Saturday, April 21, 2007

How can I help you?

This is the question that I ask about twenty times a day, Monday through Friday.

While I wait to find out about my graduate school assistantship, I work at Allstate as a CRA, which means that I take the first notice of loss reports from customers, claimants, other insurance companies, doctors, and attorneys. I do only auto claims, so most of my day revolves around rear-end accidents and parking lot follies. Oy, people, please try to leave a reasonable amount of room between you and the next car!

Sometimes the people are nasty and sometimes they are very kind. I have liked talking to the lawyers most of all - surprise! Because for the most part they know what they are doing. It is understandable why many people are upset when they call the insurance company; after all, they are usually contacting us because they have had an accident.

On Friday I received another fatality call. A couple of weeks ago I dealt with the tail end of a motorcycle claim that involved a death, but this one I handled from start to finish. It was the son of the insured who had been killed, but the claim was being called in by one of the insured's daughters-in-law. It was a one car accident; the fellow lost control of his car on a country road, and he rolled.

It was a good reminder for me that although my job is just temporary, it is still meaningful and it is important to do it well. "How can I help you?" is not just part of the verbiage we were taught, it is also a real part of the service we provide. Time to dial back my uber-snotty contempt factor for these "customer service" jobs...

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