Using Empathy to Guide Emergency Restoration Customer Interactions

Empathy is one of the most important skills you can have as someone who works in the emergency restoration industry. When you keep empathy at the forefront of your restoration approach, it can guide everything from the restoration work itself to your customer interactions. Here are some ways that empathy can guide your work and customer interactions in the emergency restoration industry.

Women shakes hand with emergency restoration contractor.

Many of Your Customers Are Experiencing Restoration Emergencies for the First Time

When you work in the emergency restoration industry, you deal with emergency property damage issues every day. While dealing with restoration emergencies may be normal to you, it’s certainly not normal for most restoration customers. Remembering this can help guide your interactions with customers. 

Emergency Restoration Work Disrupts Customers’ Lives

Working in the emergency restoration industry can be rewarding because you get to help people during their time of need. The work you do directly impacts homeowners’ lives, for better or worse. Some parts of restoration work, while necessary, can be inconvenient for customers. For example, maybe you realize a property’s damage extends further than you initially realized, and now you need to cut a hole into a kitchen wall. It’s natural for this news to feel frustrating to a customer because they’ll be unable to use their kitchen for even longer than they anticipated. 

It’s up to restoration contractors to be mindful about the impact their work will have on their customers’ lives. When communicating frustrating news to your customers, help them understand the purpose behind the restoration work you’ll be doing, acknowledge the impact on their lives, and present them with a plan for what you will do to reduce negative effects. Keeping empathy at the forefront of your communication goes a long way toward maintaining a positive relationship with your customers.

You’re Interacting with Restoration Customers While They’re Under Stress

Restoration emergencies like water damage or fire damage are high-stress situations for property owners. They’re facing an unexpected and challenging disruption to their lives. You’re not interacting with customers when they are the best versions of themselves. Keep this in mind during your interactions, and try to approach them with patience, kindness, calmness, and empathy.

The Financial Burden of Emergency Restoration Services is Front of Mind for Many Customers

The financial cost of restoration services can often be one of the biggest stressors that homeowners face during a restoration emergency. Forbes estimates that the average water damage restoration project costs between $1300 and $5600. That’s a lot of money for many Americans. More than half of adults in the United States say they do not have enough emergency savings in their savings account to cover an unexpected $1000 expense

Does that mean that you should charge less for your restoration services? No. You deserve fair compensation for your work. But it does mean you should approach your work and customer conversations aware that finances are a top concern for many customers during emergency restoration. Do what you can to help them understand their insurance coverage and prepare for expenses. 

If a homeowner is giving you a lot of pushback on costs, help them understand how you calculate billing, including wages, equipment, training, overhead, and all those other invisible expenses that go into restoration work. At the end of the day, customers just want to know that you’re on their side and not trying to take advantage of them.

Deliver the Quality of Work You Would Want for Yourself

The most important thing you can do to prove to customers that you care is to do good work. “Genuine contractors build rapport and trust by caring about empathy and then delivering results that match,” Jake Scorse, Contractor Success Manager at One Claim Solution, explains. 

For more advice on running a successful restoration business, subscribe to OCS’s newsletter, Claims Corner.

Connor Trahan

Account Executive

Hi there! I’m Connor, the Account Executive for One Claim. My goal is to guide our contractors through the sales process, ensuring you’re equipped with all the information you need to make your decision and hit the ground running once aboard. We view ourselves as an extension of your business and I strive to make the process an enlightening and consultative one.
My career has primarily been focused in software sales over a few different industries but the last few years were spent helping general contractors solve similar problems to what we’re doing here at OCS! Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, cooking and boating during the summer months.

Nicole Liesenfelt

Director, Human Resources

Hello! I’m Nicole, and I’m here to champion for our employees, recruit for new talent, and impact culture at One Claim Solution. I find satisfaction in supporting a memorable employee experience and bring innovation, problem solving, and strategic view to the process. Nothing is more important than our people, and a healthy culture is my top priority! I have had the pleasure of building my career in various sectors, specializing in small to medium size firms focused on high-growth. My experience is centered around driving and implementing change, leading high-performing teams, and driving process improvements. I am excited to make an impact at One Claim. Outside of work, my family and I enjoy getting outdoors as much as possible to explore beautiful Colorado!

