The Power of Language in Claimant Calls

As any claim professional knows, conversations about a claim decision can sometimes generate strong emotions.

Given that claimants rely on their disability benefit to pay their bills, it’s not hard to understand why. What we say and how we say it can make a real difference in the claimant experience as well as the outcome of a call. 

Occasionally emotions may get in the way of having a productive conversation. Here are a few tips that claims analysts can keep in mind to keep the call on track, and ensure the claimant feels respected and understood:

Use empathy statements to show you understand the claimant’s feelings or frustrations.

“I understand why you feel that way, I’ve dealt with others who have felt the same way in similar situations.”

“How can I help you move beyond this?”

“Thank you for trusting me to help you resolve this matter.”

Tone is important. Remember that the person on the other end of the phone cannot see your body language.

Research shows that 55% of communication comes from body language, so we have to compensate when on a call. Use a soft tone to convey your understanding and openness to finding a solution.

Avoid the terms “always” or “never”.

These words can suggest there’s a level of inflexibility. Use softer terms such as “typically”, “sometimes”, or “occasionally” to demonstrate openness to seeing another perspective.

Remember that silence can also be an effective tool.

Allowing a period of silence after listening to someone sends the message that you are considering their concerns. Follow a brief silence with a recap of their concerns. This allows them to either agree with your understanding or provide clarification if you have not fully captured their concerns. 

Most importantly, place yourself in their position.

We have all been there and the Golden Rule always applies. Treat others as you wish to be treated.

With the right mindset and approach, we can make sure that emotions don’t derail a call. Choosing your words wisely may make all the difference in the long run.

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