When one thinks of researching insurance policies or making a claim, one’s mind shortly thereafter shifts to anticipation of frustration and most likely procrastination. It’s my guess that there aren’t too many people out there who love buying insurance let alone love making a claim.
Why? Well, might I only remind you of that time you had to wait in a phone queue with that horrific wait music, had multiple tabs open on your desktop while comparing policies, or completed that website form to then find out you had to contact the company anyway?
It’s fair to say the insurance customer journey needs some sprucing. And if my anecdotes aren’t convincing, perhaps this fancy graph might help:
In comes artificial intelligence (“AI”) and we have a solution - thankfully and about time!
Artificial intelligence has been at the core of many technological developments of recent years, one being “digital assistants” - that is, AI-powered, messaging platforms that allow companies to automate certain parts of their customer journeys. For the insurance industry, this might include for example, quoting, purchasing, renewing insurance - and of course, as the name of this blog suggests - making policy suggestions and processing claims - all without the need of human assistance.
By circumventing the need for human assistance for everything, customers can receive faster solutions, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. No more phone queues, endless website forms or thousands of open tabs. Rather, users ‘chat’ with a digital assistant through a messaging platform, like Facebook Messenger, and perform tasks in a casual conversation. The user can access this ‘chat’ either through the company’s website or on their Facebook page (or other messaging application for that matter).
This isn’t only great news for customers, but also insurance companies. Companies can convert and serve more customers at a fraction of the cost, while human staff are actually more freed up to better deal with more complex issues.
The cool thing about AI is that heaps of data and analytics are collected through the process. The digital assistant never forgets and a good AI solution will offer an insurance company detailed analytics to further optimise the ‘chat’, marketing messages, and product offerings.
Just because digital assistants are automated doesn’t mean they have to be impersonal. They will always address the user by their name, remember where the conversation left off, remember their preferences, and if using sentiment analysis, can even offer tailored responses based on the user’s customer persona. This is particularly important for the insurance industry where sales are often be based off rapport to increase likelihood of conversion.
But how can AI effect policy suggestions and claims you ask? On topic Bindy!
In the same way that Google shows you ads of products similar to your historical searches, AI applied to insurance can help with policy research and recommendations.
Not only can a digital assistant recall preferences from previous interactions with a customer, but it can scan the customer’s social profile to collate information. For instance, a customer that appears to be young, have a healthy lifestyle, and has a permanent full-time job, might be more suited to a certain type of policy or lower premiums. This function can also help with upselling other insurance policies too.
This can save the customer and the insurance company a significant amount of time and resources!
The claims customer experience is particularly low on consumer satisfaction, as is illustrated in the graph below:
The following image shows some guidelines from McKinsey & Company for how to optimise the claims process and suggests that there can be efficiency gains of up to 30%!
The potential for insurance companies here is huge! By digitalising and automating the claims process with AI, customers can lodge claims without huge amounts of paperwork or lengthy interrogations from agents. The digital assistant allows the customer to upload any relevant photos associated with the claim (for example to show car damage) and explain the claim in the messaging platform.
Sophisticated solutions can check photos or claim descriptions against databases to check for fraud or progress the claim as far as possible without human assistance. It may even be possible to automatically approve the claim in certain circumstances, and make a payout directly to the user’s selected bank account.
After lodging a claim, customers can track the status of their claim through the digital assistant too. Again, avoiding wait times and keeping customers satisfied.
In complex situations, the digital assistant will of course advise the customer that a human agent will contact them as soon as possible.
Policy suggestions and claims are only two parts of the insurance customer journey that I’ve covered in this blog. It’s clear that there are huge gains to be made here by insurance companies, and that’s so across other facets of the journey too.
At JRNY, we specialise in streamlining the insurance customer journey with AI-powered digital assistants. If this is something you wish to explore further, don’t hesitate to contact one of the JRNY team with any questions.