Written by Karan Tupe
“Every Business is digital. But today, our biggest innovations will not be in the technology tools themselves but in how we design them with people in mind”- Accenture Report.
In the wake of digital age, nearly 80% of customers prefer to purchase insurance products via digital channels according to a research carried out by Bain. With products and services almost identical across the insurance sector it’s the customer experience that will become the product differentiator and the winning factor for insurers. The insurance industry particularly being a customer oriented industry, holds an upper hand at delivering an outstanding customer experience across channels . 91% of consumers say good digital customer service from insurers makes them more loyal. – Eptica
Adapting a central strategy that balances tactical decision-making with strategic investing in the digital ecosystems to ensure long-term growth will be the key to success for the insurance players.
According to a research conducted by Accenture, 75% of insurance executives agree that digital ecosystems are having a noticeable or transformative effect on the insurance sector.
How do the Customers Interact?
The digitally armored customer interacts with insurers through multiple touch-points such as email, web, chat-bots, just to name a few. Email has become a significant part of the customer communication cycle. 74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email – Merkle.
Allie is Allianz’s online chat-bot available 24/7. It answers customers queries on a wide range on insurance products. Along, with chat-bots the insurance sector has witnessed a rise in rather unconventional but promising touch-point in “voice”. Aviva, an insurance company based out of U.K is testing an insurance jargon buster skill on Alexa.
Alexa is the voice activated service that powers Amazon’s Echo, which enables customers to interact with devices in a more intuitive way using voice. Aviva enables users to have voice-controlled access to a glossary of over 300 insurance terms and their definitions.
As insurers look to expand into the next generation of digital ecosystems, some may build platforms themselves and create ecosystems with their business at the center. But not every company needs to build unique platforms. Many will find it cheaper and faster to leverage existing platforms as their means to enter new ecosystems.
Leveraging Existing Platforms : Calls a Promising Touch-Point.
The insurance business is unique because even though the customer touch points are few. These few touch-points play a crucial role in making or breaking the reputation of insurers. One such crucial touch point is that of – calls. Most of the time, the customers call their insurance carriers in state of emergency or complex situations when they are in immediate need of assistance. It is very crucial that at this juncture the customer service delivery is seamless and the response is prompt. It is at this moment, when a customer switch is highly likely if the customer does not receive a satisfactory call center experience. 89% of consumers who experience poor service with your brand will leave for your competition.
Current Call Center Experience :
Despite the rapid growth of online customer service tools, 79% of consumers would prefer to contact a customer service center over the telephone. The client’s seize the fate of an insurance agency on the basis of quality of customer experience offered to them. This appraisable customer service touch-point usually comes from calls, for example : how quickly do they return my calls? 69% of customers said they were on hold for too long when seeking help from a company which lead to a frustrating customer experience – Harris Interactive.
As mentioned above customers are often in state of emergency when they contact an insurance agent. Having to repeat the account information at this state of havoc adds up to a negative customer experience. 84% of customers are frustrated when a representative does not have immediate access to account information. These negative experiences can be altered with some aid from technologies such as speech analytics and machine learning.
Using Speech Analytics To Revamp Call Center Experience :
Recent technological advancements in natural language processing and speech analytics enable organizations to convert raw sound into actionable data. Voice data holds tremendous potential as it not only contains valuable words and sentences which lead to better analytics intelligence, but also contains the tone, intensity and intent of the voice, which can add up to 80% more details, providing for deeper sentiment analytics.
According to a white-paper published by Saama, a customer service representative typically takes down notes on important aspects of a customer call. One of the major drawback of using this primitive method is that there can be up to 70% loss of data (sometimes more) between what the customer says verbally and what the agent captures as notes. This Information delta which might seem to be of no use for the call center agent can prove to be a treasure trove of insights for data scientists and for predictive analytics in general.
Speech Analytics Features :
- Receive alerts to react quickly on anomalies in the processes.
- Integrate call data with your existing Digital Strategy.
- Improve Targeting in campaigns to drive more revenue.
- Push personalized offers.
Speech Analytics in Action :
Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance in Japan is using the IBM Watson Explorer. AI platform to classify information. When insurance policy holders call the company’s hotline to make an insurance claim, the IBM Watson supercomputer is able to analyse the customer’s voice and detect keywords. This functionality enables Fukoku to deliver a more personalized customer experience and optimize processes within the business.
Fukoku claims it will increase productivity by 30% and a savings of 1.26 million US dollars.
The Future :
Voice commerce coined as the next big thing in technological landscape coupled with artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the way in which consumers use the Internet and buy goods and services online – it’s making purchasing easier and more convenient.
It would be only a matter of time to see customers purchasing insurance with the ease of their voice.
Technologies such as speech analytics enable organizations to facilitate smooth and friction less customer experience.
“89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago” – Gartner survey