3 min read
These are tough times. Individually and entrepreneurially.
Supply and demand are operating on a one-sided seesaw. While one is at its zenith, the other is struggling to go off the ground. During such times, a reinvention is needed to balance the scales and normalise operations as much as possible.
Times of surge
The term surge is used to denote a state of over-capacity. A clear example is within the hospital industry. In a situation of a surge, the hospital is required to implement a unique process to allow for decompression.
Nowadays, most customer interactions are handled online and institutions (including insurance companies) rely on call centres or help desks to handle surge times. When the appropriate technology hadn’t been invented, it seemed like the way to go. But now that advancements are made faster than we can keep up with them, there’s no reason to stick to limiting ways of customer service.
Call centres provide a good experience owning to the 1:1 conversations. However, the system fails to deliver when there is a surge and a 100 calls are happening per minute. In a global pandemic like Coronavirus when humans are in a state of lockdown and unable to be within 1-3 metres of each other, operating call centres and help desks is not a feasible strategy.
Looking at the very nature of insurance, especially during times like this, we expect a growing demand with more people wanting to cover themselves. It is already happening: new and old customers are currently calling up to check on the validity of old policies, request clarifications on policy restrictions or see if they can purchase new ones. Claims, particularly, go on the rise. The same situation is witnessed when snowstorms, floods, or any other natural/ economic disaster hits.
The limitations of traditional processes
Overall, traditional digital processes help but have their limits. The old technology involved isn’t able to cope with high usage. The recent lockdown has also forced people to work from home, which has increased the usage of internal traditional processes with less time and disrupted processes for serving end customers.
A couple of examples worth mentioning:
- FAQs are cheap to develop but expensive to maintain. Additionally, they stop being effective for problem-solving after one point. The information needs to be constantly updated. The page gets too text-heavy after one point and so the amount of information that can be displayed in one go is saturated. People can’t find what they are looking for in one sweep.
- Other options like web forms are non-personalised, one-size-fits-all solutions. They require the same input from all users but lack giving end-users the reassurance that the process was completed.
What qualifies as an appropriate medium then?
Conversations with intelligent chatbots. They provide immediate answers yet can solve complex problems on specific topics.
Innovating for crisis and beyond
Conversations are still where the real customer service happens. The ‘strategy’ where a customer truly feels served.
Conversations can guide the user to information instead of delegating this task to him (who hasn’t gotten impatient with an FAQ page where you can’t find what you need). In a chatbot conversation, the human touch can be added (even in the absence of a human) which would make the interaction more personal and helpful. This cannot be replicated in a web form.
But, in times of crises and lockdown, how do we scale conversations? Especially when they are barely to be had.
By using chatbots.
Chatbots are the most cost-efficient way to provide the highest level of customer service.
- Accurate information can be conveyed on a personalised, case-by-case basis.
- 24*7 help is ensured.
- No matter the extent of the surge, a chatbot can handle and process multiple queries at the same time.
Ultimately the truth of the matter is: whenever a surge happens, a business needs to understand its impact on processes including customer service and come up with robust capabilities to deal with it. Static FAQ pages and web-forms are limited in their robustness and don’t have a significant impact on reducing/ managing calls. Chatbots fill these gaps while providing additional benefits.
Spixii has its own range of intelligent chatbots for insurance processes. They are consistent in the information they share with the users and add a personal touch on top. Thus, they provide good user experience and good quality user feedback. When supported by a solid optimisation framework, this solution will help to absorb the surge, reduce pressure on call centres, and eventually lead to the continual improvement of service.