New and tech-savvy businesses that invest in digital capabilities such as CRM, Product Information Management and eCommerce systems are raising the bar for CX. Indeed, Global PwC research indicates over 70 per cent of all customer purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by the level of service they receive – but in the insurance industry, there is an 18-per-cent ‘experience and expectation gap’ between the service customers expect and the experience they actually get.
Yet, there has never been a greater need for insurance companies to offer convenience over queues than in today’s digitised and fast-paced world. Customers are constantly seeking faster and effortless access to information about their policy, and in the event of making a claim, the process needs to be as hassle-free as possible for them.
Engagements leave lasting impressions – whatever the outcome
Customers are highly active and vocal in sharing their experiences, both good and bad. Salesforce research suggests 62 per cent of customers actively share negative experiences with others, while a greater proportion – over 70 per cent – share positive experiences. Insurers with poor reviews could take a hit to their brand image and, ultimately, to their customer base, potentially having a direct effect on their bottom line.
Tackle common pain points in claims
After purchasing an insurance policy, customers will generally only engage with their insurer when they’re experiencing the stress of a loss and need to make a claim – whether this is as a result of lost possessions during travel, a vehicle collision, property damage or another type of loss. This is where most customer pain points come to the surface.
Customers can quickly become frustrated by poor visibility into when they will be helped to recoup their loss, and they don’t want to shoulder the burden of constantly chasing their insurer for updates. When claimants are unaware of who exactly is responsible for taking care of their claim, they may also be concerned by the lack of a personal touch in their time of need. It’s even more imperative that firms can identify and manage vulnerable customers during the claims process, ensuring they provide a heightened level of customer service and sensitivity under difficult circumstances.
These concerns can be aggravated even further if claimants are made to juggle multiple points of contact, repeatedly answer the same questions, and arrange distant appointments for damage assessments before they can have damage repaired or possessions replaced.
Unlock first-class CX with ‘right-touch’ claims
It’s not only insurers that can prepare to meet today’s constantly evolving consumer demands by leveraging tools such as process automation, self-service claims and real-time updates and collaboration to benefit the full length of the claims process. Brokers, claims management teams, loss adjusters and managing general agents can all enhance CX by integrating these advanced technologies into operations.
This is all part and parcel of what we call right-touch claims handling. These features feed into a system capable of processing high volumes of right-touch claims, ensuring meritorious claims are rapidly progressed while more complex or questionable claims are referred for further investigation. By constructing a CX strategy built on right-touch claims processing, insurers can deliver flawless CX throughout the lifecycle of a claim, from first notification of loss right through to settlement.
An opportunity for insurers to thrive throughout the claims process
over 70 per cent of all customer purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by the level of service they receive – but in the insurance industry, there is an 18-per-cent ‘experience and expectation gap’
Let’s take as an example a vehicle collision. The policyholder can use their preferred device to immediately inform their insurer of the incident. They can then use the same device to capture photos from set angles and quickly upload their images – with the evidence being linked to an automatically generated case file. AI-driven image analysis can be used to determine whether the vehicle is a total loss or repairable in a matter of seconds. Price estimates for repairable vehicles can be automatically generated and moved on to a repair centre, or a settlement figure can be quoted to the policyholder in the event of a total loss. Insurers can go one step further to enhance the customer journey by also integrating AI-powered chatbots to drive claims operations, for instance using them to arrange roadside recovery for customers.
Live video can also be used for real-time customer service and claims progression – whether this is for remote damage assessment on a property claim or a holidaymaker discussing a travel claim while stranded abroad. Furthermore, customer preferences and individual requirements can be captured as claim details, visible to all handlers on the claim.
Live video and other collaborative tools also offer the added benefit of keeping team members and insureds safe during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. By harnessing these solutions, adjusters can rapidly and effectively investigate many claims from the office, shortening cycle times and adhering to best practices for social distancing, all while delivering premium CX to policyholders.
Key benefits for claims teams through integrated automation
Overall, automation relieves much of the burden and friction caused by unnecessary manual touchpoints. Policyholders instead retain full visibility and are more satisfied in the knowledge that a claims handler is available through the channel of their choice at any time.
there has never been a greater need for insurance companies to offer convenience over queues than in today’s digitised and fast-paced world
Routine claims can also be settled within minutes by integrating automation capabilities into claim departments. This technology also ensures improved consistency and fairness in CX and compensation payouts – to the benefit of both insurers and customers. This is achieved through automated capture and analysis of claims data that ultimately accelerates time to settlement, with insurers able to harness automation to capture and assess vital customer information, such as medical data, by linking to both internal and third-party data sources.
This has the wider benefit of reducing failure demand – inadequate service that doesn’t deliver on the customer’s expectation on the first occasion and triggers further enquiries.
The enhanced level of available real-time data means insurers can resolve large volumes of queries through cost-effective, automated and self-service channels and focus resources on resolving more complex problems that demand greater attention. This way, companies gain insight into exactly where the customer has experienced a flaw during their journey, eliminating the need for a customer to complain at the end of an engagement.
Embrace technology, refine operations and enhance CX
The need for insurance firms to adopt the latest technology has never been greater. Failure to adapt and leverage data analytics, automation and mobile services in existing claims operations will lead to customers being lured away by more agile competitors that can more effectively meet their current and future needs. These technologies are also optimising areas beyond claims, such as automating risk assessment of pre-existing medical conditions for underwriting travel cover.
Only by integrating the latest available technologies will insurers be able to strengthen the efficiency of their operations, and in doing so truly bridge the CX gap in the insurance sector. Technology not being available is no longer an excuse. Developing plans to integrate the most effective solutions should be considered the top priority for insurers to keep existing policyholders happy – at the same time as attracting new customers moving forward. ■