March 28, 2023 | Stephanie Behnke, Director, Solutions Consulting

Time to First Contact: Why it Matters in Claims

With so much claims data in insurance and endless metrics to analyze, where should P&C carriers focus to drive the most measurable impact? One important metric is time to first contact (TTFC), or how long it takes for an adjuster to contact an insured after they file a claim. TTFC sets the tone for the rest of the claim lifecycle.

Our recent study found that adjusters who quickly engage with customers are more likely to take an empathetic approach and provide both timely service and excellent communication throughout the claims process.

Expectations are Changing, Customers Want Immediate Responses

When I start working with a new carrier, I conduct customer discovery sessions to understand their unique processes and how they handle claims from start to finish. As I held more of these sessions, I noticed an intriguing trend when I asked about TTFC. Without exception, every carrier said they aim for a 24-hour time to first contract as part of their standard operating procedure, while in practice, they try to make contact more quickly than that.

When I started in this industry in 1988, the rule was a carrier had to contact the customer within 24 hours of filing the claim. Even with mobile devices that have made our world faster and more connected than ever, here we are 35 years later, and it’s still the same 24-hour goal.

I can order a set of cookie cutters on Amazon for same-day delivery in the morning and start baking cookies by noon without leaving my house. But if I report a loss to my insurance carrier, I may not hear back from someone until the following day.

When considering consumer expectations for digital engagement with any other service provider, improving the 24-hour TTFC metric is a huge opportunity to do more for carriers and their customers.

Better TTFC is Possible with Text Messaging

The good news is better TTFC is possible for the insurance industry. Looking at Hi Marley’s conversational data, the top 25 percent of carriers on our platform make contact in nine minutes, and the top 10 percent of adjusters make contact in two minutes; this demonstrates that the industry is absolutely capable of achieving better TTFC metrics consistently.

There’s a paradigm shift happening in insurance, opening the door to better TTFC.

The option of leveraging text messaging as a communication channel is one reason carriers can achieve better TTFC today. In the past, if a customer didn’t pick up their phone when an adjuster called, the only option was to leave a voicemail and try again later. In today’s world, if an adjuster reaches out via text, the customer typically responds within two-to-four minutes. Gone are the days of phone tag. And with Hi Marley, conversations are clearly documented, giving supervisors an accurate pulse of what’s happening with the customer experience.

TTFC Can Significantly Impact Business Outcomes for Carriers

If done right, TTFC can significantly impact customer satisfaction, cycle times, cost savings and more.

Hi Marley’s study found that the top 25 percent of adjusters respond to 50 percent of cases in under three minutes. These adjusters resolved claims ten percent faster than their peers resulting in three days of reduced cycle time.

Looking to the future, imagine if we could improve TTFC from 24 hours to 24 seconds and how that would drive measurable improvements in customer satisfaction, cost and time savings.



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