Our April Newsletter is out now! Check it out below.
Emergency Response Planning
Did you know that 50% of all small to medium sized businesses that experience a loss due to fire, frozen pipes, flooding or other natural disasters will never reopen. SO?
Wouldn’t it be a great day if you had 20 new customers walk through your agency door and beg you to write them a new policy? In reality, a normal day probably consists of phone calls from existing customers with questions about their current rate increase. It’s no secret that in tough economic times maintaining existing insureds is undoubtedly the lifeblood of your business. But what happens when one of them, a small or medium sized commercial business, has a loss? What is the chance that insured will continue as your customer? Can you afford to lose the 50% that never reopen?
The threat of a disaster-related closure is especially great for a majority of small to medium sized businesses. Quite frankly, many lack the financial resources to be closed for any amount of time. They also lack the ability to spread their risk across geographic locations and to readily access alternative suppliers.
ServiceFirst Restoration, Inc. wants to help you and your commercial insured’s develop an ESP: Emergency Services Plan. An ESP will address the unique concerns for their facility and offer them the ability to reopen quickly with little or no business interruption in the unfortunate event of a disaster.
Together, you as the insurance professional, your commercial insured and ServiceFirst Restoration, Inc. will work together to capture valuable information that can protect their facility and ensure the safety of their staff and ours. Our ESP allows us to go into great detail on the workings and contents of their facility. SO that, in the event they have a fire or a pipe break, the chance of them remaining in business – and also remaining your insured – is increased immeasurably.
For more detailed information on why you and your insured can benefit from an ESP, give us a call at 855-88-FIRST (34778).
Leak Detection Systems for your clients
A pipe bursts, a hose blows or a steady drip goes unnoticed for months. Whatever causes a leak, it usually results in a messy, costly problem. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety reports the average cost of a plumbing failure is more than $5,000 after the insurance deductible was paid.
A leak detection device can be the homeowner’s first line of defense against water damage in your home. Here’s a look at what’s available:
- Passive systems are alarm-only detectors. They are relatively inexpensive and should be placed near appliances and fixtures that use water, in the basement and in other areas where there may be a concern about leaks. The units emit a loud noise or whistle when a leak is detected. Typically battery-powered, they are portable and require no hard wiring, so they’re ideal for do-it-yourselfers.
- Appliance leak detectors are connected to specific appliances that could leak, such as a washing machine or a refrigerator with a water dispenser. These detectors also issue an alarm, but because they turn off the water to the appliance when a leak is detected they are considered “active” leak detection systems. Some appliance leak detectors can be installed by a homeowner; others may require professional plumbing assistance for best results.
- Whole-house leak detection systems provide widespread protection. A shut-off valve is installed on the main water line; the system’s primary unit is typically hard-wired to an electrical source to power the valve. When a leak is detected, the sensors transmit an alert to the main unit, which shuts off the water to the entire house. Moisture-sensing technologies for these systems vary by manufacturer and generally are either internal components of the shut off valve or external moisture sensors that are installed at all appliances and fixtures where leaks can occur. Sophisticated systems can be connected to a home security or fire alarm system, and can be programmed to send an electronic message about the leak to you or a security company. Plumber contractors often install whole-house systems.
In addition to installing leak detection devices, homeowners should stay on the lookout for potential water problems around the home.
- Pay attention to damp or discolored areas under sinks or near refrigerators, and around bathroom fixtures.
- Look for rust on the exterior or base of a water heater.
- Replace hoses on the washing machine every 3-5 years as part of a proactive maintenance plan.
- Investigate musty smells in the basement or near water fixtures.
- Clean and test your sump pump periodically.
- If a leak is discovered, have it repaired immediately.
If the homeowner suspects a problem, they should consider having a plumber check the pipes, fittings and water pressure.
Call us, we can help – 855-883-4778
The 5 R’s of Water Damage and Repair
Nobody expects a disaster. Making sure that your homeowners are prepared will go a long way to helping them when something catastrophic happens. Here’s some information you can pass on to homeowners about water damage and repair:
When it comes to water damage what you don’t know really can hurt you! Water damage can result in increased insurance rates, decreased resale value of home and property, and even health issues for years to come if not properly – and promptly – repaired. Learn how to protect yourself and your family from water related damage with these quick tips:
1. React Fast. Time is of the essence. When water damage takes place it is imperative to contact a water damage and extraction company as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the next morning – search for providers that offer 24/7 support! Mold and mildew can begin growing within 24 to 48 hours!
2. Remove. Until all the water is extracted and the humidity levels returned to normal, it may be necessary to remove furniture and other items from the area even if they aren’t in direct contact with the water. High humidity and general unsanitary conditions may contaminate other items. Work with a reputable water damage repair service that provides relocation and storage assistance for your belongings.
3. Report. Extensive water related damages often require the financial support of insurance – after all, that is what insurance is for. Don’t risk the health and security of your family and investments by trying to do it yourself; instead, locate a reputable water damage and restoration company that works with insurance to help you begin the process of restoring your property.
4. Renew. Sometimes it is necessary to eliminate contaminated items – especially if the water damage is due to sewage overflow, flood waters or other potentially harmful water sources. The rule of thumb is “if in doubt – throw it out”. A qualified water restoration expert can assist in providing valuable information on whether or not your belongings are safe to keep and capable of being cleaned.
5. Review. Water damage can impact the entire home including air quality, drywall, upholstery and even hardwood flooring. Save time and money by dealing with a company capable of providing full service when you need it. When searching for a water damage repair, water damage restoration and water damage extraction company, consider a full service company that provides carpet, wood floor restoration, air vent cleaning and upholstery cleaning with just one call. It saves valuable time and money so you can get your home – and life- back to normal.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1237586
Great Customer Service Goes a Long Way
The People aspect of business is really what it is all about. Rule #1: Think of customers as individuals. Once we think that way, we realize our business is our customer, not our product or services. Putting all the focus on the merchandise in our store, or the services our corporation offers, leaves out the most important component: each individual customer.
