6 min read
Spixii examines how to address the main challenges for insurance businesses to deliver better customer experiences, increased customer loyalty, greater process and operational efficiency, and greater profitability to gain a competitive advantage with Conversational Self-Serve Technology.
To become competitive, to attract and retain customers, insurance businesses have to do more to address customer pain points. With conversational self-serve technology insurers can address them in sales, customer service, and claims.
From a business intelligence perspective, they are primarily about the sharing of information with the insurer via, for example, email. Customers are also frustrated by long waiting times, and by the quality or speed of an insurer’s response to their queries. As customer calls, or messages increase, customer waiting, and insurer response times can often get worse – leading to a poor customer experience.
One answer is to use technology to implement a SaaS platform for insurance that enables self-serve and Conversational Process Automation (CPA). It is also important to ensure that not too many questions are asked of the customer and to make sure that the processes aren’t too long, complex, and arduous. Insurers need to, for example, offer a quote in a way that informs each customer according to their needs to enable them to make the right decision and this necessitates showing the right information to each customer. This approach is aligned with the Financial Conduct Authority's guidelines.
Providing the right information can often be complex because filling in forms can be confusing. For example, a customer may not understand a term. “So, it’s important to have additional support available to enable the customer or prospect to ask questions and to chat with a human being,” advises Million – CEO and Co-Founder of Spixii.
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Filling in forms can create a fractured experience when it leads to a customer making a phone call, or to starting a conversation in a web live chat, and then to that customer being stuck on the phone or waiting for a live chat for clarification. He therefore suggests that the ability to self-serve, “using a chatbot, can help to educate the customer and to make the decision to buy a product, or resolve a query immediately, in a seamless experience and with confidence.”
Confidence, customer satisfaction, business process efficiency and the speedy resolution of customer queries begin by mapping the customer journey. It requires the analysis of how customers interact, why they interact, and how they go from the start of conversation through to the resolution of their query – which could be the completion of a claims application and a First Notice of Loss (FNOL).
“Once mapped you can improve the customer journey and experience,” claims Million. To do this, the insurer needs to consider whether or not business processes need to be added or removed to “simplify the workflow and to make things more efficient.” This can be hard to achieve when there are different teams managing multi-channel because it becomes extremely hard to implement a unified experience for the customer.
Insurers are therefore realising the multi-channel is great. However, it has to be automated, and that’s why IVR is used for phone calls. Web forms though aren’t automated; they have to be executed manually. So, to reduce this time-intensive and costly process, there is a need to deploy process automation in order to have the ability to self-serve.
Creating efficiencies for both customer and insurer
Million explains why automation and the creation of efficiencies are imperative for both insurance customer and insurer:
Time is precious for the end user and for everyone in general, it should be respected and safeguarded. Insurers also have complex cases to underwrite, and yet they are time-poor. Automating standard, frequent interactions saves time and if it saves the end user time, it can create opportunities for the sale of new products or services. When a customer is delighted, they will often come back for more. Leveraging their nice experience, they now think, what else can I get or solve in this manner?
When less is more: Streamlining and managing business processes
Insurers need to map and analyse their business processes, and they should define the goal of each process to examine what is required of each one individually and collectively. They also need to consider the minimum amount of data involved in the processes to ensure that each task can be done with a high level of efficiency to save time and money. Party to this consideration is the customer experience, errors in the processes, and the need to ensure that it all works – including the streamlining of processes to permit the conversations with customers.
The ‘Deloitte: 2022 insurance industry outlook’ says insurers need to balance the adoption of technology adoption with the human touch:
“Insurers are increasingly dependent on emerging technologies and data sources to drive efficiency, enhance cybersecurity, and expand capabilities across the organisation. However, most should also focus on improving the customer experience by both streamlining processes with automation as well as providing customised service where needed and preferred.”
Spixii’s blog, ‘Conversational Process Automation: The sweet spot between smooth operations and customer experience’ adds:
“Insurance customers want personal and human interactions, therefore it obviously becomes a huge competitive advantage to meet their new expectations. In short, it’s time to restore the conversational nature of insurance, as conversations remain the preferred method to convey complex information. Insurance complexity demands a conversational experience at every stage of the life cycle.”
Conversational Process Automation bridges the gap between Business Process Automation (BPA) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to improve the customer experience by making processes more automated and efficient by streamlining them to improve customers’ conversations within insurers. Insurtech isn’t just for technology’s sake. It has a purpose, and so CPA aims to leverage chatbot technology to better interact with insurance customers at scale while also allowing communication with insurers’ core systems, either directly or via mid-automation layers such as RPA.
Addressing the main challenges for insurance businesses
Insurers often find that their main challenge revolves around how they integrate their core claims and policy systems, which are hard to integrate. They often therefore need to collaborate with experts such as Spixii to do the integration. Modern software platforms allow insurers to spend more time improving their processes, rather than maintaining the technology itself.
Insurers don’t often have the bandwidth for innovation, and so there is a need to foster a culture of innovation. Doing a pilot to automate a process gives time back to their teams and creates the impulsion and the space to think about process improvement. This is simple yet effective - says Million.
Collaborating with a company like Spixii doesn’t mean that insurers should take a hands-off approach to this task. They have to be involved. Million advises insurers to avoid giving up complete control of their systems integration projects because it requires leadership from insurance managers to ensure the programme’s success.