I recently celebrated my 58th birthday with the family by pummeling a great portion of barbecued ribs on our back deck. It was a beautiful evening, with perfect temperature and minimal distraction from bugs.
One of my sons might disagree with my characterization as some of the resident bees found the aroma irresistible and managed to stir some angst as they can do simply with their presence.
As I reminisced on the picture of that celebration, it struck me that it is a perfect example of the reason I am sold out to leveraging the value of unstructured sentence data (e.g. claim notes) to improve organizational performance.
If some clever developer built an admin system for birthday celebrations, it would likely look similar to the typical P&C claims admin system. It would have a portal for loading documents and images in addition to a diary system for creating notes. However, it would be dominated by structured fields for common attributes such as location of celebration, food, drink, participants, time, day of the week and so forth.
While the fields may have some appeal to retailers wanting to bombard your phone with ads, it has very little relevance and contributes almost nothing to the family memories.
Likewise, while the picture of me with my two sons is worth 1,000 words, it does not capture the relevant narrative – nor could the powerful AI tools that are able to recognize and organize each of our faces but misses the narrative.
It does not capture that my left hand was full of barbecue sauce so I didn’t want to touch Nathan’s shirt. Or, the dog barking in the background was distracting us. Or, that we were trying to get the picture taken so my wife and I could go for a long walk.
So, how is this relevant to P&C claim organizations?
Every adjuster is creating narrative sentence data in their claim notes as they document facts, circumstances and decisions relating to each of their claims. This narrative contains all of the rich, descriptive information that distinguishes facts about claims.
The narrative tells the story of the claim. From your perspective as a claims manager, it establishes your adjusters’ ability to capture and understand the details of the claim story. More importantly, it creates the opportunity to determine adjusters that are either well equipped or struggling to get the claim past a critical milestone.
Here’s the opportunity for performance improvement: no longer do managers need to labor through a sampling of claim files reading narrative sentence data. Rather, technology – like sentence data refining technology – can read an entire population of claim note sentence data and create milestones, measurements and metrics.
This gives you three wonderful strategies for improving claim outcomes across your claim organization while decreasing expenses.
First, start simple and learn fast. As a manager, you know the most important strategy you’re asking of your adjusters. Take one or two critical activities related to that strategy and measure it across the population of adjusters.
For example, you might have a new investigation vendor and you want to make sure they’re being utilized in the right circumstances. Measure this activity and you’ll quickly see the adjusters that got it and those that need more training.
Second, as you start measuring adjuster activities across a population of claims, it will quickly become apparent the adjuster strengths in one activity versus another. Use the identified strengths of adjusters to cover where other adjusters are struggling.
The goal is to strengthen the team. If one adjuster is struggling to get phone calls returned, have that person spend a few hours with the adjuster that has a knack for getting every phone call returned. If a couple adjusters are struggling to determine liability, have them spend a day with the best adjuster in this area.
Finally, as a corollary to the second point, heed the suggestion of one of the claim managers we’re working with: keep the focus on the team rather than the individual. The goal of every claim manager is high performance in a great working environment where individuals thrive and learn.
Giving adjusters timely, specific feedback on activities from their entire body of work, i.e. the entire population of claims, sets up a great learning environment for every person on the team. When every person feels empowered and is learning, the team will succeed at a high level.
Just as the next birthday is sure to come too fast, so are the never-ending streams of adjuster notes. Get on top of it now and improve claim outcomes while driving down expenses.