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Insurance Restoration Contractor – Project Communication

As an insurance restoration contractor, are you providing the necessary levels of service that each client expects? The quality management of your organization should be important, not only to your business, but also to the insured. When a policy holder experiences a water damage, the insured expects a certain level of quality and customer service from the restoration contractor. Most often I find that restoration contractors have not developed adequate processes for quality management within their business. Additionally, not all employees are equipped to handle such levels of customer service.

Change Your Communication Engagement

As your sales team focuses on building strong referral relationships to meet/exceed revenue goals, the production side of your business must keep up with current expectations and focus to exceed them. These expectations for the sales team should be built upon the processes and procedures within your restoration company. Additionally, your clients will expect a certain level of communication from your team. If problems on the project arise, you need to develop a method of communicating these issues and resolutions to the property owner, tenant, claims adjuster, public adjuster, attorney, organizational staff, etc. Everyone within the communication list on each claim should be communicated with.

The insured should always be one of the first points of contact. Even though you may need to seek out approval from the insurance carrier or adjuster, you should always communicate with the insured first. Why? Well, the insured should be your contracted client. When the insured signs your work authorization, they are effectively your client (not giving legal advice, but rather stating the obvious). Let’s say that you were not paid for services provided at the insured’s location that the insured asked you to complete. How would you ensure that you’re able to obtain payment for services rendered? Contractors will typically place a lien on the insured’s property until the invoice has been paid in full. Is this wrong? No, these are legal options reserved for the contractor if the issue can not be resolved through other appropriate means.

The insured is one of the most important individuals within the claims process. Not only is the insured the contractor’s client, but they are also the insurance carrier’s client. When you communicate with the insured, you can offer to communicate such findings to the carrier as well. If this issue is something that can be supplemented, then you should have a supplemental estimate prepared to send over to the carrier during this discussion. The insured can also offer to pay for the supplement out of pocket, with the expectation that they will be reimbursed from the carrier. Either way, you need to engage all parties on a regular basis.

Changing the Standard

Why is it that we are always communicating about things that are important to us individually, but when it comes to good communication on a project we seem to fail? Well, most of us prioritize our communication with others based on who we prefer to communicate with. If you are in an industry where you need to communicate often and you are not good with that, then choose another industry where you won’t have to utilize your communication skills to that extent. When working with any property owner, the property owner needs to know that you have their best interests in mind. This can be more effective when you communicate on a regular basis.

Each of us has been part of undesirable communication at one point or another. Have you ever purchased something from a business, and they made a promise to deliver on something (service, accessories, time frame, etc.), how did that make you feel? Better yet, how about that same business communicates with you in the beginning but then drops off. None of these situations makes anyone feel better. It makes clients feel as though no one cares, whether they truly care or not.

So, what is a regular basis for communicating? I would say that if you communicate with your client at least 2-3 times per week, that would be a good start. Some clients will require less communication and others will require more communication. It is equally important for your team to identify which clients need to be communicated with more frequently. If your CRM or project management system allows for external communication, you can then set up automatic emails to trigger when the job status is changed or there are additional notes that have been added.

What is your company doing to change the standard of outstanding service levels through the facilitation of better communication?

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