DO THE RIGHT THING: It’s all about customer service

The Wallow Fire in Arizona has been devastating. Many people have lost their homes that were surrounded by towering pines and crystal blue skies.  One month before the fire, my husband changed all of our cabin insurance to Allstate because of a recommendation from a dear friend.

The policies were activated with one condition concerning the Alpine retreat because the risk managers wanted a few small trees trimmed. Receiving the notice right before we left on an eight-day celebration of my birthday still gave us plenty of time to get to the property, trim the vegetation and take pictures of the completed work when we returned June 8th.

Watching television the evening of May 29 in our Maui condo to catch up on the news was numbing. The Wallow Fire had started very close to our mountain community and the very next day the residents were told there was a mandatory evacuation and everyone must leave by 7PM because of the impending forest fire.  We were stunned.

We contacted our agent, Ana Escobedo, and told her what had happened.  She informed us that the pictures of the trimmed trees needed to be received by the previously set date of June 15th or the policy would be cancelled. The company has rules and the Arizona Department of Insurance said Allstate was within the law. Our opinion? They weren’t doing the right thing! Still under evacuation orders from the Sheriffs department, there was no way we would meet their deadline.

Al, my husband, and his attention to detail, caught Ana’s company’s eye as she had passed on the correspondence. Al had sent numerous emails detailing every component of why we couldn’t access the property and included the metal roof we installed along with treating the wood logs a week before our departure to Maui. He included an explanation of how we annually clear the grounds of pine needles and dead-fall after the winters snow.

Ana was focused on getting a positive outcome for us and spent sleepless nights trying to solve our dilemma. She couldn’t get anything done by email or phone, so decided to drive to the Allstate Regional headquarters and speak to someone who could extend our deadline. In route, she received a call explaining that Allstate had reinstated our cabin insurance and we should get the pictures to them as soon as we could! They lived up to their company slogan, “You’re in good hands with Allstate!”

Within minutes, we were on our way to meet Ana.  She told us that the reason she chose this insurance company to work with was because they instilled in their people to always “do the right thing.” And they certainly did!

When you think of your business and as a consumer in today’s environment, ask yourself these questions:

As a Business leader:

1. Do you hire people that have the moral compass to do the right thing?

2. Do you give them the authority to make decisions?

3. Does the company have the right resources and people in place to answer  any  question and solve any problem?

4. Do you make yourself available?

5. Are employees rewarded when they do “Do the right thing?”

As a Consumer:

1. Do you give correct information to a customer service rep that is trying to help you?

2. Do you stay calm and understand the outcomes you can create if your angst             shows?

3. Are you a good listener?

4. Do you ask good questions and dig deep to see what are the possibilities?

5. Do you keep notes about your conversation with names, detail and dates?

Now go do the right thing! (And contact Ana if you want excellence in client care for all your insurance needs!)

Marsha’s gift to you and your team: Download Customer Service and Client Care audio program at

Marsha’s current topics include:

Decontaminate Toxic People: Without using weapons or duct tape

The CEO of YOU: Leading yourself to success

The Reactor Factor: How to deal with difficult work situations without going nuclear

Platform Power: Presentation skills for the savvy professional

Please contact Marcia Snow, Marsha’s manager, for more information

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