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How Insurance Companies can Benefit from IVR Software


Insurance companies need to change the public’s opinion and take control of their own complex operating environments. Insurance companies should inculcate a culture that demonstrates a commitment to clients by consistently delivering outstanding customer experience while eliminating complexity and dissatisfaction – a major turn-off for customers. The winners in this industry are companies that institute customer-centric solutions, like voice-based and web-based self-service portals that prioritize customer needs. Companies should focus on self-service IVR software – a proven technology that brought down operational costs and leveled up agent productivity and customer satisfaction.

But many insurance companies need a major operational overhaul, independent of regulations to implement a customer-centric contact strategy which makes it easy for clients to gain information they need at the point of initial contact. Insurance companies need to invest in self-service IVR software and contact center agents, transforming them into well-informed customer advocates who are committed to delivering unmatched customer experience.

The use of IVR software is an important aspect of customer-centric strategy because it is a proven technique for improving agent and customer experience while minimising operational expenses. It is a highly effective way to automate calls and interactions that previously required the assistance of live agents. By combining advanced speech-recognition technologies and sophisticated call routing and CTI, insurance companies can dramatically improve call automation rates and customer perception of your company.

Many insurance companies have started utilising speech-enabled IVRs that automate as much as 10% of inbound member calls and 30%-40% of calls from providers. They primarily are used to address claim status, benefits, coverage and eligibility queries. Additionally, most of the companies use IVRs to conduct surveys to review their customer satisfaction scores. Insurance companies can use IVR for educational services that may result in signing up customers for additional insurance schemes. All customers expect and deserve to be able to transfer to a live agent at any point in an IVR interaction with their account information and status transferred with them. If insurance companies can resolve this pressing problem alone, it can significantly improve customer satisfaction and IVR utilisation.

Use Cases of IVR in Insurance Companies

  1. Account or Policy Information

Customers call the system to retrieve information on account, balance of policy, payment due amount/date, coverage provisions, etc.

  1. Policy Updates

Customers can call to learn about their existing policy or request changes to their policy.

  1. Agent/Agency Locator

Customer can locate the nearest agent/agency or a specified agent/agency by entering their zip code or agent telephone number. Customer can also be provided the option to transfer the call to the respective agent.

  1. Investment/Annuity Fund Transactions

Customers can hear their existing investment balance, transfer funds, learn current rates, etc by simply entering the customer’s account identifier and password. the system can be further secured by incorporating a voice authentication application that verifies the caller against a pre-recorded voice of the caller.

  1. Rate Information Line

Callers can request rates on various policy schemes to compare various policies within the company or compare rates with other insurance companies. The caller can then either be transferred to an agent or request changes to an existing policy.

  1. Claim Filing

Companies can speed the claim process by allowing the customer to enter selected information to open a new claim. The call can be then further transferred to an agent to process the claim.

  1. Status Inquiry

This allows the caller to check the status of his/her claim expediting the customer interactions when information is needed to further process the claim.

  1. Payment Reminder

The IVR system can proactively notify the customer about upcoming payment and provide an option to make the payment.

  1. Tax Information Line

This option can provide callers with information on taxable transactions on their insurance policies.

  1. Proof of Insurance

This information can be provided on request where the customer is asked to enter their his/her policy number and the system generates a Proof of Insurance form that is mailed or faxed to the address of record.

Leading users of IVRs in the insurance industry are observing an excess of 50% in call automation rates. Since agent handled calls costs approximately $5.00 to $8.00, and IVR interactions cost $0.05 to $0.25, the business feasibility and application is highly compelling. Well-managed and implemented IVR initiatives frequently realize a return on investment on 6 to 9 months.

Related: How Insurance Agents Can Build Long-Term Customer Relationships



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