Through the third quarter of the year, it’s apparent that 2018 is the year artificial intelligence and smart automation arrives in force to the insurance sector. The number of carriers and agencies creating partnerships and investing in new uses for this revolution is hitting record numbers, with 85% reporting that they are focusing on solving challenges, both longstanding and emerging ones, with the new tools.

  • Sophisticated, self-learning and adaptable solutions give insurers insights into their current and prospective customers, assisting with business intelligence to help their products and messaging head in the direction their insureds are going.
  • Personable and personalized customer experiences, whether online, in apps, chatting or voice interface, are popping up to the point that customers are taking note of the brands that have not made their life easier by being on these virtual home bases.
  • Labor intensive and error prone tasks are transforming into human-managed but automated events–with machine learning interpretation of visual and sound inputs that can interpret damage, estimate replacement or repair costs and coordinate providers and suppliers, claims becomes a strength instead of a headache for policyholders, insurers and partners.

The ways artificial intelligence can help the insurance industry improve seem limitless. One area where there is instant impact is virtual payment agents. Elafris’s own survey found that more than 50% of the customer service requests centered around billing questions and completion of payments. Insurers have long known that consumers want it to be easy to pay their bills. We’ve seen online payment portals for years and a flurry of apps from larger insurers. These have met with varied success from the customer satisfaction perspective.

Smart agents that can talk to insureds on their favorite home base channels, like Facebook Messenger, What’sApp, phone text and voice interfaces, can answer queries about past and upcoming payments, politely remind them about upcoming payments and suggest an easy way to complete payment right then. Two delightful aspects of these systems are their ability to carry on discussions across channels and time, and the human-like interface that speaks and understands ‘human’ instead of insurance technical jargon.

Keep talking and talking

Start a conversation using Amazon Alexa while getting ready to go to soccer, then pick it up again while cheering from the sidelines. No need to scramble to remember your credit card number or policy info, these conversations can carry this information securely, ready to apply when needed to finish up the payment transaction.

Contrast this with current channels, where customer may have been chatting with an agent on their laptop, then they open up the insurer’s app and have to relocate information and payment history pages, then end up calling and describing their request from the beginning again. 

Compounding this further is how fractured our customers’ time is with so many demands between work, family and all of their other obligations. A conversation they had months ago is lost with older communication paradigms, but virtual agents wait patiently and remember where the conversation left off, even occasionally prompting the customer if she wants to finish the task. 

Who are you?

Smartphones make being online easier than ever but this doesn’t mean insureds are not struggling to get things done with their agency or carrier. Smart virtual insurance agents know and continue to learn how consumers talk about insurance, not how the insurance industry speaks. The insurance chatbot feels like it fits how consumers think, and it feels like it really listens, lowering frustration and raising customer satisfaction and loyalty.

To see how Elafris Virtual Insurance Agents can help you connect with your customers, click here to schedule a free online demo.

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