It is not surprising that insurers have turned their attention to customer experience as a primary differentiator in such a saturated market in recent years. Customers in the insurance space are not known for their loyalty, with aggregators constantly pushing them to switch. When price is usually the main distinction between staying or switching, it can be difficult to constantly be the cheapest option. Insurers are looking for other ways to encourage their customers to stay on board, and providing the customer experience is one of them.
So, how can insurers use the latest technology at their disposal to help with this? As customers become more tech-savvy to get what they want, insurers must use what’s available to them in this space; and not fear it. Here’s where AI can play a key part in securing loyalty for insurers.
Why should insurers bother with AI?
The use of self-service platforms and AI are on the increase among all ages from their experience with other industries. The 2019 Future of Claims Study found that 65% of Millennials, 62% of Gen X and 48% of Baby Boomers deemed technology important to the claims process. These days, the USP behind many good smartphone apps is convenience for the customer, rather than just information or entertainment. Why wouldn’t insurers take advantage of this mindset?
AI at FNOL
FNOL (first notice of loss) is one of the best ways to introduce AI into the insurance business model. If you want to provide a great customer experience, this is where you do it. After all, it’s the most stressful stage of the claims lifecycle for the customer. They’ve either been in a car accident or discovered damage to their vehicle or property – and need to get it solved. This first impression will solidify whether the customer has a nightmare or an easy ride. Insurers who can encourage the use of AI technology at this stage through features such as;
- Mobile apps where you can easily submit photos
- Chatbots providing easy guidance through the process
- Fast interaction
- Easy to use UX
- Frequently updated claim status checker,
will be off to a great start with their customer base. The speed and efficiency at which a claim is filed will inevitably set the stage for the settlement process. If the claim is uncomplicated (i.e. there is no injury and no argument over blame), AI can swiftly organise the information given by the customer to the claims handler.
Best of both worlds: AI, but with options to connect
Despite the obvious benefits of introducing AI to the claims process (speed, efficiency, convenience, loyalty) customers don’t want to feel stranded. Insurers understand that customer experience is also about empathy. This does not mean AI should be ignored; indeed, the two can be merged.
The 2019 Future of Claims Study also found that 70% of Millennials, 74% of Gen X and 71% of Baby Boomers deemed having options to connect to a person important to the claims process. This can be combined into the AI FNOL process. Having access to a live claims agent during the FNOL process would add some much-needed optional humanisation to the process. Access to multiple contact methods is also a benefit, with 58% of Millennials (arguably the most tech-savvy demographic out of the three) deeming this very important to the claims process.
An empathetic approach is key to providing an excellent customer experience. Customers should feel as though they are being looked after by their insurer, rather than being “sorted out”. The empathetic approach needn’t be too difficult to merge with AI.
So, if you want;
- reduced touches
- faster cycle times
- a competitive edge
- reduced cost
- increased customer retention and acquisition
- improved customer experience
then AI is something that should be shifted to the top of your list.