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August 22, 2022 / by

Is your call center ready for this perfect storm?

By Bill Brower

A severe storm is coming ashore in the insurance claims industry. It has been building for a while, and like a tropical storm growing into a hurricane, the conditions are right for this storm to wreak havoc on the claims industry.

  • Inflation is as high as it’s been in about 40 years, and there’s no real way of knowing how long it will last, or if we’re approaching the high or low of inflation rates.
  • The “great resignation” and minuscule unemployment rates have pushed turnover levels at call centers well above industry norms. And with inflation pushing up the cost of living and wages, it is an endless effort for some centers to maintain a fully staffed team.
  • Supply chain backlogs continue which is slowing repair cycle times and often inflating the number of incoming status calls.

In addition to these market changes we are also seeing Americans return to traveling after two years of ”staycations.” And more of them are driving this year, which is increasing accident and insurance claims.
Listening to my friends across the industry, I am hearing comments like this:

  • Our phones are ringing off-the-hook with notice of loss claims, and our hold times are increasing.
  • Customers are calling non-stop to get claim status updates due to repair delays.
  • My best employees are working round the clock, racking up tons of expensive overtime hours under a mountain of stress.

The cumulative impact of this storm will, at some point, trickle down to your customers while going through a terrible period in their lives. The pressure is on to keep customer hold times short and employee engagement on an upward trajectory. These are critical challenges if you want to provide customers with great service at the insurance “moment of truth.”

There is hope. There are solutions available right now that can help get your claim centers to higher ground and thru this storm.

Here is how to weather-proof your call centers:

  • 1) Build flex capacity into your call center – especially your First Notice of Loss (FNOL) teams. How? Engage Solera’s FNOL when the workload calls for all hands on deck. If a huge summer storm threatens an area with a high concentration of insured, the FNOL team of veteran call-center representatives can ramp up quickly to provide your customers 24/7/365 support and get you past a tidal wave of calls. The team can be rightsized when the storm passes to cover typical call flow.

    Solera FNOL’s team of more than 650 trained, experienced agents across our six locations handle more than 6 million First Notices of Loss and status calls each year. Due to growing demand, we are now expanding our capacity and look forward to launching a new state-of-the-art call center in Florida later this year.
  • 2) Create a plan to use Solera FNOL as your overflow team during the times you expect spikes in claims, like over holiday weekends and when kids go on summer vacation. This will not only keep your employees from burning out, it also protects your reputation with customers by maintaining short wait times and ensuring experienced call center reps help customers during their time of greatest need.

    Pro tip — Take advantage of resignations and turnover to manage the size of your team to maximize the value an outside contractor can offer.

The key is to act now and not wait until the eye of this storm stalls over your call center. Act now by contacting the Solera FNOL team to learn more about our 99.5%+ up time, our track record of answering 80 percent of all calls within 20 seconds or less, and how we can help you prepare for this storm.

Download our comprehensive brochure for highlights. If you want to talk numbers and get a full proposal, email me at [email protected].

Have a happy summer!