Zappix Industry Insights
Aiming For Evolution:
Digital Transformation for Insurance Customer Care
The path forward for Insurance Customer Care balances fast-paced changes with an evolutionary approach.
Customer experience (CX) and customer care have become one of the most critical components of customer satisfaction for every insurance provider. Today’s digital world has made digital self-service interactions commonplace, and created an expectation of speed and simplicity for insurance customers that providers must now begin to meet.
Modern consumers want services delivered quickly whenever they want, through whatever channel they choose to use. Insurance customer care leaders know they must deliver a new level of customer self-service capabilities to encourage retention and loyalty as well as attract new customers.
“It cannot be overstated how important it is for brands to deliver digital experiences that meet or exceed cross-industry consumer expectations,” says Peter Smith, Chief Strategy Officer for the digital insights group, Centric Digital. “There are still many opportunities for P&C insurers to improve the consumer digital experience. While we’ve seen improvement over the past year, many insurers still have a long way to go when it comes to delivering world-class digital experiences.”
“It cannot be overstated how important it is for brands to deliver digital experiences that meet or exceed cross-industry consumer expectations.”
Premier digital experiences are defined by the fast, easy to use interactions consumer see in their daily lives. More and more products and services are available on-demand through phone apps and digital technology. Customers can hail a ride to whisk them off to a short-term rental they booked on their phone five minutes ago then use a different app to have dinner delivered to their new apartment without them even thinking about talking on the phone. Consumers are increasingly comparing these experiences to every company they interact with.
Insurance providers aren’t just competing with each other for new customers, but competing with every digital customer service department and contact center to maintain customer satisfaction. Customers crave the ability to complete tasks on their own, without needing a live agent to manage every step along the way. In 2019, the J.D. Power 20th Anniversary Auto Insurance Study found, “customers’ reliance on agents — feeling they are extremely important — has declined 33% over the past 20 years. Nearly on-fifth (17%) of customers with an agent say they have never met their agent in-person or over the phone.” As self-service interactions increase in popularity in our day-to-day lives, consumers are beginning to bring the same “do-it-yourself” attitude to their interactions with insurance providers.
“Innovation can be difficult, but if approached properly, every insurance provider can join the new age of digital customer self-service and fast, automated solutions.”
Innovation and change can be difficult, but if approached properly, every insurance provider can join the new age of digital customer self-service and fast, automated solutions. To meet shifting customer preferences and expectations, Insurance Customer Care professionals must identify the low-value, high-volume interactions perfectly suited for self-service automation. By innovating these use cases first, insurance providers will experience the best bang for their buck — improving the experience for as many interactions as possible by bringing innovation to the interactions that are most easily automated.
Not All Interactions Are Equal
Some customer service functions deserve to be automated, but there are also complex, high-value interactions where customer service representatives’ human touch and personal skills are absolutely necessary. the amount of complex problem solving or human emotional intelligence needed to answer a request or solve a specific customer service issue determines the amount of added value live customer service agents bring to an interaction. Some customer service functions are simply too complicated for automation to handle effectively, or require a uniquely human perspective to accomplish.
Knowing how much a specific customer owes on their current bill and accepting payment for that bill is a straightforward, simple process, but can take up agents’ valuable time unnecessarily. Asking a customer for their ID information, looking up their account in a database, verifying their payment details, verifying their payment amount, and accepting payment for a bill is a tedious process that at best can take minutes to accomplish. The same task can be completed in a couple of seconds with effective self-service automation. It doesn’t take minutes to pay for a rideshare service. It shouldn’t take that long to submit payment for an insurance bill.
Bill payment is a great example of a customer interaction that deserves automation, but many other types of common insurance calls are ready to be digitized and automated immediately. With digital self-service, insurance can meet today’s standards:
• P&C insurance customers can submit enhanced first notice of loss (FNOL) reports with photos and other necessary media preventing the need for an adjuster visit
• Health insurance customers can access insurance cards digitally and request a new card if needed
• Life insurance customers can view policy terms and immediately access integrated text or video FAQs to explain common questions
• Every insurance customer can benefit from a fast, simple, digital method for changing mailing addresses, bank details, and other account information.
