Canadian Underwriter

Message from the President

February 10, 2017   by Heather Matthews, President, Canadian Independent Adjusters' Association

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You cannot turn a page, open a news article, turn on the television or even have a conversation without technology somehow weaving its thread in. We are bombarded with the latest advancements in all industry sectors.

In my last message I spoke a great deal about the very technology that is changing and disrupting the claims and insurance environment.

Amidst all of the advancement, people are the common core that we should not lose sight of. Technology is changing and people in the claims business need to change as well. We need to marry technology and our technical adjusting skills with customer-centric behaviour or soft skills. We are in the business of helping people.

Heather Matthews, President, Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association

We have seen, time after time, especially in catastrophic situations, that people affected by a loss want to talk to a human. While technologies such as a web portal or app offer the customer more choices, even when they file a digital claim they still want to talk about their story and learn about the process they are about to embark upon. They want and need to tell their story. It is part of the healing process and we as adjusters are also part of that healing process.

It is no longer enough to be a technical claims adjuster. That is a given.

We must rise to the challenge of creating a customer-centric brand that is coupled with those technical adjusting skills and technology. This is where you pay attention to the human details and elements and not just to the loss details.

Be perceptive of what has not been said. Probe for understanding and stop and listen. Look to see what else is going on in that person’s life at the time of the loss. Show empathy; understand that this is their tragedy.

You, as an adjuster, may have seen many tragedies and may be going onto the next one shortly, but for this moment, this is their loss and we need to be focused on their needs.

There is much discussion over customer satisfaction and net promoter scores (NPS), which essentially measure overall client loyalty. Client loyalty, in contrast to client satisfaction, is a direct indicator of actual client behaviour-namely referrals, retention, and repeat business. Research has proven a direct correlation between a high NPS and the overall profitability of a company.

So what does it take from an adjuster’s perspective to be customer centric and ultimately achieve a high promoter score?

Communication is key. Regular, meaningful and timely communication is the number one reason someone is likely to remain with their current insurance provider. Customers like to feel engaged with the companies they do business with. The feedback for high net promoter scores can be broken down into key words that should resonate with all of us.

As adjusters we can stay relevant and add value by remembering to provide:

  • Regular, meaningful and timely communication;
  • Expert advice and a high level of professionalism;
  • Speed of service;
  • Empathy, understanding and a focus on the human element.