Person in a waiting room looks at a phone screen with a chatbot conversation showing on it.

 

Customer Experience in Ascendance

The fight for new insurance business is expensive and fierce. Policyholders primarily choose their policies based on price but increasingly their experience interacting with the insurer can tip the scales in winning or keeping valuable clients. Customer experience covers a lot of dimensions. And now it also includes all of the new digital touch points too. It’s getting harder to know what is really going to make the difference to insureds.

Emerging on the digital scene are chatbots, tireless little assistants that help win new customers and serve current clients too. The best chatbots for insurance have the intellectual firepower to adapt to a range of uses. Specially trained quote-making virtual agents, payment collection robots, AI claims automation–they all promise efficiency. And, if thoughtfully created and maintained, they are ideal for helping insurers stand apart from competitors in their policyholders’ minds.

The best insurance chatbots are arriving on the heels of the newest intelligent consumer devices and “alive” software automation that customers know and love. Amazon is taking over the world including its voice assistant Alexa. “Play Alive by Pearl Jam, Alexa”. Keeping Alexa from getting lonely is the Google Assistant, who is busy making hair appointments and restaurant reservations all over town. Beyond talking AI agents, intelligent software is popping up in billion-user messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatApp. Daily life now includes artificially intelligent virtual agents. Naturally consumers expect their business relationships to keep up with the times, which includes chatbots and AI automation.

Best AI Chatbot Strategy Comes in Phases

Insurers tell AI software partners like Elafris, “Yes, we know we need it, but how do we get there?” The prudent approach is to start now but expect several stages or phases to integrate artificial intelligence tools into the insurance organization. Avoid investing in extensive upfront planning and heavy investment in a single roll out of your AI or chatbot projects. Estimates and assumptions for stepped phases of the implementation allow for real world testing and insights. Insurers can adjust investment focus and change direction before moving forward with more sophisticated installations. This information cannot be gleaned from the months of pre-project meetings or spreadsheets. Some of the best chatbots created for the insurance industry are designed with this evolving, phased approach in mind.

Begin with something simple and self-contained, such as a virtual agent that is able to answer questions in a conversational manner. This bright helper has its own well defined universe of questions and answers all about how the particular insurer handles things. This AI chatbot is like a living Frequently Asked Questions list with a helpful service representative who understands what policyholders are asking about, even when the customer doesn’t have the precisely right insurance vocabulary. Neatly packaged, this type of chatbot is happily stationed on a website, in an app, on Facebook, and even installed into customer service portals.

Once customers start interacting with the FAQ virtual chatbot and providing data, feed this into the next stage of chatbots. Phase two is typically a deployment of a chatbot especially tailored to take care of time consuming or complex tasks. Payments, claims, policy administration all can become more efficient and service-friendly with this type of single purpose assistants.

“Need your proof of insurance? Sure, do you want me to text them to you right now or should I mail physical cards to you?”

“I can help you pay your bill. You can pay now or schedule it closer to the due date. Want to use the credit card you used last time?”

An alternative phase to setting up special-purpose chatbots is to design and deploy virtual agents to targeted segments of your business. A virtual agent can be used for ultra preferred customers to connect additional customer service capabilities to these valuable clients. This will also allow AI enabled chatbots to analyze behaviors and suggest additional coverage and services when the policyholder is expected to be most receptive to these suggestions.

Insurance AI Powers Up Live Agent Workflows

As the organization gains experience with AI chatbots and artificial intelligence platforms, firms should expect to design workflows that incorporate both human assistants with AI chatbots for insurance. Chatbots can be configured to field initial questions and seamlessly hand off advanced inquiries to well-trained customer service agents who can see the conversation history, or chatbots that serve to turbo charge the knowledge of the live customer service agents, or chatbots that jump into action when wait times for live agents become long or for after hour service. Many configurations of hybrid chatbot-human solutions are possible but should be guided on lessons learned from earlier phases.

Two paramount concerns when venturing into launching AI chatbots for insurance–

  • Learn as you go, relying on live data from early phases to guide the next investments in AI.
  • Involve team members from throughout the organization to work with the chosen AI platform partner to make sure the outcomes fit the organization and the customers.

Keep these above concerns at the forefront of AI efforts to help avoid missteps and to maximize the return on investment in AI chatbot projects.

To see how Elafris Virtual Insurance Agents can help your company, speak with us to schedule a free online demo.

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