Just a few common types of calls usually make up a large volume of interactions. By automating the clearly high-volume interactions that also become low-value calls, insurance providers can quickly create a big impact on customer satisfaction.
To find the best return on investment (ROI), customer service leaders need to determine which type of calls make up the highest volume with the least value added from live agent guidance. Plotting call dispositions on a four-quadrant chart can be useful for identifying the right functions to automate for your business.
Place “Value” on the x-axis and “Volume” on the y-axis (right). This method makes categorizing calls a lot easier and more strategic than educated guesses. By using a chart like the Matrix of Evolutionary Automation, customer care professionals can determine which dispositions to automate first, which to leave for later, and which are best suited for live agents’ problem solving, empathy, and training.
Download The Matrix
There are two main paths for change and innovation: revolution and evolution. The first, a complete forklift upgrade of all processes and a sudden shift to new, innovative processes, can easily overwhelm and do harm to businesses that aren’t built for sudden pivots. The second, a gradual change of mission-critical components over time, gives businesses the time to shift without disrupting different departments and creating unanticipated consequences, gives consumers time to be introduced to new technology, and allows businesses that don’t have the resources available for major forklift upgrades to still make the transition to innovative solutions.
Insurance companies around the world are at vastly different stages of transition, but they can all reach new heights with this second “evolution” style of change. Overhauling an entire customer service model is expensive, requires manpower and resources, and could do more harm than good for most business. Automating every customer service function and firing all the contact center agents is not the path to success. Understanding which interactions are ready for automation and which should be kept with agents is critical to knowing which steps to take first towards evolution.
“Insurance companies around the world are at vastly different stages of transition, but they can all reach new heights with and ‘evolution’ style of change.”
Identifying which calls are low-value (straightforward, easily automated tasks like bill payment or start/stop requests) AND high-volume allows businesses to prepare and execute the evolution style of innovation. Automating these interactions first provides a fast return on investment and makes integrating and launching customer self-service tools like Visual IVR, chatbots, online portals, and other options worthwhile.
A Customer Care Team Effort
Every insurance provider is different, so decision makers must really get to know how their customer service departments operate to execute this first step productively. Once calls are properly categorized, many insurance providers are working with outside vendors to make the evolution to digital automation and provide the premium experiences their customers demand. The J.D. Power 2019 Insurance Digital Experience Study found these partnerships will increase going forward: “Insurtech start-ups are affecting the traditional insurance marketplace by providing customer-centric digital solutions and money-saving process efficiencies for insurers. Many traditional carriers, such as Nationwide, American Family, and Allianz, have already partnered with insurtech start-ups — and more collaboration is expected.”
Insurance customer care professionals have already started evolving their CX plans. They know every industry must deliver faster, simpler customer care whenever and wherever customers demand to keep up with the constantly shifting landscape of customer service. Our modern world is increasingly digital and service are delivered on-demand. By focusing on customer care needs that fit automation best, insurance providers will be able to afford the big shift towards digital that their customers have been waiting for. As businesses begin working with new technology vendors innovating digital channels and self-service customer service functions, they will begin to significantly move the needle on customer satisfaction and loyalty.
“As businesses begin working with new, innovative technology vendors, they will begin to significantly move the needle on customer satisfaction and loyalty.”
Zappix delivers On-Demand Customer Service Solutions: Visual IVR, On-Demand Apps, Outbound Engagement, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The cloud-based solutions improve the customer journey during contact center interactions. The open platform enables workflow automation, rapid deployments, and seamless integration to back-end systems (CRMs, ERPs, etc.) and IVRs, and provides a comprehensive Analytics Suite.
The Zappix solution provides significant benefits and ROI: reducing costs by increasing containment rates for contact centers, improving customer experience and Net Promoter Score (NPS), creating new revenue opportunities using targeted promotional banners and automation of revenue generating use-cases.
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