The history of insurance is as old as the human civilization. Before the onset of the monetary economy, insurance was in the form of mutual-aid or help. However, as the trade and commerce flourished in the medieval ages, with traders embarking on dangerous and treacherous voyages, the concept of modern insurance was introduced to the world. Since then, Insurance policies have been offering protection against perceived risk to life, property, health, accident and business.
However, the protection comes with a hefty fee. For many individuals, investing in an insurance policy is a major financial decision. The choice is also driven by the fact that an insurance policy guarantees protection against something that is dear to an individual.
Omnichannel Customer Service: The Emotional Connection
To put things in perceptive, insurance companies are dealing with a very emotional and sensitive situation. There has to be a sense of duty and commitment since most customers reach out to their insurer only at the time of distress. Secondly, in the last few years, a new breed of customers has evolved. PWC calls them digital natives. The combination of both factors calls for an Omnichannel approach to address customer needs. However, before laying emphasis on the relevance of Omni-channel solution for the insurance industry, we need to understand – what defines a digital native?
Characteristics of a Digital Native
In the past, either customers were scouted by an agent or they reached out to an insurer’s office to inquire about the different insurance plans. However, today that scenario has changed completely, people are better informed and they have an opinion. In view of this, the characteristics of digital natives can be summed up as under-
1. Have High Expectations
A digital native or customer has high expectation from their service providers. When it comes to insurance companies, a customer would expect personalized service and most importantly quick claim settlements.
2. Is Better Informed
Unlike in the past, a new generation of customers is better informed. They review product details online, listen to their peers and already have an opinion before reaching a buying decision.
3. Are Vocal on Social Media
A digital native does not hesitate to voice his/her opinion. Social media is becoming a perfect turf for them to let know the brands what they are thinking.
Therefore, in a nutshell, every customer is unique and there is a growing need to adopt personalization across customer interaction.
Personalization is Core to Omni-Channel CX Platform
In the insurance sector, the insurer has a long standing association with their customers. The duration of an insurance policy could be anywhere between one year to a life-time. Therefore, the long-term value of a customer is significant in the insurance sector.
Every customer has a unique need. While some customers prefer to communicate through a broker or agent, others would like to deal with the banks directly. Some customers may only use unconventional channels like social media to inquire about insurance product or claim settlement procedures.
Video Credit - Economic Times
In fact, using social media platforms to connect with providers for business services like company registration, server purchase etc. is growing rapidly.
Therefore, insurers should be prepared to tackle every unique request. With Omni-channel solution, insurance companies can achieve personalization in the best possible way. Besides, offering exceptional customer experience, Omni-Channel solutions also assist in boosting outreach and sales.
4 Ways the Insurance Sector Can Take Advantage of an Omnichannel Contact Center Solution
As the global insurance market is growing steadily, especially in emerging economies like India, Brazil and South Africa, insurance companies will have to step up the game and transforms their contact centers into a strategic asset for organizations. Omni-channel solution fits the role completely and offers the following set of advantages to the insurance sector:
1. Eliminates Gaps of the Telemarketing Department
One of the biggest challenges of the telemarketing department of insurance company is to improve customer outreach and generate more up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. However, due to problems such as low connect rates and weak agent response time, call center performance can be compromised. But Omni-channel platform can reverse the situation and empower agents to service the customers better.
For example, an existing customer calls the contact center to inquire about the auto-insurance policy. Thanks to real time access to the information, the agent can see that the customer is already using the insurance company’s “health insurance” policy. The agent can immediately initiate a personalized conversation with the customer and offer relevant information in less time.
2. Offers Contextual Customer Service
Routing calls to relevant agent is the best way to achieve customer experience. In the insurance industry, this is particularly relevant for the claim settlement department. For instance, a customer calling his or her insurer to settle a matter related to health insurance he or she would want to immediately connect to concerned agent. The minute he selects “claim settlement” option on the IVR, he or she should be routed to an agent from the claim department with minimum hold time.
3. Integration of Multi-Channel Communication
As stated earlier in the post, insurance company has no control over the medium their customer chooses to communicate with them. A customer can contact their insurer via- chat, mobile, email, telephone, social media etc. Also, as the first line of communication the customer may choose to interact with the insurer via email. For the second time, he may choose to communicate via mobile.
An omni-channel solution empowers agents to check communication across touch-points, promoting intelligent conversation and quality management.
4. Promoting Premium Reminders in Debt Collection
Premium reminders for debt collection are an integral part of customer service in the insurance sector. If a customer fails to make a timely payment of premium, his or her policy may lapse. To avoid discrepancy and improve debt collection and recovery rates, Omni-Channel offers complete bucketized data which the agents can use for automated outbound calling.
Omnichannel Insurance: The Bottom Line
Whether it’s a new customers or an existing one, insurance company must offer consistent customer service to its patrons. With so many brands offering similar services, a good customer service will be the sole differentiating factor. To make customer service stronger than ever, digital adoption is the only way forward.