Monique Strickland has worked on and off with Crawford as an independent adjuster since 2002. She is a highly motivated individual who prides herself on having a career that makes a difference. Despite her successes as an adjuster, Monique is always ready for the opportunity to take on a challenge and learn something new while providing high-quality customer service.
"I enjoy the opportunity to make a difference and help others," she said. "But there are no failures in this job; you have to do what you have to do."
In 2020 Monique began working as a flood adjuster in Crawford's Allen, Texas office. Throughout her career, she has remembered her first experience with Crawford and their family-like culture. She recalled how Crawford poured into her education as an adjuster with challenging projects, training opportunities, and supportive managerial staff. This experience is what motivated her to return to the company.
Monique admits the adjusting job is not always a "happy-go-lucky" job and that adjusters can deal with a lot of challenging situations. Since March, she has been working long hours, seven days a week, to help as many people as possible. She attributes her success to three things: empathy, a willingness to learn, and exceptional customer service skills. During difficult situations, she understands the importance of showing compassion and service. Sometimes it's not what you're saying, but how you're saying it.
"I remind myself that I am the face and voice of a client," she said. "And it's not just them I'm representing, but also myself."
Monique has not let the coronavirus pandemic impact her willingness to empathize, learn, and serve. While at first, it was a disheartening experience, she has begun to recognize "the value in hearing someone smile." Monique misses the opportunity to bounce ideas off her colleagues in the office. Still, she is refining her patience and creative skill sets. She admits the transition to virtual adjusting feels as though she's experiencing a loss, which is similar to what the insured may experiencing after a catastrophic storm hits. Monique believes that having gone through this experience will help her empathize and become more efficient in how she handles customers in the future.
"There’s always something you can learn from this job,” she said.
During Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Monique was working as an assistant site manager. It was her first time overseeing a group of people, and she was scared to fail, but she decided that failure would not be an option for her. She remembers that at the time, people were still looking for family members, pets and belongings. Losses were occurring at a rapid rate, which led to many escalated phone calls. In this role, she said that her ability to empathize became more necessary than her actual flood knowledge. She said, “It makes for a good day when you can say I tried to help these 50 people today. Even if it didn’t always work out smoothly, I tried my best.” Acknowledging this or hearing a simple “thank you” made Monique’s day and pushed her through the job. She credits this event for helping her learn the true value of her career.
“You can't be an adjuster just for the financial gain,” she said. “You have to care about helping others and have empathy. If you’re in it to truly restore those lives, keep going. It is worth it.”
Monique has not had much time away from work since early this year. Still, when she does manage to escape, Monique enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and roller-skating. She is helping her 8-year-old daughter navigate life during the pandemic and virtual learning. Monique is grateful for the time spent at home with her family and how her job inspires her daughter. On career day at school, Monique’s daughter proudly proclaimed that her mommy helps people. She hopes her job can help her daughter understand the real value of helping others.