I’m beginning to think that customer service is facing extinction. At the start of my career, I was taught that while the customer isn’t always necessarily right, I should still listen to their concerns and try to fix their problem, with a smile on my face. However, it seems that for the past month or so every person I come across – from the storeowner I bought my bridesmaid dress from, to the guy handing me my morning coffee, seems to have forgotten that keeping customers happy is part of their job description. Just because their job title isn’t Customer Service Representative, are people forgetting to use their manners? It’s getting so bad that I find myself expecting a snotty attitude when I call to make a hotel reservation, or when I stop by the car dealership. Has EVERYONE lost their mind and decided they can blow off their customers because we’ll keep coming back anyway?
Customer service can make or break a business.
Take my recent ongoing nightmare: I had to purchase a bridesmaid’s dress from the bride’s chosen bridal boutique. Based upon the storeowner’s advice, I added five inches to the length of my dress, for an additional fee of $45. When the dress arrived, it fit perfectly EXCEPT for the length. It was ten inches too long! The storeowner refused to refund my $45 and told me that she “couldn’t guarantee how much length would be added on a mass-produced, lower end dress.” That translates to me as: “We don’t care about the quality of the products we sell, the service we provide, or whether you’re a satisfied customer.” I was then offered a rush alteration service at a regular alteration price, which would set me back another $55, but I chose to take that business elsewhere.
Wikipedia defines customer service as: ‘a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.’ This definition relates to everyone, from the bridal storeowner to claims adjusters.
So, as a claims adjuster, do you recognize you’re in the customer service business, or do you tend to think your job is simply to close claims?
Well, let’s look at it this way. Claimants are looking to you in their time of need. Recognizing the ways in which you can help customers above and beyond the call of duty could help you be an outstanding claims adjuster, rather than just an average one.
Claimants need answers from their claims adjusters.
The claims experience may be scary and new to them and typically they won’t understand how the process works. Whether you’re adjusting their totaled car or home, try putting yourself in their shoes. Educating them about the claims procedure can ease their nerves. Maybe you can’t alleviate all their anger or anxiety, but listening and educating them will go a lot farther than an attitude of, ‘that’s not my job.’ Take note: if you choose to use that phrase, expect some angry customers.
[Related: What’s to Love About Claims Adjusting]
I know claims adjusters are not like the storeowner I encountered, but my bridesmaid dress disaster helped me realize just how important customer service truly is to EVERY business. Businesses and employees who think customer service isn’t part of their workday should wake up. It doesn’t matter if you’re the owner of a bridal store, the general manager of Porsche or if you’re a claims adjuster, you have someone who purchased a product or service from you, so you’d better deliver. Those who choose to ignore this fact of life will have some harsh realities hitting them, or in the case of the bridal store, angry reviews on their social media sites and a complaint to the Better Business Bureau, all which could have been avoided to the tune of $45.