Insurance chatbots are far from a mere luxury add-on. They’re one of the most effective solutions for leveling up customer experience – and the insurance industry could certainly benefit from that.
This is because insurance has idiosyncrasies that make creating customer engagement and positive experiences tougher than in other industries. For example:
So, it’s clear the insurance industry has its hands full finding ways to enhance customer experience and loyalty, and beat its competition to the punch.
Along with other strategies to improve customer experience in insurance, especially digital ones like live chat, insurance chatbots can be a big help.
Chatbots are more than just a fad for insurers to jump on. These virtual assistants are set to become an integral part of the insurance customer experience strategy. Their benefits are:
Despite these benefits, just 49 percent of banking and insurance companies have implemented chat assistants (only 17 percent when it comes to voice assistants). This means that, despite how much chatbots are being talked about, they still offer a decent competitive advantage for providers that use them.
If you’re curious to learn more, five use case examples in particular are interesting to know about. An insurance chatbot can:
Let’s look at those use cases in more detail.
Insurance is a perfect candidate for implementing chatbots that produce answers to common questions. That’s because so many terms, conditions, or plans in the industry are laid out and standardized (often for legal reasons).
So, a chatbot can be there 24/7 to answer frequently asked questions about items like insurance coverage, premiums, documentation, and more. The bot can also carry out customer onboarding, billing, and policy renewals.
And this approach works: according to a 2019 study, 73 percent of retail banking and insurance executives report more than 20 percent increase in the number of interactions their organizations were able to handle thanks to chat assistants.
Your chatbot can provide effective first-tier support. For example, if a consumer wants to complete a claim form, but has trouble, they can ask the chatbot for help. The bot can send them useful links or draw from standard answers it’s been trained with.
Chatbots also act as the connectors to higher level support. If they can’t solve an issue, they can ask the policyholder if they’d like to be put through to an agent and make the connection directly. The agent can then help the customer using other advanced support solutions, like cobrowsing.
This is a very important insurance chatbot use case. According to research, the claims process is the least digitally supported function for home and car insurers (although the trend of implementing tech for this has been increasing).
As part of efforts to make claims smoother for policyholders, chatbots can give a hand in the regular course of claim-processing. When customers need to file claims, they can do so fast (and 24/7) via a chatbot. The chatbot will then pass on that information to an agent for further processing.
This use case helps reduce the time it takes to process claims. The number of claim filings that your organization can handle increases, too, because humans don’t need to scramble to service every single customer directly. That’s especially useful in times when claims are so numerous that they make it difficult for policyholders to get through to your call center (e.g. in cases of natural disasters).
An example that stands out is a chatbot from 2018. ZARA, as it was named, was implemented by Zurich UK to improve the claims process. According to the insurer, ZARA was designed to help customers report property and motor claims online in only a few minutes. Here’s a customer story on ZARA:
Chatbots that use analytics and natural language processing can get to know your audience pretty well. This means they’ll be able to identify personalized services to best suit each policyholder and recommend them directly, helping generate leads or upsell opportunities.
Some bots can even achieve automated underwriting. If, for example, a customer wants to buy an insurance product, the bot can ask them a series of questions and create a plan and quote premiums that match the policyholders needs.
But will consumers like this? Surely, they won’t trust a bot for something so important? Well, research shows they’re perfectly fine with it: 74 percent are willing to receive computer-generated advice about the type of insurance to purchase, 78 percent about investment asset allocation, and 68 percent about retirement planning.
Besides, real-life examples are at hand. One of the largest insurance providers in Ireland, AA Ireland, increased quote conversions by more than 11 percent and decreased agent handling time by 40 percent thanks to their bot. And there are other examples, too.
According to the Accenture research above, customers want relevant, real-time alerts. For example, 68 percent of those with home insurance want mobile alerts about potential fire, smoke or carbon dioxide hazards, while 64 percent of those with auto insurance want real-time notifications when they enter dangerous driving routes.
Insurance chatbots can take care of these alerts. If they’re deployed on a messaging app, it’ll be even easier to proactively connect with policyholders and notify them with important information.
Other useful notifications include alerts when policy renewal time is coming up. The bot can send a renewal reminder and then guide the policyholder easily through the process.
If you want to give insurance chatbots a try, consider:
Nikoletta is a Content Specialist at Acquire. She's a writer and editor with an avid interest in data, tech, communication, and the customer journey.