Insurance providers are facing an array of challenges, not the least of which is customer retention. As consumers in the digital age grow more empowered with access to information, providers need to look in new, innovative directions to improve the relationship with policyholders.
Today’s consumers expect similar levels of service from their providers as they do with other sectors, like financial institutions and retail outlets. It becomes apparently necessary for insurers to improve the customer experience and, by extension, their digital strategy, particularly through the usage of chatbots, digitization, and multi-channel integration.
Obstacles in the Insurance Industry
There are a few identifiable obstacles that providers are seeking to overcome in the current climate:
• Sustainable Profitability: As premiums, plateau and interest rates remain low, sustaining profitability becomes a challenge for providers. The solution to an issue like this would typically involve gaining new customers, but traditionally, converting new policyholders costs an average of four times as much as retaining a current one.
• Lack of Trust among Policyholders: Surveys performed in the last two years indicate that just over forty percent of policyholders claim to not trust in their insurance provider. They don’t feel that their needs are being met, and a large reason for that is poor service. A single poor service experience can cause a customer to abandon a brand, and that customer is then three times more likely to share a negative service interaction on social media than a positive one.
• New Standards of Service: Other sectors, like digital and retail enterprises, are on the forefront of new technology and are utilizing it to create a new standard in customer service. As modern consumers grow accustomed to fast, personalized service, their expectations carry over into other industries, insurance included.
All three of these obstacles can be surmounted with a single solution: an innovative approach to customer service that builds a relationship between provider and policyholder and inspires not only loyalty, but also advocacy.
Modern consumers want engaging, personalized service options by which they can get information easily and efficiently. This is where the power of chatbots enters the picture. Through an approach known as “conversational coverage,” bots use contextual awareness and machine learning to provide a two-way interaction for policyholders, creating a conversation between customer and enterprise that is personalized, engaging and informative.
By “learning,” through context and available data, about a consumer and their preferences, a bot is able to provide necessary information in a friendly, interactive way in real-time. By employing bots with multi-channel integration, insurance providers can empower their customers through a proactive, streamlined, self-service experience.
A multi-channel integration approach means that bots are able to engage with consumers on their preferred channel, whether it’s a messaging app, text, email, or other, regardless of location or device. Essentially it allows the bot to be where the customers want to be, and gives them the choice in how they communicate.
The ability to access policy information, make claims, or resolve issues simply by interacting with a bot is the type of added value that has already shown, in other industries, to foster trusting relationships and, as a result, create brand advocates.
The Capability of Bots
Bots are already being employed for dozens of use cases among many industries to offer solutions, alleviate frustrations, and go above and beyond the ordinary level of customer service. Here are just a few ways in which bots can assist insurance providers:
• Offer support overall digital channels
• Manage claims efficiently
• Deliver personalized quotes
• Simplify ordinary tasks such as account updates, payments, and rate information
• Create positive experiences with relevant recommendations
• Offer coverage and care advice tailored to each individual customer
• Solidify long-term relationships between provider and policyholder
Bots are revolutionizing digital strategies around the globe with anytime, anywhere engagement that bridges the gap between consumers and providers in a way that is personal and conversational, using human language and contextual awareness. By changing the customer interaction with conversational coverage, insurance providers can expect to deliver an experience that is personal, engaging, and valuable, which will not only retain current consumers, but bring new advocates.