Insurance was one of the last hyper-personalized financial products, a place where consumers expected to have a one-on-one relationship with their agent and to be treated like family in case disaster struck and they needed to file a claim.
TAs the way insurance is marketed, underwritten, and sold has changed, insurers now have more data on their customers than ever before. However, with a shift away from in-office care and towards call-center customer service, insurance policy and claims care have come to feel less intimate and consumers are feeling the sting of depersonalization.
The lower cost of centralized and automated customer service for insurance carriers only yields savings if it doesn’t detract from the customer experience. Conversational AI can make customer interactions more personalized and comfortable, delivering quality experiences across all channels be that voice or digital, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or other platforms, while maintaining a streamlined approach.
Using self-service, automation, and AI in insurance customer service
Self-service options for consumers are becoming more common across industries, and insurance is no exception. Would-be policyholders can benefit from virtual pre-policy walkthroughs. Claimants can streamline processes via remote claims handling, including video-conferencing with claims specialists and image-based documentation provided via a customer’s mobile device.
Automation continues to gain ground as workflows and tasks that can be facilitated with minimal human involvement help minimize back-office operational costs. Insurance customers who want to buy a policy, renew a policy, add coverage, pay a premium, or report or check the status of their claim can often do so quickly and easily through an automated system that prompts them for data inputs and moves the process from step to step.
Artificial intelligence (AI) helps insurers improve interactions with customers and predict their needs. Specifically, conversational AI-powered virtual agents allow customers to have human-like experiences when they contact a customer service center for assistance and a human isn’t available immediately.
A virtual agent insurance chatbot can begin investigating who the customer is and what their issue consists of as soon as a conversation is initiated. In some cases, the virtual agent bot can help resolve the problem without escalation. If an actual customer service representative (CSR) needs to step in, they are already equipped with all of the pertinent information about the customer account and the problem at hand. Customers should never have to repeat themselves.
The future of conversational AI for the insurance industry
The value of conversational AI for insurance customer service continues to expand. As NLP (Natural Language Processing) technology becomes more refined and customers become used to dealing with virtual agents and chatbots across all channels, contact centers can slowly offload repetitive tasks, allowing their CSR team to focus on more rewarding tasks.
- In a KPMG survey of insurance CEOs, 68% of respondents said that they are focusing on customer-centric technologies like chatbots.
- According to NAIC, 40+ Insurers in the US have already incorporated chatbots into their daily business processes.
- McKinsey notes that AI and automation can reduce the cost of a customer care journey for insurers by as much as 30%.
Consumers spend up to 57% more on brands that they are loyal to (europenbusinessreview.com/is-acquiring-new-customers-more-expensive-than-keep-them/
Conversational AI, similar to other automation technologies, can reduce costs by decreasing the time it takes to handle customer queries and reducing customer churn by improving customer experience. It costs 5 times more to attract new customers than to retain them, consequently, Conversational AI is key to driving costs down and satisfaction levels up. Market leader, Cognigy, says its customers have seen up to 62% of their customers resolve their own issues when conversational AI is implemented. Savings also come from employee retention; when employees are allowed to spend their time doing more meaningful work, turnover decreases, cutting rehiring and retraining costs to the bone. Finally, in a world that has now fully embraced blended or hybrid working, there’s no time like the present to ensure that the technology stack supports all aspects of the customer journey.