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Insurance Customer Experience: Enhancing Service with Technology

February 14, 2020

Customer experience and satisfaction are critical in insurance, and carriers have begun to make these outcomes a necessary measure of their digital transformation initiatives. Changing expectations of customers have brought urgency to these initiatives. Personal and commercial insurance shoppers alike expect engagements with carriers to take place at their preferred point of digital contact, via smartphone, laptop, and other digital communication channels.

By focusing their efforts on delivering an end-to-end, low friction customer experience, carriers can demonstrate their commitment to personalized, tailored service. In achieving that, carriers can realize a number of benefits not only for them, but for their customers.

But what does a personalized, tailored engagement actually mean?

It is important to answer this question before moving into the evaluation of specific technologies that meet this need. Here are some technology considerations and engagement criteria to help us answer this question.

9 Technology Related Steps to Improve the Customer Service Experience

The digitization of insurance can help streamline policy administration and claims processing, as well as enhance efficient communication–indeed, all customer interaction–through the following technology-related steps:

  1. Ensure a cross-channel personalized experience. Make sure your customers have a positive, unique experience when purchasing something as important as P&C insurance. Studies show that people around the world average 6 hours 58 minutes of screen time per day, while Americans average 7 hours and 4 minutes looking at a screen each day, from mobile apps and social media to iPads and laptops, the goal is a seamless, positive customer experience across all platforms.
  2. Provide a connected customer journey. According to Salesforce, “84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its product/services.”
  3. Pledge data accuracy and privacy. Customers want to know that their private information remains that way — private. Making sure that you have proper security measures in place and communicating that fact to your customers will help put them at ease.
  4. Provide consumers choices for how to buy — and when. Consumers like options, and they often seek out recommendations.
  5. Utilize chatbots. By employing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, chatbots can walk a customer through a policy application or claims process, which frees up human intervention for more complicated cases. Chatbots can also save an organization time — and money.
  6. Offer mobile apps. Providing an easy-to-use app means that customers have convenient access literally at their fingertips, especially since consumers spend more than 5 hours per day on their smartphones, according to HubSpot. Customers can browse information and insurance options or contact customer service with questions or concerns.
  7. Recommend products. By collecting and more effectively using customer data, insurers can offer product recommendations based on particular interests, location, and browsing history.
  8. Be at the forefront of automation. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) are technological innovations you can use to boost the insurance customer experience.
  9. Explore using voice-activated devices. Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, for example, are becoming cheaper and more sophisticated. The convergence of advanced analytics and these voice-controlled devices could present exciting opportunities for insurers.

4 Humanized Approach to Improve the Customer Service Experience

  1. Provide interactions and responses in real time. Social media has made communication more efficient and engaging, but companies need to keep pace and respond to questions, concerns, or comments within an appropriate time period. According to HubSpot, 80% of customers expect businesses to respond to their posts within 24 hours. Also, 79% of consumers prefer a live chat option over social media due to the quick response time.
  2. Ensure trust and honesty. According to Forbes, 86% of people believe authenticity matters when deciding which brands to support. It’s important not to offer false advertising or exaggerated information. Honesty will build trust, which can lead to brand loyalty.
  3. Focus on service — not selling. While selling a product or service is certainly important, it shouldn’t be the main focus. How important is it to provide a positive, seamless experience for consumers? According to HubSpot, “90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company.” Also, good service often will lead to sales; “93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service,” also according to HubSpot.
  4. Employ knowledgeable salespeople. It’s important for your sales staff to fully know and understand the products and services they are selling. Consumers are looking for a reassuring, trustworthy experience, and an experienced sales staff demonstrates confidence and competence.

5 Emerging Insurance Customer Experience Trends

Customer service is more important than ever in insurance. Here are five trends that will help create seamless, positive experiences.

  1. Risk Management Services

    According to a Risk & Insurance article, insurers are recognizing that traditional customer engagement models may not work forever. “Now they want to create more touch points and find ways to add more value to that relationship in the form of risk management services.” This enhances the customer experience and also reduces the likelihood of a claim. Fewer claims should ultimately mean more profits for the insurer and less expensive policies for the consumer.

  2. Insurtech

    This is defined as “a broad category of constantly changing technologies used in the insurance industry,” according to The Balance Small Business. In 2021, the global insurtech market size was valued at $3.85 billion, and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51.7% from 2022 to 2030.

  3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

    AI and ML are being increasingly utilized in the insurance industry, providing a more personalized and efficient experience for clients. According to a report by McKinsey, these technologies have the potential to create an additional $1.1 trillion of value in the insurance industry by 2025.
  4. Cyber Insurance

    With the widespread digitization of businesses, cyber threats have become increasingly common. As a result, the global cyber insurance market size is projected to reach USD 20.4 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 26.3% from 2020 to 2025, as reported by Markets and Markets.

  5. Telematics

    Telematics in insurance, particularly in auto insurance, is gaining popularity. The market is expected to reach $13.78 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 19.5%, from 2021 to 2030, according to a report by Allied Market Research. Telematics allows insurers to gather real-time data about drivers’ habits, providing more accurate risk assessments and premium calculations.

Technology is used to report the claim, capture damage or invoices, run a system audit and communicate with the customer electronically. If the claim meets approved criteria, the claim is automatically paid without human intervention.” For more info on unlocking the value of touchless claims, check out Duck Creek’s webinar.

Wrapping Up: The Path to Exceptional Customer Service in the Insurance Industry

Policy shoppers and policy holders expect fast, personalized service, and insurers need to offer a variety of comprehensive and seamless experiences in order to compete. From offering a cross-channel personalized experience to pledging data accuracy, there are important steps you can take to meet customer expectations and build a loyal base of policy holders. To see how you can deliver great experiences to your policy holders using Duck Creek and our solution partners, book a walkthrough with a product specialist.

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Caleen Alexanderson
Caleen has more than 30 years of experience in insurance automation. While most of her career has focused on agent automation, she is passionate about efficient digital solutions and workflows for all users. Caleen is the UX Research Lead at Duck Creek Technologies. She and her team focus on unique patterns and needs of end users across the company’s suite of products and turn that knowledge into fast, intuitive, delightful experiences.