Insurance customers want experiences that feel personal. Conversational AI virtual agents can help.
The insurance customer experience landscape is drastically evolving. Across all types of insurance – life, health, property – providers face an upheaval of the status quo as customers demand digital insurance experiences that are comparable to those of online retailers.
Like with most industries, the global COVID-19 pandemic played a key role in accelerating customers’ expectations for digital insurance experiences. PwC recently reported that the number of insurance customers who said they would switch carriers if their current provider lacked “a user-friendly digital interface” increased by 80% between 2018 and 2021. During this time, the number of consumers who said they expect “24/7/365 online support from their carrier” also jumped by 45%.
Many insurance executives now acknowledge that digital experiences are becoming a make-or-break priority for their customers, and they are taking steps to address this demand. According to Deloitte’s recent global survey, the insurance industry’s technology budget is expected to rise by 13.7% this year, and most respondents expect to increase their AI spend the most.
How can insurers be certain, however, that their AI investments will quench their customers’ thirst for better digital experiences? In a rush to digitalize customer service during the pandemic, companies across all industries deployed basic AI-powered chatbots to enable 24/7, virtual support. That said, are around-the-clock FAQ chats sufficient for creating the extraordinary digital experiences that today’s insurance customers expect? The team at DXC Technology explains it best: “The importance of modernization lies in its positioning your organization for growth and moving it from technology-centric to business-centric decisions.”
(You can learn more about digital agents' emerging role in insurance by watching the replay of our recent hybrid seminar, What’s Next in Digital Insurance Experiences with our partner DXC Technology. Click here to view the replay.)
Deploy Digital Agents for Highly Personalized Experiences
It can be tempting to deploy technology that is new and trendy, however just because a solution is popular doesn’t mean it’s good for business. When deploying new technology, it is critical for insurers to keep their business priorities and goals, and the drive for value, front and center. For the foreseeable future, creating extraordinary customer experiences will be imperative for insurance providers, and that requires insurers placing their customers' needs at the heart of their IT modernization strategies — for example, by utilizing Conversational AI.
For insurance customers, extraordinary digital experiences are defined by much more than self-service mobile apps and 24/7 FAQ chatbots. Customers want the autonomy to access high-quality, accurate and personalized service regardless of whether they complete a task online or in person. In fact, McKinsey states that “a seamless, consistent ‘multi-access’ experience in every channel is now the gold standard for insurers.”
Providers can reach that “gold standard” by deploying Conversational AI for insurance. Whereas basic chatbots and IVRs are limited in their ability to connect with back-end systems, digital agents like Amelia seamlessly orchestrate between customer databases and enterprise systems to provide every customer with accurate and personally tailored resolutions to their inquiries. Human insurance advisers also benefit from working alongside Amelia. If customers call or visit offices in-person for insurance advice, Amelia can quickly pull up all the relevant information to support her human colleagues, giving them more time to focus on delivering superior one-on-one advice.
Digital Insurance Experiences Must Have a Human-Like Touch
Although today’s customers desire enhanced digital experiences, from retail to banking to insurance, there is a key difference in the service that insurers provide which requires them to be extra cautious when deploying virtual agents. Compared to retail customer service, for example, insurance services are highly personal, and can at times be incredibly stressful and emotional for clients. As such, if an insurer deploys a digital agent for a customer-facing role, they must be certain that it understands human emotions, moods and intents.
Understanding human emotions is another area where Amelia excels. Unlike chatbots that are pre-scripted and usually fail to react appropriately to variances in conversation, Amelia forms responses based on customers’ unique circumstances to ensure they feel seen, understood and cared for on a personal level.
As the pressure mounts for insurers to digitalize customer experiences, they must be careful to avoid digitalizing for digitalization’s sake. Insurers must be intentional with their technology investments and should ensure their customer experience is at the core of their digital transformation strategies, as those that do so will reap benefits for years to come.