Some Tips for the Holidays: Preparing Your Customer Contact Center

 By Jack Hojnar

It’s that time of year.

Mistletoe. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Sleigh bells. Snowflakes.

And customers that might be bombarding your call centers with possible claims.

Your credit card customers will not likely sing “Joy to the World” when their new refrigerator breaks. Even less likely will they be happy to find their rental car with surprise dents in the parking lot. And it’s not likely that anyone will be excited to be delayed for a flight to see grandma whether she was run over by a reindeer or not.

Credit card benefits, like Purchase Protection, Rental Car Coverage, Trip Delay and Trip Interruption/Cancelation, can make purchases safer. More than ever, customers are aware of these products and have certain expectations from their banks.

So then ask yourself this question: am I ready to handle a customer claim?

We hope the answer is “yes.” However, if you are not sure, follow these guidelines below:

1. Clearly Define and Detail Your Coverage
All banks should provide a “Guide to Benefits: Terms and Conditions” document. Don’t make the fine print too small to read and too cumbersome to appreciate. Post this information online as well.

2. Arm Your Claims Center with Every Detail Possible
We know that filing a claim requires receipts and other elements of proof. But do your customers know this fact? From our research and experience from social media monitoring, banks can get slammed during this process. Customers often feel misled when beginning the claims process. Be sure your Claims Call Center makes the claim process easy to understand and simple to execute.

3. Utilize Online Tools
Where and whenever possible, initiate a claim online and follow the online claims process. Many of us are more connected than ever before and your customers will likely expect you to be connected as well. An online claim form and online tracking tools keep customers connected.

4. Outreach Efforts
Imagine yourself as your customer, particularly in the event of a claim. Waiting for a response can be difficult. Be sure to take advantage of both your own outreach tools (e.g., email, phone, text) to keep your customer informed of their claim status or other necessary information.

5. The Bad News
Not every claim will end favorably for your customers. Make sure they are prepared for all types of scenarios prior to providing them a final decision. Even if you do provide them with worst-case scenarios, your customer may still feel let down from the experience. Be sure to be mindful of other ways in which you can help your customer maintain loyalty.

Remember, filing a Claim from your customer’s point-of view means something bad happened. Make sure that you do everything possible to mitigate the loss your customer experiences. The last thing you want is to exacerbate the issue with poor customer service.

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