Elizabeth McGlone

Demand Generation Manager

Great to meet you! I’m Elizabeth, and I’m the one behind all the emails and advertisements you’ve been seeing. As the Demand Generation Manager at One Claim Solution, my mission is to connect with contractors like you who need our services. I’m passionate about having an impact on others and I bring a wealth of experience in demand generation and marketing strategy to create moments of delight, curiosity, and education for you.

Prior to One Claim Solution, I had the privilege of building marketing departments from the ground up at companies in a variety of industries, including IT consulting, first protection, and healthcare. Personally, I love being outdoors, playing Dungeons and Dragons and board games, singing, and traveling.

Alisha Yartzoff

Director of Contractor Success

Welcome! I’m Alisha, and I’m here to champion your success as the Director of Contractor Success at One Claim. With a passion for helping contractors thrive, I bring a wealth of experience in onboarding, customer service, and account management to ensure your journey with us is nothing short of exceptional.

Prior to joining One Claim, I had the privilege of scaling SMB and Enterprise Customer Success teams at fast-growing SaaS startups. With over six years of experience at companies like Mavenlink, Teamwork, and ServiceTitan, I honed my expertise in building high-performing teams and fostering proactive, consultative relationships. This background has equipped me with a deep understanding of the challenges faced by businesses like yours, and I’m dedicated to helping you overcome them.

Eric Terry


Hi there, my name is Eric! I am the Chief Technology Officer here at OCS, spearheading our technical strategy. I have a background in computer science, graduating cum laude from BYU-Idaho with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Technology.

Before coming to One Claim, I served as the Director of Engineering at Slingshot Technology, Inc., a company later acquired by WorkWave in 2021. My professional journey has spanned both emerging startups and established corporations, with a steadfast focus on cultivating high-trust, low bureaucracy teams and innovating technology using agile methodologies.

In my free time, you can find me flying drones, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with my family.

Cam Smith


Hello, my name is Cam, I’m the COO of One Claim Solution! I come from a management consulting background (Bain & Company) and hold an MBA from the University of Michigan. I have worked at a wide variety of organizations, from Fortune 500 to small-cap, in an equally wide variety of industries. I have over 15 years of experience in operations and strategic growth, and I have spent much of my career focused on developing high-performing tech-enabled service organizations through early stage and high growth phases.

Outside of work, my wife Brittny and I have four kids, ages 13 to 6. As residents of Mesa, Arizona, we love to ski and explore the national parks of the southwest!

Dan Doud


Hello, my name is Dan, and I am the CEO of One Claim Solution. I am super excited by everything we are doing at OCS to be the market leading insurance billing specialist that advocates on behalf of our restoration contractors. 

My professional experiences are predominantly corporate in nature. My career started at General Electric in finance and accounting. Immediately prior to joining OCS, I spent time as an investor at Bondcliff Partners and management consultant with Bain & Company. I also hold an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and got my BS in finance and accounting from Northeastern University.

Outside of the office, I enjoy spending time with my wife, two young children, and our family dog, Whiskey. We live in Charleston, SC and take advantage of the beautiful weather by spending as much time as possible outside at the beach or adventuring around town

Josh Ehmke

Co-Founder and General Counsel

Hi, I’m Josh! In 2016, I co-founded One Claim Solution with my partner Jeremy Traasdahl, and I serve as General Counsel of One Claim Solution. Working in the restoration industry, Jeremy and I saw contractors struggling to get paid quickly and fairly and we knew there was a need for change. We founded One Claim Solution to be this change and it’s been my privilege to see our company grow and to advocate for our clients as general counsel.

Outside of my passion for helping the restoration industry, I enjoy spending time outdoors, fly-fishing, hunting, skiing, and coaching my kids’ baseball teams. I’ve been married to my amazing wife for 20 years and we have a beautiful family of 5 children.

Jeremy Traasdahl


Hey, I’m Jeremy! In 2016, I co-founded One Claim Solution with my partner Josh Ehmke. Working in the restoration industry, Josh and I saw contractors struggling to get paid quickly and fairly and we knew there was a need for change. We founded One Claim Solution to be this change and it’s been my privilege to lead our amazing team.

Prior to One Claim Solution, I started my career as an inside sales rep for Avnet, then moved to Pepsico as a district sales manager. Outside of work, I love spending time with my wife and four children, two boys and two girls!