Keeping those individual customers in mind, here are some easy, down-home customer service tips to keep ’em coming back!
1. Remember there is no way that the quality of customer service can exceed the quality of the people who provide it. Think you can get by paying the lowest wage, giving the fewest of benefits, doing the least training for your employees? It will show. Companies don’t help customers… people do.
2. Realize that your people will treat your customer the way they are treated. Employees take their cue from management. Do you greet your employees enthusiastically each day; are you polite in your dealings with them; do you try to accommodate their requests; do you listen to them when they speak? Consistent rude customer service is a reflection not as much on the employee as on management.
3. Do you know who your customers are? If a regular customer came in to your facility, would you recognize them? Could you call them by name? All of us like to feel important; calling someone by name is a simple way to do it and lets them know you value them as customers.
4. Do your customers know who you are? If they see you, would they recognize you? Could they call you by name? A visible management is an asset.
5. For good customer service, go the extra mile. Send a thank you note for renewing, or a birthday card; clip the article when you see their name or photo in print; write a congratulatory note when they get a promotion. There are all sorts of ways for you to keep in touch with your customers and bring them closer to you.
7. Give customers the benefit of the doubt. Proving to him why he’s wrong and you’re right isn’t worth losing a customer over. You will never win an argument with a customer, and you should never, ever put a customer in that position.
8. If a customer makes a request for something special, do everything you can to say yes. The fact that a customer cared enough to ask is all you need to know in trying to accommodate her. It may be an exception from your customer service policy, but (if it isn’t illegal) try to do it. Remember you are just making one exception for one customer, not making new policy. Mr. Marshall Field was right-on in his famous statement: “Give the lady what she wants.”
9. Are your customer service associates properly trained in how to handle a customer complaint or an irate person? Give them guidelines for what to say and do in every conceivable case. People on the frontline of a situation play the most critical role in your customer’s experience. Make sure they know what to do and say to make that customer’s experience a positive, pleasant one.
10. Want to know what your customers think of your company? Ask them! Compose a “How’re We Doing?” card and include it in their next statement. Keep it short and simple. Ask things like: what it is they like; what they don’t like; what they would change; what you could do better; about their latest experience there, etc. To ensure the customer sends it in, have it pre-stamped. And if the customer has given their name and address, be sure to acknowledge receipt of the card.
Remember that the big money isn’t as much in winning customers as in keeping customers. Each individual customer’s perception of your company will determine how well you do this and that perception will depend on the level of customer service you provide.
Content from: Liz Tahir is an international marketing consultant, speaker, and seminar leader, whose mission is to help companies be more effective and profitable. Based in New Orleans, LA, USA, she can be contacted at 504-569-1670; by email or through her Web site at http://www.liztahir.com.
Plumbing problems can lead to sky-high water bills—not to mention major structural damage to the home. A small leak could waste tens of thousands of gallons of water each year and result in much larger headaches. Making your clients aware of these simple tips to prevent water damage can help avoid major insurance claims later.
Inspect your pipes
Look for signs of dripping and corrosion in exposed pipes, such as supply lines for toilets and sinks, as well as lines leading to appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerator ice makers, and washing machines. Leaking fixtures may need replacement parts, such as a new O-ring or cartridge for a dripping faucet or a flapper for a leaky toilet.
Sneak up on leaks
Even if you don’t see dripping, you may still have a problem. Wall or cabinet stains, rusty water, cracked or warped flooring and a musty smell are all indicators of plumbing issues.
Focus on faulty plumbing
Shutoff valves and copper and brass fittings are the first places corrosion occurs. The likelihood of corrosion is greater if the metals are mismatched, as when galvanized pipes connect directly to copper lines. This should be repaired immediately. But if the pipes are corroded or rusted, have them replaced.
Monitor your meter
Water meters are great leakage detectors. Note the current level of water usage on your meter, and then suspend all water usage for 30 minutes, making sure all water-using appliances are turned off. Recheck the meter. If the triangular leak indicator is spinning or the dial hand has moved or the number has increased, you probably have a leak.
Remedy the problems
You don’t have to be an expert to fix small plumbing issues, as long as you feel comfortable and confident taking them on. If you have water-damaged flooring and walls, consider hiring a plumbing pro to fix the leak, and then replace the damaged areas to avoid mold growth. For major problems or anything you’re unsure how to fix, always call an expert.
Did you know that March is Irish-American month? Click the link below to see some interesting trivia about all things Irish & St. Patrick’s Day!
I came across this cool checklist for people who want to be “A” players. It is a list of questions to ask yourself if you are being the best you can be! Read Here!
So last week I was in my Vistage CEO meeting and we had Alok come in and talk to us about eating healthy and it was pretty cool. I learned a lot about the body and why we do what we do when we eat or are trying to lose weight. I have included the article below and would recommend his book if you are trying to lose a few lbs 🙂
Enjoy the read,
Christian Rovsek, CEO
READ THE ARTICLE HERE – Insights on healthy eating & weigh management
I spend a lot of time developing my team and the my most precious resource is our employees. Without them, ServiceFirst would not be where it is at today. This article about “having grit” is right on and you want to surround yourself with these types of people. If you do, business will grow, life will get easier and customers will be happier. So, do you have the “grit” it takes to succeed?
Enjoy and let me know if you have the grit to succeed!
Christian Rovsek, CEO
READ THIS ARTICLE – 11 Signs you have grit!