Insurance chatbots: Optimizing customer experiences

In a 24/7 world where customers expect instantaneous communication, carriers are finding new ways to convey information to them.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the insurance industry — and customer service is no exception. One of the most common forms of AI are the use of chatbots — instead of interacting with a human, you’re “chatting” with a bot that’s programmed to understand your questions and direct you to the right place.

Chatbots are no longer an exclusive feature — they have become par for the course. In fact, according to an Accenture Digital survey, 56% of businesses claim chatbots are already driving disruption in their industry. As such, those businesses not using the technology will not only be in the minority but stand to fall behind.

As far as the insurance industry is concerned, chatbots are an innovative tool that can offer many benefits, such as around-the-clock support for consumers and as an educational tool for consumers looking to learn more about their policy and more. These automated insurance agents can provide information almost instantaneously and guide consumers to appropriate resources for more information.

Challenges that insurance chatbots can solve

For a lot of consumers, property and casualty insurance is complex and hard to understand. Buying different types of insurance, renewals and claims can be complicated — but insurance chatbots can provide clarity on the processes and help customers understand the associated costs.

It’s important to note, however, that insurers should always include a way for customers to contact employees. Even though chatbots can handle routine tasks, consumers want to know they can talk to a real person if needed.

Chatbots can also help insurers keep pace with the demands of customer service. According to Salesforce, 58% of customers say emerging technologies such as chatbots and voice assistance have changed their expectations of companies.

Many insurance professionals already wear more than one hat and being available around the clock is just not feasible. With insurance chatbots, however, the initial response is often faster than a human one, and unlike a single person, they can handle multiple customer inquiries at once.

Chatbots have answered a need for an alternative form of customer service communication. While some people still prefer calling or emailing with a question, others find that chatbots are less time-consuming and, at times, more efficient. In general, though, chatbots are most useful for conversations that require some degree of back-and-forth.

5 ways chatbots can help insurers

There are a variety of ways in which insurers can implement chatbots to create an effective customer service experience:

  1. Process claims. Chatbots can assist with claims questions and payment methods.
  2. Gather leads. When customers interact with a chatbot, they may be expected to fill in basic contact information, such as name and email address, which is a simple and effective way to accumulate customer data and generate leads. This information can be passed along to sales teams.
  3. Provide education. In many cases, someone will contact an insurer with questions about a product or process. A chatbot can answer questions and provide more information — or direct those inquiries to the appropriate departments or resources.
  4. Engage with customers and collect feedback: Chatbots are often faster and more efficient than phone calls and emails. Plus, they offer a way for an insurer to easily compile data on their various customer service inquiries.
  5. Free up employees. Employees can tackle other important responsibilities if chatbots help handle customer service inquiries.

To succeed in the modern insurance marketplace, carriers must focus first and foremost on the evolving expectations of their customers’ expectations, often driven by everyday influences completely removed from the world of insurance.

Chatbots are just one more innovative tool insurers can use to meet customer expectations and deliver the service their customers have come to expect.

 

Source: NU PropertyCasulty360

Date: 22nd June, 2020

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