Monthly Archives: September 2011
Hello all on this lovely (yet rainy where I live) Monday morning!
I just wanted to let you know that I have recently started a YouTube Channel based off of the Claims Education Online Training clips. The clips will be 2-4 minutes long and taken directly from the training videos themselves. Every week or so a new video will be uploaded to the site. The newest clip is taken from the Critical Training class and is entitled Irrelevant Facts. So take a look at the clips at http://www.youtube.com/user/CarlvanTV and subscribe to the channel as well if you want to stay up to date with the clip releases. I hope you enjoy them and if you are interested in taking the classes let me know (shameless plug I know) Enjoy!
Recently a chart explaining the difference between customer advocacy factors and customer satisfaction factors from the Peppers and Rogers Group landed in my e-mail. Upon inspection of the chart, I found that there was some very valuable information worth sharing that every customer service professional needs to know.
The chart explains that in order to have great customer satisfaction there are some factors that have to be provided by the customer service professional. These factors are being competent, be exceptional at handling issues, knowledgeable, and be available for the customer whenever they need them.
To tie this back to the world of claims, first and foremost claims professionals have to be knowledgeable in their field before they are able to provide good service to anyone. Continuing education classes and keeping up with relevant insurance news are just some ways to stay educated and provide better information in turn. After that, claims professionals need to know how to be empathetic and patient with their customers in order to handle the issues in the best way possible. Listening is the key when it comes to understanding followed then by reacting to the situation. The other important factor to keep in mind is that while working in any customer service field, especially in claims, you need to be available for your clients at any time they need you. No, this does not mean that you always need to have your phone next to you to take calls but it does mean that you need to get back to every client in a reasonable amount of time. Show your customer that you do have time for them and that you are going to help them in the best and most efficient way possible.
The chart also shows what factors are most needed to gain customer advocacy. Click on the chart to enlarge and tell me what you think.
In every leadership class I teach, and in every coaching workshop I facilitate, there is always a group of people who believe that the best leadership technique is to “lead by example.”
After a review of the process, eventually, we come to the conclusion that leading by example is good, but really just not good enough.
The problem with leading by example, is that it only works if employees are looking for an example. Most of the time employees are too engaged in their daily work to be bothered looking for examples.
A step up from leading by example, is leading by “being a beacon.” Being a beacon means to be a light that shines, and people will see it even if they are not looking for it. Certainly, if you want people to show up to work on time, you have to show up to work on time. But if you want people to appreciate the job they have and to stop complaining, it won’t help for you to just stop complaining yourself. You need to be a beacon, and get involved.
Be a Beacon.
More than just leading by example, which is to outwardly display the traits we want employees to emulate, we must become beacons, by extending ourselves and openly discuss those traits with the staff; reinforcing those traits in conversations at all times. Some examples include:
Positive attitude toward the company. This does not mean we say something we do not believe, but just to focus on some of the positives. Complaining about things ourselves gives the staff permission to be annoyed and unhappy with the situation.
Reframe statements to make them positive. To openly restate negative comments made by the staff. Examples:
Comment: I have too much work.
Response: At least we have job security.
Comment: I get all the difficult files.
Response: Your supervisor must trust you.
Comment: The only time I see my supervisor is when I make a mistake.
Response: Your supervisor leaves you alone to do your job.
Provide positive feedback when appropriate. Most often when goals are met.
Encourage improvement. Track results and look for improvement in both individual and team performance. Openly encourage improvement through all lines of communication.
Train them. Show them how to get the answer.
Talk about Goals. Constantly talk about the importance of meeting goals, what the goals are, how goals transfer into improvement, etc.
I would love to hear your opinions on the beacon method and other methods of inspiring employees.