Join us in congratulating Frank Piper, Area Claims Manager, on his Quarter 3 2023 Silver Circle Award for Customer Service. Our communications team asked Frank a few questions about his exceptional approach to customer service; see his answers below.
How do you maintain your high level of customer service (your kindness and patience) during claims season and when interacting with your team and our customers?
Establishing integrity with all people we meet must start with ourselves. Being honest, working hard, and treating people the way we want to be treated is the starting point when working with agents, producers, and co-workers. I try to put our policyholders and agents first.
We must be able to explain and follow the policy and procedures of crop insurance, as well as be kind and truthful when explaining them. As a man of God, I follow the principles that are in the Bible, and when we do this, I believe we then want to provide this excellent service and do things right.
I stress to everyone that our attitude is key. If we walk in with a negative attitude, we will have negative results. In every situation, listen to the concern and be positive. We should never speak negatively about anyone (even our competition). Instead, we should show them that we are the best company to work with.
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
My favorite part of my job is teaching and updating my outstanding crew and agents that I work with. As a side note, I have been blessed to have a blended group of adjusters from two great companies and has made my job so rewarding. My staff has grown into ONE group of adjusters that work together, and I consider them the best in the industry.
On the agent side, I enjoy sitting with them, listening to their concerns, and then finding an opportunity to explain policy and procedures that they may have been forgotten or not know about.
Educating both adjusters and agents is the greatest reward in my job.
How would you define great customer service?
I believe the best customer service is simply listening to a person’s situation or concern. If there is a problem, turn over every stone to find a resolution. During this process, showing a caring and positive attitude without hostility. A lack of communication is the worst thing to do. This is a customer service driven industry and I believe in personal visits with the agents -- they build bonds where agents would want to write more business with us.
The same concept is true when working with our policyholders. A pleasant conversation to work out potential claims or concerns is the primary goal. When dealing with someone that is angry, de-escalate the situation and move the conversation in a positive way. I do think that quick, accurate, and professional adjusters meeting with our policyholders is the strongest asset for our company. They are the boots on the ground, and usually are the only company people that customers meet in person. Therefore, training the adjusters to be the best customer service providers they can be is the highest priority that I have as a supervisor.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their career? What wisdom would you impart to them?
Your integrity is vital. Always do the right thing and learn as much as you can. Work in a timely fashion with an honest and professional attitude. There are two statements I don’t like to hear: “I can’t” and “It’s not my job”. Whatever task comes our way, we should have the willing heart to do the job and do it with integrity. If you need help, ask for it. There is no “I” in team, and we all want to work as a team.