Reducing Liability: 5 Steps To Protect Your Business

Posted by Kris Rzesnoski on Jan 24, 2019 11:10:33 AM

In today’s world, would you do a restoration job without taking any photos of the start, finish, or everything in-between? In the past few years, have your customers become less critical of your performance and their experience? Do your customers want to hear your excuses for your low google ratings or social media reviews? If you answered No to one or all of these questions, then you may already be thinking about ways to reduce your liability and improve customer service.

REDUCE YOUR LIABILITY

Reducing liability is simple and practical. Everyone on your staff can do it and see the results of a better process. Here are five ways you can reduce your liability and improve customer satisfaction.

1. Get authorization before you start

I am not going to debate over whether you should use a Work Authorization form or a Contract, but regardless of which document you use, you need to get those agreements signed by an authorized person (you can use the Encircle’s Mobile App on Android and iOS to capture these signatures remotely or on site). If you start work without these written agreements, you are working without the terms of service being clearly defined, which can lead to a mismatch between expectations and affect customer satisfaction.

2. Take Really Good Overview Photos

When you enter a new job site for the first time, it is your opportunity to take photos of that site before it has been touched by you and your team. These overview photos provide you with evidence of what was there when you arrived and demonstrates your attention to detail. If you follow the routine process of taking these pictures when you first get on site, you will dramatically reduce your exposure to false claims about damage to the structure and contents. 

3. Identify Pre-existing Conditions

Having photographs of dents, digs, scratches and previous water damage can be critical to reducing the amount of customer conflict that occurs at the end of the claim. In the past, when I encountered these conflicts, I believed that everyone was out to get a free paint job of a room or door. But after experiencing a loss in my own home, what immediately clicked was that after the restoration efforts finished, I went through the loss in detail and found all the dents, digs and scratches that had been there for years.

 

Taking photos at the start of the claim and presenting this information to the customer reduces tension and allows the conversation to begin that their property has some existing imperfections.

4. Get Customer Sign-off on Contents

Providing customers with agreements to review and sign as part of the contents process is vital to ensure they know and remember what you discussed early in the claims process. Your customer is going through an emotionally stressful situation, and you want to be very clear about which items are being discarded, which items need cleaning, and which items are being stored, in order to protect both of your interests.

5. Be Transparent

Now that you have collected all this information, you will want all parties to know what information has been collected, what direction has been taken, and keep everyone informed. Transparency builds trust with clients and allows them to understand your intentions. At the end of the day you own your customers' perception of what is happening as much as you own the reality of what you are doing. After all, you will own the ultimate outcome arising from anything that is not documented and the conflict that results of it.

Reduce Liability with Encircle

Let us show you how Encircle can help you document a loss quickly, provide customer authorization, and offer transparency to customers to help you reduce liability and improve your customers' experience. Request a personalized demo today. 

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Topics: Restoration, Restoration Ready, liability

About the Author: Kris Rzesnoski

Kris Rzesnoski

Kris is the Vice President of Business Development at Encircle. He guides the technical development of Encircle’s solutions to ensure they exceed industry expectations. With over 15 years of experience in the restoration and insurance industries, he is committed to driving Encircle’s delivery of intuitive, easy-to-use solutions that improve productivity and profitability. Kris currently sits on the RIA’s Restoration Council, Canadian Education Committee, and is the Chairman of the Estimating Committee. He was also a key consultant for the 2013 Canadian study with Deloitte that reviewed the pricing software in Canada that impacted $11.9B of restoration revenue. Kris holds a number of certifications and designations, including being a Certified Restorer, Water Loss Specialists, former Xactimate Certified Trainer and IICRC Master Restorer designated in Water, Smoke, Fire, and Textiles.