Mike, I completely agree with that! I've found that if I take the extra few minutes in the beginning listen to the insured, give them realistic time frames and let them know we do care even if it will be a week or more to get out there, they are much more reasonable and patient. It seems to me that when they make that original call to place the claim, the people who are taking those calls are telling them they will hear from their adjuster within 24-48 hours, which sets up an unrealistic expectation. People hear what they want to hear, and all they do hear is the 24-48 hours and then they expect that the adjuster will be out in that time frame. When its possibly 3-5 days before the adjuster even gets the claim, they are already angry and upset. I take the time to explain that given the sheer volume of claims placed there is no way that the 'regular' adjusters could handle that volume and explain to them that adjusters have been called in from out of state to assist with the claim volume, and I ask them to be patient with "us", and we will get their property inspected as soon as possible. If I'm not able to set an appointment at that time I tell them I will call back in a few days, and I DO call back. They seem to appreciate that, at least they know they aren't falling through the cracks. Most of the people I talk to are very understanding once I explain that and just let them know they are not forgotten.
I know that I don't appreciate being neglected and I figure neither do they. Its much more pleasant to talk to an insured who's reasonably happy than to talk to one who's furious because they feel neglected. Its worth that extra few minutes in the long run!
But then, there's always the one who's the problem, like the man I talked to the other day who was mad because he had rotting food in his refrigerator.......I told him to throw out the food but he was adamant that he was going to leave it there until the adjuster got there so he could prove that he had $$ that he wanted to be reimbursed for. He said he had blood on the floor from the meat that had drained out of the refrigerator....absolutely refused to listen to me that we would believe him regarding the food in the 'fridge. He said he'd heard 'stories about Katrina" and wasn't going to risk not being paid for his food!! Was not going to clean up the blood on the floor either!! Can you imagine what his house smelled like??? I was just glad I wasn't going to be the adjuster going out on that inspection! UUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHhhhhhhhh!!!!! (Just had to share that story!)