Love this new article from Marketing Sherpa. If you’ve been following along recently about my strife with Apple and State Farm, you’ll really understand why this article hit home. The real gem is this chart that clearly shows the perceptions – reality gap between the company and the consumer when it comes to reasons customers leave.
Part I can be found here and part II can be found here. Called the body shop this afternoon to see if the State Farm adjuster had visited. My service technician was not in the office, but the person answering the phone indicated a State Farm claims adjuster did visit. It would have been nice of State Farm to keep me in the loop instead of me having to call. That goes double for the body shop.
Additionally, my local State Farm office (option 2) contact me today. She indicated she had been out of the office the past few days and wanted to follow up with me. A few issues here:
Why didn’t she change her voice mail message so I’d know she was out of the office?
Why didn’t she check with one of the other people in the office before calling me?
This is all about managing expectations. When you don’t actively manage those expectations you end up with problems.
Just wanted to quickly post an update to the saga that is my front suspension. The first part of this story can be found here. I got a call from a State Farm claims rep this morning bright and early; before 9 AM CST. Kudos to State Farm. The claims rep wasn’t exactly the most helpful person in the world, but he did as l the questions and provide the basic information you’d expect:
Explain to him the situation; how did this collision occur?
Where is the car right now?
What work has been done on the car already?
What shop would you like to use?
We’ll need to send out a claims adjuster to the shop’s location; he/she can be out there in 2 business days.
The adjuster will assess the situation and determine the proper cost and how the situation should be resolved.
Assuming the situation is approved, the shop will then schedule the work. I called the shop and we’re looking at about a 4-day schedule out to get the work done.
Assuming the situation is approved, State Farm will work out payment methods for the deductible payment.
So here is what this means…I won’t know anything till next week; potentially as late as Tuesday. Assuming everything goes according to plan I’ll have my car back the following Tuesday. Essentially, I’m without wheels for 2 weeks.
We’ve all seen the State Farm Insurance advertising. Regardless of which direct the creative follows, you always end up with the tag line, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” The concept of being there is interesting. It really means, when you have a problem we’re there for you. When you have a question we’re there for you. When you need some advice, we’re there for you.
The best neighbor I ever had was a couple named Dominick and Ilene. They lived next door to us in Chicago. Dominick was about 35 years my senior and would offer advice spanning home repair to how to make a great meatball. He was dependable; I could come over at 2 AM and while he’d be slightly irritated, I’m sure he’d help as best as he could.
I’ve been a State Farm customer for nearly 10 years. Cheryl, my wife, and her family have been State Farm customers for over 20. We have auto insurance, home insurance, and a personal article policy to cover all my camera gear.
When we moved back to Minnesota we needed a new State Farm agent. Like most people in this industry we relied on word of mouth for who to pick. We ended picking the agent my in-laws have been using for over 10 years. For the most part they’ve been fine, but then again there haven’t been any issues to deal with.
The true test of an insurance agent is how they handle a claim. No one likes claims. Well maybe the body shop does 🙂 But seriously, a claim is a pain in the butt for the insurance agent and the customer. However, the agent is supposed to make it seem like it’s the easiest thing in the world.
This brings us to present day. I hit a pot hole the other day and since then my alignment has been out of whack. So I took it to BMW Motorwerks to have it looked at. Inside of a day Motorwerks indicates there are two problems:
The rear sway bar needs to be replaced (nothing to do with the pot hole): $245.00
The front strut housings are damaged (in their opinion, this is related to the pot hole and would most likely be an insurance claim): $2,650.00
My deductible is only $500.00 so as you’d imagine, I planned on filing a claim.
I called my State Farm agent this morning at 8:30 AM. The agent was not there and I was funneled to the generic 24 hour Good Neighbor service line. I decided to call back after 9; specifically I called at 9:05 AM. This time I got the State Farm agent’s voice mail which gave me the option for leaving a voice mail message with 1 of 4 people. They didn’t tell me the roles of those people, just that I could leave a message. This seamed crazy to me so I decided rather than leave a message, I’d call back. I proceeded to call back at 9:10 and 9:15, but got the same result I did at 9:05. At 9:15 I left a message with option 2 🙂 What role option 2 does or if option 2 is even in the office, I have no idea.
I took the day off of work to deal with the situation; I should have pointed that out above. I waited around the house till 11:30 AM and they still hadn’t called. Not exactly what a good neighbor would do. Of course this didn’t sit well with me. I called them back at 11:45 AM and finally got a real person to talk to. For reference this was option 1 on the voice mail. She promptly answered and let me know that option 2 (who I left a voice mail message this morning) was out of the office today. Ahh, my worst fears were realized. Well it took less than 5 minutes to exchange the needed information. A claims adjuster will call me back in 24 hours, but they might take up to 72 hours. Not exactly the answer I was looking for.
In total, what should have been a 5 minute experience took 3+ hours. That’s just insane. So hear is my question, what should I do? Is this just the way it is? Do I stay with my agent? Do I stay with State Farm? Feel free to weigh in via this poll, powered by polldaddy.