Carrie Cannataro, Senior Vice President – Client Services, Gallagher Bassett. Courtesy photo

Consistently providing quality client service is a challenge faced across every industry. For Gallagher Bassett, a leading claims and risk management third-party administrator (TPA), success means more than delivering good news and positive results to partners within an organization. Indeed, no matter the industry, it's also essential to understand what's important to your client, as it can vary widely depending on their business, their industry, and marketplace challenges.

Gallagher Bassett SVP of Client Services Carrie Cannataro, a 37-year claims management industry veteran, knows that each client's priorities are different and require a unique approach to consistently help them achieve their risk management goals.

"For some clients, the priority is cost control or preventing the loss in the first place; other stakeholders might be focused on their workforce and employee experience," said Cannataro. "Whether you're talking to the risk manager, CFO or chief legal officer, when it comes to building relationships or trying to understand an organization, it's really about identifying what's important to each leader, understanding their priorities, and communicating that back to our claims operations."

Operate as a Direct Extension of Your Client's Team When it comes to claims management, a number of different perspectives must be taken into account when deciding on the best course of action to take on a claim. From managing complex claims to actuarial analysis, protecting a client's brand to OSHA compliance, taking the time to understand the "whole client" and their goals can drastically influence how claims are managed and your impact on their success.

"I reinforce with our team that 'no news is not good news' — it just means that you're not connected with your client," Cannataro said. "We want our clients to consider us an extension of their risk management program by embedding ourselves within their organization, understanding their needs, asking questions, and constantly advocating on their behalf. Every challenge our client faces is an opportunity for our team to partner with them to help achieve their goals."

Leverage Your Resources to Reduce Surprises

What client service professionals do can have a direct impact on program performance, and it's their job to make certain it's a positive one. Being a successful advocate for clients takes more than managing claims and tallying wins and losses on an annual basis.

Anticipating a client's needs by thinking like a business owner is the mark of a sustainable partnership. Moreover, true advocacy means providing the right recommendation, implementing the right solution at the right time, or identifying the right opportunity to improve a client's program and reduce the probability of surprises in the future.

"You need to know their program as well as you know your client so you can be proactive instead of reactive to events and maintain client confidence and trust," said Cannataro. "Gallagher Bassett's team leverages a full suite of products, services, and tools to help our clients' measure, monitor, and report their performance on an ongoing basis to keep them ahead of risk."

Partner With the Right TPA

Choosing the right TPA to manage your claims is a critical decision, and it should come down to more than just cost. Deciding what matters most to your business and finding a TPA that matches your unique culture is often the most successful route to finding a sustainable partnership that will produce consistently positive results.

"Ask potential TPA candidates how they know they are doing a good job," Cannataro said. "The right partner should know how well your program is performing and where opportunity exists; should be transparent about capabilities and resources; and should be able to say 'no, but' when necessary to provide best-in-class service and deliver superior results."


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