Good Contact Practices equal better production = $

Author: CADO Admin/Thursday, September 24, 2020/Categories: CADO Blog, On The Job

(Recovered Blog Post first posted on 1/16/2005)

by Bob Ellenberg
 


When going to a storm there are a lot of things that are preached over and over every time by both the adjusting company and the carrier. However, I think the number one issue they still emphasize is insured contact.

It is their number one issue because so many adjusters still avoid all but the minimum amount of contact with the insureds. They make the required contact calls within the required time frames, but after that they use their voice mail, set amount of minimum office hours, etc., to limit their accessibility. Many feel if they are more accessible that it will cut into their production time and concentration when working on files.

I have a totally opposite approach, which I feel greatly increases my productivity. When I first contact an insured I give them my main phone number, cell phone number and pager number. I also give them the voice mail but tell them to use it as a last resort as I will check it once every 24 hours. As soon as I am set up at the storm I print out labels (instead of using calling cards) that look like the following:

Bob Ellenberg, Claim Rep.
Street Address
Bradenton, FL 34209
000-000-1234 phone or fax
cell 000-0000 pager 800-000-1111

I give one or two to the insured when we first meet and ask them to stick it somewhere they won't loose it.

How does all this make me more money? I have almost NO phone calls to return. The only time I don't take calls is when I am sleeping or in the shower! While I am driving, measuring roofs or whatever I am constantly taking calls and answering questions that all have to be addressed at some point. However, by being so accessible they get answered sooner rather than later and files get closed sooner. Small oversights can be quickly communicated to me that avoid supplements later on. Many times I am reached by an insured for which I left all these numbers on THEIR answer machine and schedule an inspection while in the area instead of making a trip back.

And guess who NEVER calls me? The carrier because my insureds never call them saying they can't reach me. Being so accessible is also a tremendous help on the CATS where you get 50-100 claims all at once and everyone wants you tomorrow. When I make my initial contact calls, I tell the insured if they need me before I come to inspect to call me with anything at all. People will be much more patient if they can just talk to the person they need even if they can't get the appointment they want when they want it. If they can't reach you and they are the "pushy" types, they will call your supervisor and you will be instructed to inspect them immediately. This often causes a disruption in your planned schedule and slows down your production.

My cell phone bill might be higher than yours and I sometimes get interrupted while doing an estimate, but my production on storms is usually close to the top and my reinspection grades and customer satisfaction is too. You can't usually do both and I am bragging a little to say that, but I credit it in large part to the increased efficiency I have by being so accessible to insureds.

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