Dispersing Your Customer Service Through Outsourcing

The reason(s) for outsourcing

Insurance customers suffer when they can’t reach customer service — especially in times of widespread disaster—when many need to ask questions or file claims. Yet call centers can go down for all kinds of reasons. Storms knock out power or internet service, natural disasters make buildings inaccessible, construction disrupts utility services, and occasionally, social distancing demands that you close down physical call centers altogether.

Outsourcing your customer service to a partner with multiple call centers can mitigate some of the risk during a disaster and ensure continuity of service. Learn more about how a geographically diverse customer service partner can help you prepare to provide great customer service, no matter what life throws at you.

Insurance companies are experts at assessing risk and preparing for emergencies. Don’t neglect to apply that expertise to your own operations.

Every insurance business, from retail brokers to carriers, needs a detailed contingency plan to quickly recover the most vulnerable parts of the business after a disruption or emergency occurs. This is especially important if you’re a smaller insurance company, as 40 percent of small businesses never recover from a disaster like a hurricane, earthquake, flood or wildfire.

Hopefully, knowing today’s insurance customer, you provide a seamless customer journey across your website, mobile, social media, billing and customer service. Different types of disruptions may affect these areas differently. However, a physical call center stands to take the brunt of any change. That means that a preparedness plan should focus on how to fortify your call center operations.

Outsourcing your customer service and other critical insurance processes to an insurance BPO should figure into your contingency planning, as a way to disperse risk. You will gain the most benefit when your outsourced services are spread out geographically.

Outsourcing provides insurance companies the flexibility to spread services among locations, including between offshore and onshore facilities. These are some of the ways that spreading things out helps keep your insurance customer experience humming.

  • You can shift the work in times of a localized disaster, like a hurricane, earthquake or wildfire.
    You can meet the demands of various time zones, making things easier for your customers.
  • If call center representatives are able to work from home, you can keep going during shelter-in-place orders like the ones mandated during COVID-19.

With well integrated BPO services, the customer always gets the experience of reaching their insurance provider directly, across all channels. The movement of a request between locations remains invisible to the insurance customer. All they see is great service.

When you choose a call center partner, you want to ensure that they will provide the same level of service you would provide yourself. Here are seven characteristics to look for in a call center partner:

  1. Dispersed team: A good partner will have redundancies in place and a dispersed team, licensed in many states and time zones, in case any one facility goes down.
  2. Agents who work from home: Call center agents who work from home further enhance distribution to help you keep providing great customer service.
  3. Secure infrastructure: They should invest in secure infrastructure. While any system can become vulnerable to storms or other disasters, a call center partner should invest in the highest quality and reliability available.
  4. Good communication: Good communication between your internal team and your outsource partner are crucial. They should keep you informed of what’s going on, and vice versa, especially in times of a disaster.
  5. Integrated services: Their system should integrate fully into existing customer and policy administration systems to ensure customers see no difference in the omni-channel service they expect.
  6. Scalable operations: Their systems should be scalable to respond to changes in call volume.
  7. Low staff turnover: Look for a partner with low turnover, so that their agents get the time to get to know your business and your customers.

Responsive customer service plays a key role in an overall successful customer experience with an insurance company. And a positive customer experience can be the key to winning and keeping customers.

Patra Direct is a powerful and flexible option to address every part of the customer life cycle through omni-channel communications technology. It integrates fully into your existing customer and policy administration systems to ensure that every customer receives the same level of service—even during a disaster. Agents licensed in each state are able to work from home to address your customers’ needs at all times.

Patra Direct is system agnostic, so your customer service can span phone, chat, email, text, and any other technologies you want to offer.

Explore Patra Direct now to learn how you can best prepare your company to weather any storm.

About Patra

Patra is a leading provider of technology-enabled insurance outsourcing. Patra powers insurance processes by optimizing the application of people and technology, supporting insurance organizations as they sell, deliver, and manage policies and customers through our PatraOne platform. Patra’s global team of over 6,000 process executives in geopolitically stable and democratic countries that protect data allows agencies, MGAs, wholesalers, and carriers to capture the Patra Advantage – profitable growth and organizational value.

William Wagner, VP of Marketing

About The Author ...

William Wagner
Vice President, Marketing

William Wagner is responsible for Patra's Global Marketing and Inside Sales organization. With over twenty years of marketing and product management, William ensures that Patra's services, technology innovation, and brand are closely aligned with Patra's prospects and customers' needs to bring forth transformative change in how insurance solution are delivered, supported and managed.