Customer expectations are continually evolving, no more so than in the world of insurance. Customers are increasingly digital-first and choosing services based on convenience. They’re seeking easier methods to both purchase an insurance policy and make a claim when they experience a loss.
Innovative businesses from retail to insurance have set the bar high for customer experience (CX), investing in digital capabilities such as CRM, Product Information Management and eCommerce systems. Global PwC research indicates over 70% of all consumer purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by the quality of CX they receive–yet in the insurance industry, there is an 18% ‘expectation gap’ between the service level customers expect and the experience they actually receive.
Positive–and negative–engagements leave lasting impressions
CX quality and the customer’s perception of it can have a direct effect on an insurer’s bottom line. Customers are active and vocal in sharing their experiences, both positive and negative. Salesforce research suggests 62% of customers actively share bad experiences with others, while a greater proportion–72%–share positive experiences. Insurers with poor reviews could take a hit to their brand image–and to their customer base.
Eliminate the pain of the claim
After taking out an insurance policy, most customers will only interact with their insurer when they’re under the stress of experiencing a loss and need to make a claim–whether this is a vehicle collision, property damage or another type of loss. This is where most customer pain-points are typically realised.
Customers can quickly become irritated by a lack of visibility into when they will be helped to recoup their loss, and they don’t want to chase their insurer for updates. Also, when claimants don’t know who is managing their claim, they may be frustrated by the lack of a personal touch in their time of. It’s especially important that firms identify and manage vulnerable customers during the claims process, providing a heightened level of customer service and sensitivity under difficult circumstances.
Further frustrations are likely to arise if claimants must juggle multiple points of contact, repeatedly answer the same questions, and make appointments for damage assessments before they can have their car or home repaired.
Making flawless CX a reality with ‘right touch’ claims
Insurers can look to address today’s consumer demands by leveraging advanced technologies such as process automation, self-service claims and real-time updates and collaboration.
These combined features build into a system capable of processing high volumes of right touch claims, ensuring meritorious claims are rapidly progressed quickly while more complex or questionable are referred for further investigation.
By developing a CX strategy built on right touch claims processing, insurers can deliver first-class CX throughout the lifecycle of a claim, from First Notification of Loss (FNOL) through to settlement.
Insurers can shine throughout the claims process
Take a vehicle collision as a prime example. The policyholder can use their preferred device to immediately notify their insurer of the incident. They can then use the same device to take photos from set angles and quickly upload these–with the evidence being attached to an automatically generated case file.
AI-driven image analysis can be used to decide whether the vehicle is a total loss or repairable in less than ten seconds. Price estimates for repairable vehicles can be automatically generated and progressed to a repair centre, or a settlement figure can be quoted to the policyholder in the event of a total loss. Insurers can also integrate AI-powered chatbots to further add value to the customer journey, such as arranging roadside recovery.
With a property claim, live video can be used for remote damage assessment and shared calendars can help with scheduling repairs. Customer preferences and individual needs can be captured as claim details visible to all handlers on the claim.
Overall, automation means policyholders can experience less friction from unnecessary manual touchpoints, retain full visibility and are more satisfied a claims handler is available through the channel of their choice at any time. Benefits to insurers and customers alike are that routine claims can be settled within minutes.
In addition, automation drives long-term operational cost reductions, and savings can be passed on to the consumer. This win-win scenario can be replicated across claims types.
A win-win scenario for insurers and customers
Today’s highly competitive marketplace means insurers need to adopt technology that allows them to anticipate and proactively fulfill customer needs, instead of playing catch-up with customer demands. Partnering with a proven technology leader with expertise in leveraging data analytics, automation and mobile services throughout existing claims processes will help insurers keep pace with the digitally-driven innovation wave–and avoid customers being tempted away by agile competitors offering a more complete customer experience.
With the right people and processes in place, integrating advanced technologies into existing systems and operations will enable insurers to consistently deliver a truly first-class, frictionless experience and enhance operational efficiency. The technology is there, and adopting it now will benefit insurers and policyholders today and into the future.