Insurance alert: how to turn robotic claim taking into a real human conversation

Author: Simon Black | Date: 09/09/2020

Did you know that the UK insurance industry is the largest in Europe and the fourth largest in the world? According to the Association of British Insurers latest report, UK insurers contribute £29.5bn to the UK economy and employ over 300,000 people, of which a third are employed directly by providers with the remainder in auxiliary services, such as broking. If you work in the industry none of this will surprise you and with over £45m paid out each day in motor and property claims alone, you’ll also know that it’s a complex one too.

As a recent PWC report highlighted, insurance cover has become increasingly commoditised with customers selecting providers simply based on social media (80%) and price comparison sites to compare policies, prices and claims’ experience (90%).  Once that policy has been purchased most people tend to forget about it until it’s time to renew or make a claim. And here lies the rub… how do you deliver great customer service when your customers fail to understand or underestimate the value of the cover you provide?

What Does it Mean for Customer Experience (CX)?

Comfortingly, when compared to other industries the insurance sector isn’t the worst performer, in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index when it comes to customer satisfaction (that’s transport at 71.4) but at a score of 78.6, compared to a score of 78.8 last year, it’s hardly the best either (leisure is at 80.2)! However, it does highlight that there’s much that can be done to enhance the customer experience, especially during the claims process.

At Awaken Intelligence we work with insurance providers across the motor, medical and property markets, helping them to enrich the customer experience, no matter how complex the claim may be. And as the PWC report highlights, digital innovation and transforming traditional insurance processes is the way to develop sharper customer engagement, while gaining greater insight, which in turn helps businesses to meet these more exacting customer demands.

Take a typical home insurance claim and place yourself in the customer’s shoes. They’ve just come home from the school run on a dark, damp November evening, after a long day working to find the lights are off. The homeowner quickly discovers the electricity is out due to a burst pipe and that water is pouring from the bathroom, through the sitting room ceiling into several ground floor rooms. Imagine you have tired hungry children to feed, there’s a hole in the ceiling and you can’t turn the stopcock off to stop the flow of water. Once the immediate water and electricity problem has been resolved the homeowner digs out his/her insurance paperwork to make that urgent claim call. The stress levels are still at an all-time high and now he/she is having to call and wait to speak to an agent. That’s why most claim calls never get off to a great start, the adrenaline and cortisol has been pumping for some time before your agent even starts to speak!

How to Remove the Stress from a Claim Conversation

Unsurprisingly, agents regularly face a complex conversation from the off with many customers talking at them in a great deal about their incident. And when it comes to capturing a claim statement, they need to get it down as quickly as possible, and correctly. How do you do that when your customer’s mind is leaping from one thing to another as he/she discusses their concerns and various elements of the incident that need addressing? As any experienced claims agent will tell you, you can’t take the customer through your processes step by step, you have to let them lead.

We help businesses to dynamically capture the claim statement with our Dynamic Agent Guidance solution which sits over the various systems that agents need while handling the customer call. Think of it as a mind-mapping approach that enables data capture in the flow of a normal conversation. As the customer starts to share information the agent can capture the claim details in any order they’re given. They can start at any point and jump to different details thanks to the flexible process flow and agents can prompt the customer for any missing details prior to closing the conversation – all without having to go over the covered ground again and again. It means that the agent can be flexible, not repetitive and engage in an empathetic conversation with the customer while having access to all the information needed in one system. The system then knits all these details together into one claim statement for the insurance provider. This approach allows the customer to discuss even the most complex claim in a comfortable way for them, without your agents missing any information along the way. In simple words, it means the conversation is productive rather than repetitive. Our clients have fed back that this approach also dramatically reduces the call time by 40%!

Furthermore, if the claim requires a visit from a loss adjustor the agents can also access our Dispatch add-on, part of Dynamic Agent Guidance solution,  to quickly identify one in the local area to the property in question and check availability. All this information can be shared with the customer while on the call as well as texted or emailed to the loss adjustor in question to carry out the next part of the claims process. With many loss adjustors working independently they’re also able to manage their availability thanks to the web-based application and can also quickly file paperwork, helping to speed up the processing of the claim as quickly as possible.

What About the Agent

Being faced with stressed customers day in, day out is hardly satisfying work and, unsurprisingly, call centres handling insurance claims face an agent attrition rate of between 20%-50%. That’s why giving staff the best technology to support their work helps to improve not only their performance but also their job satisfaction and eases their call centre stress, hopefully motivating agents to stay in their roles for longer. Our solution means that businesses are able to train agents within a matter of days, a week at the most compared to traditional call centres that can take 4-6 weeks to train call handlers.

Insurance – Regulation is Key

Last year the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued the highest level of fines since 2015, amounting to £391.8 million. While these fines weren’t all insurance-related (and the amount was certainly boosted by a mobile phone provider company fine of £29.1 million) it is still an eye-watering amount for the insurance industry. And it’s a stark reminder why compliance is absolutely critical to the call handling of insurance claims. Our voice analytics solution not only helps providers to monitor the quality of calls and ensure they’re being handled appropriately but importantly, it helps you to ensure that agents are consistently delivering compliance statements when speaking with customers. And if not, you’re able to pick up on it quickly and re-train those staff members before the FCA have to become involved.

The Benefits of Transforming Your Claims Process

We’ve previously discussed the reasons for deploying conversational analytics across call centres but in an industry such as insurance the stakes are even higher. . By adopting this conversational claims process you’ll find that:

  • Your customer experience is dramatically improved
  • The process is shortened, greatly improving your ROI
  • The data captured to process the claim is far more accurate
  • And your compliance will improve because your agents aren’t having to re-enter data or format it.

If you want to reduce agent churn rate, resulting in less re-training and re-hiring and have complete peace of mind from a compliance and regulatory point of view contact us here.