COMMUNICATION BUILDS TRUST IN DISASTER RESTORATION SERVICES

communications

In the world of disaster restoration services, communication is critical between all parties. Whether you have experienced water damage or have to deal with damage from a fire and the restoration needed on your contents and building, it is extremely important to keep open and clear communication with all parties.

 

 

 

Whether you have a Water Damage or have to deal with a fire damage and the restoration needed on your contents and building, it is extremely important to keep open and clear communication with all parties. This includes the insurer, insured, claims adjuster and the Project Manager for disaster restoration and remediation contractor.

Trust is established through communication; as a person walks in the room we all tend to quickly make a judgment based on our first impression. And don’t forget how we interpret body language in this process as well; how they hold their head, the arms, or by their stance.

We often find that once dialog starts the true person is revealed and at that time either the feelings we originally had are confirmed or need readjustment. Drawing individuals into the conversation whether we are looking for an answer or not also promotes greater interaction and engagement and thus fosters the trust factor.

As contractor, all of us at RCCN DKI recognize that, for us, managing and addressing claims are an everyday occurrence but for the insured it is a different story. All a daily basis we respond to and mitigate water damages. Every week we serve customers by doing remediation of mould and asbestos. Then, as a full service contractor coordinate the complete rebuilding of a property.

Trust has not been established and for some there may be barriers that have to be overcome due to biases or presumed expectations based on stories from neighbours, families or others that have not had a good experience in the past. With the first impression being behind you the next significant factor is listening.

Most of us have seen so many claims that we can pretty well assume what we are facing with some small variance, but nothing instills trust greater than our patiently listening and acknowledging each others comments and concerns.

A nob of the head but especially jotting down the points speaks volumes in communicating your interest and then repeating it back to them confirms all of it. Another key factor in effective communication during restoration services is to determine how the other parties want or prefer to communicate.

On a recent large fire restoration project we did the homeowner only wanted to communicate with us via text messaging while the adjuster wanted emails and updated notes in the software program their company uses.

At the same time we had a challenging commercial water damage loss on the go and the property owner wanted daily updates, to his cell phone and was fine with us leaving detailed voice messages. He also wanted an on-site meeting with the RCCN Project Manager every Friday morning at 9:00 AM. The Large Loss adjuster on this claim wanted a weekly recap sent via email every week but did not want us to call her unless it was urgent.

And on an environmental remediation project we successfully completed last month the homeowner was a millennial. She wanted us to Direct Message her on Twitter with any questions or important updates. The adjuster on this mould remediation claim only wanted us to communicate with him with daily notes on his cloud-based software.

So you can see why it is so important for each party involved in an insurance claim to make sure they are clear on how to communicate to each other.

Nobody is perfect. When you remember this fact, you'll be ahead of the game even as you work to strengthen your communications. Nobody else thinks the way you do; that's why no matter how many times you have been exposed to similar situations and damages, you still need to maintain a healthy level of communication.

For disaster restoration service…and any other service, here are some tips that we have found that help us communicate and build trust with all those we work for and with:

Be honest. Honesty is always the best policy. This is because our relationships are built on trust. If we violate that trust, it'll damage the communication between all parties involved in successfully mitigating and restoring a property. We all know it is more difficult to express yourself when you feel like there isn't that basis of trust.

Listen well. Communication is a two way street and listening is half the equation. When you're good at listening, you become good at interpreting and understanding your customers underlying feelings. When the customer, contractor and insurance adjuster are all on the ‘same page’ you're less likely to get into petty arguments because you'll know where they're coming from in the first place.

Let the other party finish what they're saying. Whether you're in the middle of an argument, or the other person is just telling a story, be sure to hear them out. Listen to everything they have to say before you try to get some words in too.

Avoid reacting in anger. When you disagree with what you are being told, which happens to all of us from time to time, learn how to express your opinions in a healthy way. Avoid name-calling and take time to cool down if you have to. This is especially important if you tend to say things you don't mean in the heat of an argument.

Find out how the other person wants to communicate. There are so many choices today and everyone has there favourite method. Some want Text messages, others Direct Messages on Twitter or FaceBook. Others want you to only call their work number, or cell or home. Many want email’s along with on-site meetings. There are many more but you get the idea. Clarify with each other how you want updates from them….and sometimes even more importantly, how they want you to communicate to them.

When everyone who is involved in a claim communicate’s well together the whole job and process will go smoother and better. Even though it may take some work to bring about proper communication, the benefits are well worth it.

It is important to select a reputable and professional emergency mitigation and full service disaster restoration contractor. But you can also see that communication is critical and involves so many aspects that it can not all be addressed in a single blog. So stay tuned for more on this subject in future blog posts.