3 min read
The landscape of customer interaction has changed drastically. One needs to only look at Amazon, Uber, and other on-demand services to see the change in customer expectations and experience. Quick, convenient, and hassle-free is what the customer looks for when purchasing any product.
However, the modus operandi in the insurance industry still relies on analogue interactions and traditional channels.
While the customer-facing side has gone digital, internal processes still lag behind. This leads to continued operational inefficiencies resulting in low customer satisfaction. How can insurtech swoop in to save the day?
The nature and evolution of insurance interactions
Insurance is a highly transactional business process between a customer and a company. Whether a customer is about to enquire, buy, make a claim, or manage an insurance policy, the type of interaction boils down to two categories:
- The request of information by the customer to the insurance company
Usually, this includes questions regarding the policy at all stages of the product. Traditionally, the interaction has been managed through voice, where the information is exchanged through conversation between the two parties.
This conversation was managed through face-to-face interactions. To address the challenges related to the need for physical presence and limited availability during office hours, insurers evolved through the setting up of call centers. Call centers can provide a good interaction but they saturate quickly causing customers to wait. Web live chat appeared in the market in the last few years as a solution to limit the saturation at a lower cost. Yet, they suffer from the same problem since the number of simultaneous conversations for an agent is still limited.
- The request of information by the insurance company to the customer
Usually, this involves the collection of data from the customer such as personal details or details about the insured item. The interaction is more written and often takes the shape of a structured form.
While the data varies for every customer, the collection process is very similar. This is why insurance companies set up forms at different stages (e.g. getting a quote or making a claim). With the digital revolution, the paper form has evolved into webforms and web portals. These provide short-term cost-savings opportunities by automating processes that were once performed manually. Yet, they provide a dry, impersonal, and untailored customer experience. Web forms lack not only the business logic required for the execution of insurance processes but also have difficulty in delivering a user-friendly customer experience across devices from laptop to mobile.
Conversational Process Automation as the next generation interaction solution
Since 2016, insurtech has introduced a new type of digital interaction in the market - chatbots.
Allowing the human to converse in natural language, chatbots aim at executing the processes it was designed for. To do this efficiently, chatbots need to be integrated into insurance systems and configured compliantly to execute secure insurance processes. This is where conversational process automation comes in by augmenting chatbots with the relevant underlying platform-specific needs of the insurance industry.
Leveraging technology to deliver automated, intuitive, and personal conversations, the idea behind insurance CPA is ultimately to offer a pleasant experience at scale. It aims to ensure that every conversation between a business and a customer is personal at a fraction of a call center cost.
Lacking insurance expertise, chatbots alone depleted from the CPA approach and most of them failed to meet customer expectations. This is because the main focus has been on conversation optimisation rather than on the underlying process, resulting in a nice tool unlinked from the ultimate end of every insurance interaction.
The performance of CPA vs traditional channels
Conversational Process Automation (CPA) is fixing up those holes.
The focus is on process optimisation of customer-facing processes. Most of the time the focus is on making use of chatbots to interact with customers at scale. Such chatbots are just the tip of the iceberg though; the magic is appearing behind the scenes.
The chatbots involved in CPA are embedded in the process. Therefore, they are able to either automatically execute end-to-end transactions or at least communicate with the existing ecosystem. This means providing a streamlined, wholesome customer experience while drastically reducing process inefficiencies.
The evolution of technology in insurance
Thus, where traditional processes were isolated and unconnected, CPA connects all of them so there are no hiccoughs in customer interactions. No matter the coordinates of the customer in their journey, CPA is equipped to take them to the next step.