I recently received a letter from my insurance company. As you might guess, it didn’t leave me with a “warm and fuzzy” feeling.
I have to admit that the company who provides my homeowner’s insurance has been good to deal with. When I’ve made a claim, they have treated me fairly. I have no complaints there.
The area I live in was hit by a large hail storm earlier this year. The result was widespread damage. Almost every home in my neighborhood now has a new roof. It was certainly a great way to improve the curb appeal of my home and the homes around me.
A few months after the storm, I received a form letter in the mail. It explained that after the high number of claims, the insurance company had decided to increase my deductible so I would only realize a nominal increase in my annual fee. When I called to inquire about the cost difference to maintain my current deductible, I was told that my low deductible was no longer an option.
The way my insurance company decided to communicate with me about their decision was a total failure in my opinion. Here’s why:
- The letter written was from the perspective of the insurance company, not mine. I’m the client! Write to me.
- The letter assumed I was comfortable with the insurance company making the decision on my behalf rather than giving me options. I want to be the one who makes the decision. I don’t like it when decisions are made for me. Plus, they missed out on increased revenue from a long-term customer. I might have voluntarily increased my premium amount to keep my same deductible.
- The letter suggested I should care about the large amount of money the insurance company had to pay out due to the storm. The only thing I care about is my situation, my policy, and my claim. I have no sympathy for the insurance company. Insurance is a business based on probability. Sometimes you collect, and sometimes you pay.
If I’m honest, I’m guilty of falling into the same trap, too.
This letter reminded me how little the people we interact with—whether we are a company or an individual—care about seeing the world from our perspective. A better option is to see the world through the eyes of the people you are communicating with. It’s the only way to ensure you don’t appear to be a narcissist, only consumed with yourself. We already have plenty of those voices to choose from—and ignore.
What steps do you have in place to ensure you are speaking, writing, and communicating from the perspective of the person you want to reach?
Ben Stroup is a content activist in a post-paragraph world. He is chief broker of opportunity at Ben Stroup Enterprises. Connect with Ben via email, Twitter, and Google+. Subscribe via email to learn how to use content to move people to action.