CUSTOMER SERVICE: More customer updating, follow-up needed

Chip Lackey, a senior director within J.D. Power and Associates’ insurance practice, says too few consumers are getting proactive updates while their vehicles are being repaired, or follow-up after the claim.

Based on J.D. Powers 2011 survey of nearly 12,000 Americans who had placed an auto insurance claim within the previous 12 months, Lackey said only 44 percent reported receiving regular updates on the progress of their vehicle via phone call, email or website. These consumers had a significantly higher satisfaction level (891 points on a 1,000-point scale) than the nearly one-in-four who said they had to initiate some of the phone calls to get updates (836 points) and the 23 percent who said they had to initiate all of the status update calls (770 points). And the 2 percent who reported receiving no updates had even lower satisfaction numbers (711 points).

There was a even more significant drop in satisfaction related to post-claim follow-up. Forty-seven percent of these consumers said neither the shop nor insurer follow-up with them, and their satisfaction rating was 827 points. This jumped to 850 points for those 15 percent who the shop followed up with, and to 880 points for the 28 percent who the insurer followed up with. The most satisfied, at 923 points – nearly a 100 point gain – were those 11 percent who reported follow-up from both the shop and insurer.

Lackey suggested the follow-up could be as simple as a well-crafted, personalized email, perhaps co-branded between the shop and insurer – that also allows the consumer a easy way to provide feedback (perhaps through a survey) or request a follow-up.

 

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