Are you ready for this?

I’ve worked at American Family for 25 years, in Life, Marketing and now Claims. I’ve worked with people in different departments of the company.

But until very recently, I’d had limited interaction with customers. And, I’d never spoken to a customer experiencing a loss. With the development of the Claims Storm Pipeline, I got my opportunity to see what this is like. And although it filled me with several mixed feelings, it was a wonderful experience.

Right before taking the first call, I felt anxious, very nervous, knowing that as soon as I connected to the storm queue, the first call would come and several more would follow. I just kept asking myself, “Are you ready for this?”

Then it happened, I connected, and the phone rang. But as soon as I answered and started speaking to the first customer, I felt at ease. This wasn’t scary at all. Even though the person on the other end of the phone was experiencing a loss, they were very nice. I was simply having a conversation with someone and letting them give me details on an event in their life.

Although the goal for each call I took was to gather basic claim information, I felt each call was a little different, which kept it interesting. I remember one call that threw me off a little. It was from a lady in Arizona calling about hail damage. After listening to her story, I realized she was a snowbird from Wisconsin. Her son had informed her there was damage to her home in Wisconsin, and she was calling to file the claim with the information he’d given her.

Through training, and then jumping on the phone, I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade, like when a customer has multiple claims, bring up the first one for general information so the customer doesn’t have to repeat details.

In summary, I have so much respect for what our call center employees do for our customers and our company daily. All the customers I spoke to were very nice and seemed to be very appreciative of our assistance in getting their claim filed.

I’ve had the opportunity to be activated in the storm queue twice now. I know this doesn’t compare to what our care center representatives encounter on a day-to-day basis; they do much more than what I experienced. But I now know what it feels like to actually assist a customer in need, and I must say, it feels good. Our customers are the reason we come to work every day and having such a direct impact on their lives at a time when they really need our help is very gratifying.

*** Sandy works in American Family’s Claims Division as a customer interaction administrator. She began her career in 1985 in an entry-level position in the Life Insurance Division. She took advantage of the many educational opportunities American Family provided, which led her to where she is today.

One Comment

  1. Camille Richards
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Nice article Sandy! Thanks to you and all those who take calls to help our customers at their time of need.

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