How can customer service operations save money?

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How to unlock self-serve through Conversational Process Automation

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To avoid any loss, automation needs to better serve the insurance customer and not become a barrier to communication with the insurance provider or broker. Done well, automation can be utilised to channel customers to the right place. Done badly, as can happen with Interactive Voice Response (IVR), customers can wait 20 or more minutes to then be connected with someone who’s not the expert they need to speak with, and so they end up being transferred to another person. Being pushed from pillar to post and having to wait on the phone for too long creates a bad experience.

Leverage Self-serve and Conversational Process Automation to improve the customer experience and operational efficiency, read Spixii’s eBook on How to enable true self-serve in insurance’ with Conversational Process Automation and Conversational Self-Serve Technology.

To prevent this from happening it’s vital to set the level of expectations by asking customers the right questions and to make sure their waiting times are significantly reduced. They want to gain a quick resolution to their issues, whether that be through buying an insurance product or talking to someone to resolve a problem with their insurance policy. Customers want to be able to quickly and immediately access claims updates, and they want to find the answers to their questions.

Renaud Million - CEO and Founder of Spixii - says they will use other channels if their experience through one particular channel, such as IVR or even a chatbot is not good. At worst, they will jump ship to buy a competitor’s insurance products. To ensure this doesn’t happen, and to keep each customer happy, expectations have to be set appropriately.

At the end of the conversation, to ensure customer satisfaction is maintained and to allow for continuous improvements, the conversation should end with the question: “How likely are you to recommend us to others?” By setting expectations, and by connecting, even the approach behind IVR can be empowered to do what the end user wants to do.

Improving conversations with customers through automation

With automation, insurers can have more conversations with customers. Million says, “When it occurs on the phone, they can have only 1 conversation at a time, and with automation the number of conversations is unlimited.” Automation, therefore, permits insurers to increase the number of conversations they have with more customers, this is critical for claims operations, especially during a surge created by severe weather events.

tailored conversation between varied customers and brand with and without CPA

CPA: Putting people first

Conversation Process Automation should put people first by interacting with them in the way they want. Ideally, this entails reducing or eliminating waiting times, and for the vast majority of people, it has to be digital. Insurers also need to collect data of each customer interaction with customers, too, including experiential data to give qualitative feedback and to allow ongoing improvements.

Automation can create a competitive advantage for insurers because Conversational Process Automation, and automation more generally, is about doing more with less. It encompasses serving customers, putting more services online while using fewer resources, and opening up new opportunities to sell new products and services to customers. If customers are happy, they will come back and buy more products and services.

How to enable self-service?

To enable self-service there are technological, cyber-security, legal and regulatory compliance considerations to bear in mind. The technological requirements need to address any implications that may arise from poor security on customer and partner relationships by focusing on prevention rather than on reacting to a cyber threat in a way that requires a cure. With cyber-threats becoming ever more sophisticated, cyber-security needs to evolve.

Million explains:

“All the management of the information has to also comply with GDPR. The interface has to be secure. It’s key to encrypt this communication channel. Insurers are risk-averse, and if the technological partner causes any security concern, they won’t want to move forward. Spixii deploys automation with a focus on security and compliance to make insurers comfortable with innovation.”

Evolving cyber-security

For example, whenever a message or media is entered by the user in the chatbot, Spixii checks with validation rules and an anti-virus program before processing further the data.

“Every entry point in the chatbot requires a checkpoint to ensure that there aren’t any viruses or lines of code that could trigger anything in our systems, and there is a need to protect insurers against more and more sophisticated cyber-security attacks,” says Million.


SaaS platform for insurance IT architecture needs to have the flexibility to grow and to be secure. Spixii advises that data must be secured, and it needs to be backed up at a disaster recovery site. For insurers, it’s vital to have good IT architecture that can scale, and that architecture must allow for flexibility to enable volume when it comes and drops.

“Spixii does penetration testing quite regularly, and we have invested a lot in IT security to ensure that we have ISO27001 certification for information and security management, and we are also Cyber Essential Plus certified”, says Million.

Conversational self-serve deep dive

This technology aims to make the high-value services of insurance accessible and available to the end user. Digital, automated, and accessible it’s easy to interact with because it’s conversational. It’s intuitive and personal. It embraces data and continuous improvement, which can be achieved by mapping the customer journey with different processes. Their performance needs to be measurable in terms of how they perform in the interaction with end customers.

To enable improvements, conversational self-service gives insurers access to the data. This is vital because customer behaviour is evolving, and so processes may need to change. Some processes may not be equipped to deal with certain queries or certain levels of query. However, change shouldn’t just be for the sake of change. When things are being done efficiently and quickly, there is no need to change. Therefore, insurers should always measure and analyse their process to improve the customer experience, and to make their operations more efficient. It’s healthy to keep measuring.

Spixii-learning-loopSpixii believes the core tools of continuous improvement include the data - the right data to deliver actionable insights. The next step is to find what needs to be improved before quickly making the changes with a low-code interface. This enables business analysts to make the changes they need and promote them. This ability to promote a version of the solution is often complex, but it’s quite easy on the Spixii platform.

Example: Spixii & Conversational Process Automation

The work we have been doing with Spixii has given us some real insight into what innovative technologies can bring to insurance. Making the process of buying and using insurance products easier, and making customers' experiences far better.

John Moore, Director of Bupa's Customer Lab

Bupa wanted to deliver a strong online customer experience while increasing operational efficiency. Bupa selected Spixii for its Bupa Blue Table innovation programme, during which Spixii delivered a fully integrated proof-of-concept, quote-and-buy chatbot.

Bupa set out to explore the potential of chatbot technology to return a conversational element to their digital customer journey. With Spixii it reviewed the existing Bupa digital customer journey, for those looking to buy or get a quote for health insurance. The teams worked together to break the journey into its constituent parts, piecing it together using plenty of post-it notes. They reviewed the customer information required to generate a quote and then created a conversation that elicited this from the customer, in an interactive way. Then the conversation was created and validated through testing.

Given the regulated nature of insurance in the UK, the teams engaged in a series of reviews with Bupa's compliance, legal, marketing and product teams, iterating the conversation and digital journey. In parallel, Spixii’s technical teams integrated the chatbot prototype with Bupa's backend and frontend systems.

"Our customers are our top priority, so there are multiple safeguards and measures we wanted to implement to ensure they are protected," says Richard Cohen, Actuarial Lead for Bupa's Customer Lab. "We refined the conversation to the requirements of our legal and compliance teams, and asked, 'How do you [the customer] want the conversation to be structured?' I really do see the future of this conversation as having a dialogue with the customer. So, let's start a conversation!"
To build a strong architecture, aligned with the requirements of this solution, SPIXII has leveraged the benefits of the AWS Services including EC2 instances, Oracle databases, Load balancer, RDS, CloudWatch and VPN Gateway to facilitate interconnections between the conversation solution and the payment interface.

The resulting chatbot provided a user-friendly messaging interface, which gave customers a guide price, before working through a more detailed conversation to understand their preferences for different product features, in order to provide them with a more precise quote.

The chatbot was hosted on the Bupa UK website and available to around half of customers visiting the website during the pilot. It provided access to additional information, to help the customer better understand the product features. The chatbot gave further insights into Bupa's customers, giving them the opportunity to express detailed feedback in real-time. The rapid development, integration, and iteration of the chatbot saw a much faster product development cycle than usual.

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