The past year has seen a 22% decline in auto insurance claims, giving insurance companies a chance to improve their customer experience and deliver a higher quality of service during the claims process. The First Notice of Loss (FNOL) is regarded as one of the most crucial steps in this claims process and understanding the customer’s view is important.

Think about this step from the eyes of the claimant. They are probably feeling anxious, worried or embarrassed, and a misstep in this communication could cost you a customer. The goal here is to put the claimant at ease. You don’t want your customers asking themselves which is worse, the incident that started the insurance claim or the claims process itself? A cumbersome claims process is the last thing an insurance provider wants their customers to experience. Their experience during this process can leave as much impact as the incident, leaving a memory that stays with the customer long after the damage is repaired.

How Does the FNOL Process Impact Customer Service Scores?

According to J.D. Power, the FNOL step of the process has some of the highest impact on your customer service scores. The algorithm is pretty simple: If the customer feels at ease during the FNOL, then customer services scores are of higher. The indicators of success are focused on the services an insurance company provides. When services increase, the overall satisfaction increases. Take for example a typical FNOL for an automotive claimant. Services that indicate the greatest levels of satisfaction are scheduling the estimate, making the rental vehicle reservation and contacting the repair facility on the claimant’s behalf. These services are a piece of the puzzle, but how else can you build trust during this process?

Using the FNOL Process to Understand and Build Loyalty

When claimants call an insurance company to report a claim, they are experiencing a vast combination of emotions, from anger to regret. They have enough on their minds, and the better the company can provide a clear understanding of the process and how long it could take, the better overall satisfaction. Each step during this first call is a chance to build loyalty with the customer. Most likely their minds are racing with challenges they might be facing. A good indicator of success is how much the insurance company can accomplish in the first call with the claimant. This is where the services mentioned above can come into play. When the insurance company can accomplish the scheduling of estimates and repair timelines, claimant satisfaction will be higher, and the claimant will feel more at ease.

Effective Communication Is Key

Claims professionals know the ins and outs of the claims process and can guide claimants who feel like their lives have been uprooted because of an incident.

Many people purchase insurance because state law or financial contracts obligate them to do so. Policyholders may not understand their coverage very well, and the claim they file with you may be the first claim they’ve ever filed. What insurance providers need to understand is that when this moment arrives, it is a rare and possibly traumatic experience for the customer regardless of how many times an insurance company handles similar requests. Insurance providers shouldn’t become desensitized to these calls. Instead, they should jump when this need arises because it’s a chance to build value. The insurance providers that are well prepared and have a sound process in place not only can improve customer satisfaction, but can also build lifelong customers.

Interested in improving your FNOL process to build greater customer loyalty? Check out Covenir’s FNOL and Claims Services. We collaborate with you to create and deliver a best-in-class experience for your policyholders.