost” as good as we can, we can kiss our jobs goodbye since the cost of that labor is 1/4 the cost of our labor.

All of us in the claims industry need to be completely focused on customer experience and be much, much better than our low cost competition.

These are just my thoughts on the subject but I would love to know yours. Do you agree, disagree? Looking forward to hearing your your thoughts.

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