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Allstate SVP of Claims Discusses The Customer And Claims At The ACE Conference

Interesting observations about improving the customer claims experience

At the 14th Annual America’s Claims Event in Las Vegas, Michael Roche, Senior Vice President Claims for Allstate Insurance gave the opening keynote address. He spoke about the Customer and the Claims Process in an interesting speech about the inner workings of one of the largest personal lines carriers in the industry.  Mr. Roche, came to Allstate in 2002, having spent his previous career as a leader of Information Technology in the financial services arena, and spoke about the company’s recent push to enhance the customer experience.

As part of the first step to improving claims customer service, Mr. Roche explained Allstate’s transformation of their claims processing system, combining over 90 applications into a single integrated platform. The system helped the company significantly enhance the customer experience and improve their overall efficiency by linking several parts of the organization in one place.  As a result, claims adjusters were able to take claims as far as possible during the initial claims intake process. It further allowed Allstate to manage workloads, reduce cycle times and better service their customers.

It was interesting to hear how Allstate connected with executives from a major company, known for its stellar customer service, outside the insurance industry to learn more about how to improve the customer experience. Going outside to different industries is a great way to learn how to solve problems and this was a great example of what can happen when you learn from others (see my recent post Change Hats With Someone And Free Your Mind To Make Your Claims Operation Better).

Customer lessons learned and things to watch out for

Companies of all sizes and lines of business can adopt many of the initiatives undertaken to improve customer relationships by Allstate. Having committed to improving the customer experience, Allstate spent time observing their claim professionals interactions and learned:

  • Claims professionals were using internal acronyms and industry language with their customers which complicated the conversations
  • Handlers were running through a process, little understood by the customers they were speaking too, without educating them what was going to take place
  • They did not spend enough time soliciting questions and concerns and truly listening to the customer and making sure they were being understood.

As Mr. Roche said, “We need to do a better job of educating people on how well the industry works.” Allstate picked up on an industry wide problem as it relates to communicating with customers about claims. Explaining the process in terms that people, who are not part of the business, can understand will go a long way to improving the experience.

How are you addressing the customer experience in claims?

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