Creating collaborative approaches that ensure the involvement and opinions of all involved are heard are vital in a service first approach to delivering a great customer experience, according to Gallagher Bassett’s General Manager, Aidan Brophy. Speaking at the 18th Annual National Workers’ Compensation Summit later this month in Melbourne, Aidan and his colleague Lucas Kowlaski are opening the ‘Claims Management & Compliance’ stream on day 1 – a presentation we are certainly looking forward to. We spoke to Aidan recently about a ‘service first’ approach and the biggest challenges facing the industry in 2017.
Q1: Aidan, please can you give us some background into your role at Gallagher Bassett.
Aidan: Gallagher Basset is Australia’s leading third party claims specialists. We manage claims on behalf of insurers, brokers, government bodies and self insured organisations.
I joined GB as an administration assistant back in 2002 and have worked my way up through almost every job within GB’s claim operation. In 2012 I was promoted to the role of Operations Manager for our Victorian workers’ compensation business, and last year I was promoted to the role of General Manager – Workers’ Compensation Victoria.
GB has given me that direction and so many opportunities to learn and progress my career. It’s a unique place with a tremendous culture, one I am proud to be part of. It’s a real privilege working alongside some incredibly knowledgeable people who strive to deliver excellent service to our customers and take pride in who we are and what we do.
Q2: Your presentation at the National Workers Compensation Summit will be touching on a ‘service first’ approach. Please can you explain a bit about this and what led you to develop the framework.
Aidan: At GB we pride ourselves on delivering for our customers and ensuring we provide quality and innovative solutions to any problem we face. In an effort to be continuously improving and striving for service excellence, we undertook an extensive review of our processes, collating and reviewing all complaints and surveying employees on service delivery to work out how we could take our service delivery to the next level.
In order to implement our findings we formed a ‘Service First’ working group, which had staff from worker service, employer service, staff engagement/ culture, the leadership group and learning and development to ensure that any new initiative had the Service First framework applied holistically and at all levels of the business.
Implementing the Service First approach saw outstanding results, including a 30% annual reduction in complaints, a 25% reduction in litigated disputes and an improved worker survey score by 14.5% in an eight-month period.
In my presentation I’ll be discussing the framework in greater depth and looking at how Service First was more than just a project, but a transformation in approach and motivation that affected all parts of our operation.
Q3: Lastly, the Workers Compensation Summit features presentations on a wide range of topics, what do you think is the biggest challenge for the industry at the moment?
Aidan: Workers’ compensation and personal injury claims management is evolving to be more personal and human-centric in response to economic, technological and social forces.
As claims agents we need to ensure we are evolving and updating our policies and processes to meet the needs of personal injury management in a world that is heavily dependent on technology and where there is an expectation that information is provided more quickly and conveniently.
Agents and insurers are working towards improving service, and ultimately changing claims management practice through the use of new technological platforms, such as mobile applications and instant messaging, which allow all stakeholders to be more involved in the claim process.
One of the initiatives we have recently implemented in Victoria as a part of Service First is having automated SMS messages sent to injured workers confirming reimbursement of the expenses they have paid for. The SMS information includes the type of reimbursement and also the amount reimbursed.
This is a simple step we have taken to improve claimant satisfaction and strengthen our communication with injured workers. It has been a positive action made towards engaging with technology and using it to communicate key messages in the way injured workers want to receive them.
Although the benefits are obvious, the speed in which technology and social changes are happening, poses a question of ‘how do we keep up?’
GB’s National Business Development Manager Mark Daniels will be exploring this topic at the Summit. Mark will examine the role of agents and insurers in the ever-changing environments and delve into how workers’ compensation providers must reinvent themselves in order to keep up with these evolving trends.
Aidan joins a speaking faculty of over 30 industry leaders at Australia’s leading platform for legislative updates and business case studies in the realm of workers’ compensation. Join us at the 18th Annual National Workers’ Compensation Summit, for this one can’t be missed. More info can be found here.