In May 2020, Origami hosted a number of virtual RIMS webinars in-place of the RIMS 2020 Annual Conference, which was cancelled due to coronavirus. One of the five sessions Origami offered, “Driving Customer Satisfaction with Digital Engagement,” was led by Tim Cuckow, Senior Sales Executive, John Carolan, Senior Sales Executive, and David Duden, Strategic Relationships Executive. The presentation highlighted how stakeholders across the insurance value chain (i.e., insurers, pools, and TPAs) can leverage new digital engagement tools and predictive analytics to make underwriting and claims administration more efficient, differentiate their offerings, and drive agent and policyholder satisfaction.
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The economy is reopening whether organizations are prepared or not. What does restarting business operations look like in a world reeling from a pandemic outbreak and the problems that come with it?
A staggering 40% of businesses fail to reopen following a disaster and another 25% fail within one year following a disaster, according to a report published by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Even organizations that survive disasters can remain fragile, experiencing disruption for years to come. While FEMA’s statistics were built upon “normal” disruptions—hurricanes, tornadoes, floods—we can see how impactful contained disasters are to businesses, leaving the world to wonder what impact the coronavirus outbreak will have on the global economy.
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Globally, we are seeing companies being pushed into having a remote workforce, whether they are ready for it or not, especially as more US states and countries issue shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. While shifting to a remote workforce may seem like an impossible feat, there are steps you can begin taking now to help your employees transition, and by extension, improve the experience of your clients. Since our inception, Origami Risk has valued its remote capabilities and the talented team we’ve been able to curate because of it.
Whether you are a work-from-home veteran or not, we’re all facing unique challenges in this new environment—from learning to work alongside your spouse and kids, to dealing with the challenges of conferencing technology—there is always a learning curve when transitioning from office to home. As a company of “remote work gurus,” we’d like to help make that learning curve a little shorter by sharing what helps Origami’s dispersed team efficiently work from home, all while servicing clients without interruption.
Have Readily Available Resources and Training
Some employees have fully equipped home offices, while others may have difficulty adjusting to their new work environment for a number of reasons. From a lack of technological savvy, difficulty working without a second monitor, or simply the social adjustment that comes with telecommuting, there are a number of obstacles that can work against an organization that’s suddenly forced to shift to a fully-remote workforce. First and foremost, it’s important to check in with employees to make sure they’re equipped with the tools and resources needed to effectively work and service their clients.
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What are the true costs of the repetitive, simple administrative tasks claims adjusters perform throughout the course of the workday? Inefficiencies stemming from manual procedures and repetitive tasks can directly impact the bottom line of claims organizations. Added to this are hidden costs that organizations may be less likely to account for: the impact those types of procedures and tasks can have on employee engagement and job satisfaction levels.
The Hidden Costs of Repetitive Tasks
As shown in a study published by the Society for Human Resource Management, when employees are required to perform repetitive tasks, they quickly lose interest and a sense of purpose. These employees are both less satisfied and less engaged. With reduced rates of job satisfaction comes the increased likelihood of turnover and the costs associated with hiring and training new adjusters.
There are also missed opportunities associated with high levels of engagement and wellness. Laid out in the Forbes article, 10 Timely Statistics About The Connection Between Employee Engagement And Wellness, these benefits can include reduced employee burnout, more empowered employees, and increased rates of profitability.
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Origami Risk users gathered in San Antonio from January 12-16 for our 2020 User Conference. The fifth such event hosted by Origami, this iteration of the conference was the largest to date, with more than 500 people representing organizations from across the risk and insurance industry in attendance.
Collaborative, hands-on learning opportunities led by members of the Origami service team ranged from “boot camps”—introductions to the system for newer users—to instruction on setting up dashboards and reports to more advanced topics such as system administration. Attendees also had the opportunity to meet with an Origami expert for one-on-one sessions for a closer look at specific features or areas of the system they wanted to know more about.
Client co-presenters led sessions covering a wide range of topics including GRC, underwriting, safety, audits, and claims administration, to name just a few. As in previous years, the delivery of actual use cases and the opportunity for those attending sessions to ask questions about the ways in which Origami Risk is being used to address “real world” challenges provided a unique opportunity for peer-to-peer learning. … read more
In TPAs and automation, part 1: Humanizing customer service, we looked at ways in which the use of features available in integrated claims management software—automation tools, push-reporting, and online portals—can help improve the level of service provided to clients and claimants. The automation and self-service features of a claims management software solution also have roles to play in another business-critical area for TPAs and organizations self-administering claims: recruiting, hiring, and retaining top talent.
Challenges to hiring and keeping qualified claims professionals
As is the case across most industries, a combination of baby boomers reaching retirement age and a strong economy continues to make it difficult for businesses in the property/casualty insurance industry to find qualified candidates. According to the Insurance Journal article Insurance Industry Facing Competitive Labor Market, the industry’s unemployment rate of 1.7% is even lower than the reported national average of 3.9%. Even so, the article points to the fact that, as of its April 2019 publication date, the “need for technology, claims and sales/marketing staff is expected to grow the greatest in the next 12 months.”
