Working for 30 years in the claims management industry has taught Susan Thompson a thing or two about how to be successful in her role. Exceptional customer service and having a supportive work-family has been vital for her career. After 28 years at one of the top insurance carriers in the US, Susan moved into a CAT resource manager position with Crawford, where she has been able to flourish.
“I have a family here,” she said. “If you treat your employees well, then they will treat the customers well.”
For Susan, customers include clients, colleagues, insureds, and most importantly, adjusters. She said, “I treat everyone as a customer-- not as just an adjuster.” Her overall goal when speaking with them is to make sure they are treated with respect. Finding adjusters a job is an extra gratification for her. As a resource manager, Susan is responsible for finding the right adjusters for a client’s request and providing any resources they need. With thousands of independent adjusters on the roster, people sometimes call the resource team daily to look for work.
“I have a real opportunity to help someone who then goes on to help others. It’s a chain of restoring lives and communities which provides me with a sense of purpose.”
Susan recalls when she called an adjuster for a deployment opportunity and discovered that his wife was in labor. She couldn’t believe that he answered the phone but quickly realized the importance of Crawford’s work. She describes it “as if it is a lifeline.”
Susan gets to see how a chain forms person to person, claim to claim and is thankful for that evolution. Throughout her career, she always enjoyed working on catastrophe projects because of the challenges they posed. She stressed the importance of finding the right adjuster with the proper skills to handle different tasks and jobs. Susan believes being able to show compassion towards the insured is the most important skill an adjuster can have during a catastrophic storm response.
“My job is to find the right person to fit the job, not just the body,” Susan said.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Susan worried that technology would take adjusters out of the claim equation. But after the past few months, she recognizes that technology will never be able to fully replicate that personable connection between an adjuster and the insured. However, technology will not be going away any time soon. Susan believes knowing how to use these virtual tools will become a necessary skill for adjusters and that as our social norms change, so will the ways of adjusting.
While she enjoys working from home, she has tried to make sure her daily life is balanced. When she isn’t working, she spends quality time with her 11-year-old son, who is attending school virtually. Over the past few months, Susan jokes that they’ve become homebodies who “have watched every Disney movie ever made.” Being remote has allowed her to help her son adjust to his new daily routine. She is appreciative not only of the opportunity to stay home and be with her son, but also to continue restoring lives even if it’s from a distance.