Why self-serve improves the customer experience

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Gone are the days of interactions where customers and businesses would have to come face-to-face for a transaction. Thanks to the mighty powers of the internet, everything can now be done online. Customers, too, greatly prefer the digital medium and businesses have skilfully accepted the task of curating digital experiences for them.

At the same time, there is pressure to provide not just some digital experiences, but good ones. Insurance is slowly making the transition to providing better digital experiences for its customers and insurtech is helping insurance companies do that.

Now, the major challenge is to find ways to deliver good customer experiences in a sustainable way, with contained cost and streamlined processes. In other words: how to deliver good experiences whilst optimising operations and processes?

Insurance industry’s journey to digital

Insurance has always been based on a conversation between an individual and an insurance assistant or operator. In other words, we can say insurance has always been a conversational experience. This is true for every stage of the life cycle: when enquiring, purchasing, servicing, or claiming an insurance product, an exchange of information and a proper conversation is happening.

From the 80s, technology opened the door to the enhancement of business and operational efficiency. For retail insurance, call centres became the normal point of contact and new opportunities started to appear with the first websites and web forms. This opened the door to a completely new and digital experience.

In the beginning, the focus for every business - including insurance companies - was mainly to explore and expand capabilities in the completely new and unknown world of the digital. The investigation of this new environment and the setting up of technology infrastructures to sustain it took priority over customer experience, which slowly deteriorated into a digital monologue.

The rising of customer expectations

Today customers demand more. After many years of impersonal interactions and confusing online experiences, insurance customers started to complain about it.

This is also because major players from different industries that are excelling in great digital experiences (e.g. Amazon, Netflix, Zalando, etc.) not only reaped the fruits but also increased overall customer expectations in other industries, including insurance. Digital has now become ipso facto the first point of contact with a customer or policyholder. As per Deloitte:

 

“Insurers need to find ways to balance technology adoption with maintaining the human touch. Insurers are increasingly dependent on emerging technologies and data sources to drive efficiency, enhance cybersecurity, and expand capabilities across the organization. However, most should also focus on improving the customer experience by both streamlining processes with automation as well as providing customized service where needed and preferred.”

 

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.

Marrying the Conversational and Digital World

Insurance is made of conversations, but such conversational processes can be automated in the digital space. From 2016, chatbots and Conversational Process Automation (CPA) platforms started to appear as a bridge between the conversational and digital world.

While call centres provide an overall good customer experience at a high cost, online web forms provide good operational efficiency at the cost of a bad customer experience. CPA platforms enter the market to optimise both.

spixii-executing-insurance-processes

With CPA platforms, it is now possible to create new conversational experiences powered by chatbots and integrated with insurance processes, policy, or underwriting systems. This means keeping the conversational nature of insurance interactions with a human touch, yet delivering them at scale 24/7/365. You can find out more about how to evolve conversations with customers from analogue to digital.

The way forward

“If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitor will.”  

– Bob Hooey

 

There is no other way businesses work in the 21st century. You either bring the best to your customers or they replace you with another best. Automated and conversational technologies have the power to ensure that customers receive the best services in insurance. It’s time to offer them the best experience.

Illustration of robot with light beam

Discover Conversational Process Automation

CPA allows end-to-end processing through chatbots and leverages advanced analytics to continuously improve both the underlying process and the conversation with the end-user.

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