Beyond the challenge of finding qualified candidates to fill open claims department positions is the issue of employee retention. A 2018 CompData Survey shows that total turnover among organizations in the insurance industry stood at 12.8%. Although lower than the average for all industries (19.3%), this rate has trended upward in recent years.
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The onboarding process can be challenging for both TPAs and their clients. Migrating data from one claims management system to another is often a difficult, resource-draining part of that process. Wesley White’s article 10 Data Migration Best Practices For Any Organization summarizes the extent of the challenge:
Migrating data to a new information management system from multiple sources is a complex and often headache-inducing undertaking. Data migration is often necessary to keep up with technological advancements and industry standards, but it requires great effort. Data from various storage areas—both onsite and in the cloud—must be evaluated, analyzed, cleaned up and organized before it can be combined and reconciled.
The right technology can help to reduce the tremendous burden that data migration places on new clients. It can also transform the onboarding process and showcase the unique insights, savings, and benefits your organization delivers. As White notes, “It doesn’t have to be as hard as you may think to get past these challenges and successfully migrate your data.”
Assisting with the pre-migration phase
Research from the independent research firm Bloor paints an ominous picture of data migration projects. Of these projects, 37% exceed budgets, 67% take longer than expected, and 84% fail to meet expectations. In Why do so many data migration projects end in disaster?, Colin Rickard, a data management director with Experian, is asked to explain the high failure rate. “Often there has just not been enough analysis done at the start, so you end up with a lot of data problems at the end,” he responds.
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When does maintaining an up-to-date library of workers’ compensation state forms become too great of a bureaucratic burden for your claims adjusters or administrative staff? The most straightforward response is this: The more states in which your organization handles workers’ comp claims, the greater the challenge of staying on top of form revisions and additions.
Time and resources could certainly be allocated to more important activities. In the International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI) article Workers Compensation Bureaucracy Drives Costs, Mark Walls and Kimberly George cite training and education as two such examples:
One of the goals of workers compensation regulations is to ensure that injured workers are paid benefits in a timely manner at the correct rate and that they have access to appropriate medical treatment,” write Walls and George. “There was a time when payers had offices located in most states with adjusters handling only that state. Now, with most payers utilizing multistate adjusters, payers must be constantly training and educating their adjusters to ensure that they understand all of the nuisances of the different states that they handle.
For organizations looking to reduce the bureaucratic burdens their adjusters face, Origami Compliance offers a secure, API-based solution that integrates with any claims management system to provide immediate access to a single-source, up-to-date library of state and federal workers’ comp claim forms. Without leaving the claims system, an adjuster can quickly find the right form based on state or category. And when that form is selected, form fields automatically populate with claim data and a PDF version is generated.
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Automation is great, except when it isn’t. Examples of the dark side include endless button pressing in automated phone trees that often conclude by yelling the word “operator” into the phone, and receiving form letters or emails containing incorrect, basic information. It’s no wonder the Aspect Customer Experience Index states that “nearly a third of consumers would rather clean a toilet than talk to customer service.”
Yet automation, when done well, remains a central tactic TPAs can deploy to gain competitive advantages in efficiency, accuracy, and resource allocation. When mismanaged, however, it can lead to impersonal service and damaged client relationships. The key to successful automation is to take advantage of technology’s benefits without losing the “human-centric” element. Kristin Smaby explores this concept in Being human is good business.
“In an era when companies see online support as a way to shield themselves from ‘costly’ interactions with their customers, it’s time to consider an entirely different approach: building human-centric customer service through great people and clever technology. So, get to know your customers. Humanize them. Humanize yourself. It’s worth it.”
In this three-part series we’ll examine how strategically balancing the human/automation mix can deliver a competitive advantage through:
- Improving customer service
- Enhancing employee retention/recruitment
- Boosting performance KPIs
Addressing these three initiatives from a human-centric perspective allows your organization to meet the personalized service expectations your clients demand, while gaining the productivity boosts smart automation delivers.
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It’s not exactly a secret: Regardless of size or industry, every organization stands to benefit from using automation technology to cut down on repetitive, time-consuming administrative tasks. More than simply speeding up a process or getting people to work faster, automating administrative tasks yields value by freeing up employees to focus on the aspects of their job that really matter and provide value.
Automation is wonderful. Except when it isn’t.
As covered in Behind the Hype of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), businesses can run into issues by rushing to reduce costs and improve productivity through automating processes without first evaluating their effectiveness and necessity. The benefits of automating repeatable, administrative tasks can also be lost if automation technology is too difficult to use. The result? Time that could be used performing more high-value activities winds up spent managing software.
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