Recently, Deloitte published a study on Insurance Technology Trends that reported IT is the critical driver for insurance providers to competitively offer cost effective and easy to use services. This means effective use of technology can greatly reduce costs and improve margin, especially when it comes to customer service. Routine tasks such as bill payments or claim filings can be completed using voice self-service; the result is better live agent utilization in call centers.
Insurance industry customer service challenges include, but are not limited to:
• Increased demands from customers to make their own payments through automated services.
• Limited knowledge about the functions of an insurance company.
• Providing FAQ’s that are technical enough to answer the question without being too complex for the customer to understand.
• Generic, repetitive questions that need to be answered take up too much of live agents’ time.
• Personalization and sensitivity, especially for more serious claims.
IVR systems should be seen as an integral part of the omnichannel approach and a benefit to your customer, not a barrier to accessing information. A recent article in Speech Technology magazine stated that most customers appreciate IVR systems when “the application provides clear, concise, and quick access to the information they need.” Additionally, information should be consistent across channels. Artificial intelligence voice self-service offers customers the ability to complete a large number of tasks without having to navigate long lists of telephone prompts or directed dialogue interfaces. It also can limit the need for live agents.
Effective use of technology can greatly REDUCE costs and IMPROVE margin.
Customers actually prefer to use automated services when it comes to managing their accounts and making bill payments to their insurance companies. Frequently, customers that speak with representatives have questions that can be answered through a smart self-service solution. The more freedom and capabilities the customer has to perform functions on their own, such as billing inquiries and payment history, the more satisfied they tend to be with the interaction. It also gives customers more confidence that their personal information is securely being transferred through an automated system rather running the risk of relaying that information to another person. The solution should allow customers the ability to pay their bills quickly, effortlessly, and securely by phone.
A recent Forbes study indicated that “just 14% of respondents had an understanding of the most basic insurance concepts like deductibles, copays, co-insurance, and out-of-pocket maximums.” With such a small number of policyholders able to navigate and understand their own policies, it is essential to offer access to these types of information using an intelligent voice self-service.
It is important that this solution provides consistent and compliant information to callers, which may require more sophisticated cognitive abilities. Self-service can also help answer more complex questions, such as procedural and informational requests that don’t require a licensed broker. If policyholders require a live agent, an intelligent solution can easily transfer the call to a live agent along with all relevant information so that the agent will not have to restart the conversation from the beginning. FAQ systems can often come across complicated and confusing to consumers and any self-service solution needs to be able to handle these situations easily with little customer effort.
Filing an insurance claim often involves answering basic and repetitive questions like: when did the incident occur, who was involved, what is the location of the damage, were there any injuries, etc. In one year, “private sector insurers [paid] more than $32 billion in claims from natural disasters,” according to a report by the Insurance Information Institute. Intelligent voice automation can reduce live agent workload by asking up-front questions about the claim, integrating with the insurance company’s database for processing, and handing off the rest of the process to a claims specialist. By taking care of initial questions and transferring the information over to the specialist, CSR time is reduced and low value tasks are handled more economically. However when situations that require sensitivity arise, such as fatalities, an intelligent system can automatically transfer the customer over to a skilled live specialist.
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