PMA Companies launched this series in order to provide straightforward information about the implications of COVID-19 and how PMA Companies is responding. Each installment will feature a PMA Executive or Thought Leader responding to three or four questions posed by our moderator, Derek Hopper, Senior Vice President, Shared Services. The objective is to get to the point quickly without a lot of fluff. We hope this will lead you to have a more robust conversation with your PMA Representative.
This installment of PMA Perspectives features Audrey Morgan, a Regional Manager of Claims Client Services, located in Atlanta, and Debbie Kolson, Claims Service Manager (CSM), located in Pittsburgh. The topic is the delivery of client services in challenging times.
Derek Hopper (DH): In the early days of the pandemic, when things were moving quickly and there was so much uncertainty, which instincts kicked into gear?
Audrey Morgan (AM): I can say that across the board, our Claims Client Services staff prioritized communication, ease of doing business, and flexibility. We checked in with our clients often, offered assistance, and listened.
Debbie Kolson (DK): I will add that we remained in close contact with our colleagues in other PMA departments and identified different ways to help our clients. Even if we didn’t have an immediate answer, we tried to figure things out quickly and do the right things for all involved.
DH: What is an example of a solution you developed on the fly?
AM: One thing that comes to mind is a streamlined claims reporting process we developed for a healthcare client that had a number of employees exposed to the virus. We developed a tool that made it easier for the client to consolidate the information and get it into our hands quickly. This allowed us to begin the triage and claim investigation process.
DH: Debbie, you worked as a risk management professional for a private company before joining PMA. When you consider the pandemic through that lens, what comes to mind?
DK: The firm I worked for had a significant number of locations and I remember how important it was to be comprehensive and organized when it came to assembling information. Those principles certainly apply today. The pandemic has affected the operations of our clients in different ways, which means the documentation of information for their brokers, underwriters, risk control consultants, CSMs, and others will be very important. I’d like our clients to know that we can help them with this process.
DH: How has the shift to a virtual environment affected the way you are communicating with clients?
AM: Well, we hit the ground running and learned some things along the way. Communicating virtually is not always easy and we are trying to be very intentional about our preparation, especially when conducting a claim review or stewardship meeting. We try to meet people where they are, so to speak, take extra time to explain an important point or observation, and be really conscious about etiquette, because sometimes there can be misunderstandings during a video or telephone call. Some funny things have happened, too, which helps lighten things up!
# # #