Data-driven operations: how digital intake journeys streamline customer interactions
The insurance customer journey is a long and winding one, with many different touchpoints along the way. Data intake is one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of this journey.
Data intake is the process of collecting data directly from the customer and then storing it in internal systems that can be used to inform insurance operations. This data can include everything from customer contact information to policy details to claims data, and comes in multiple formats such as text records, attachments, signatures, and more.
Until recently, the insurance industry had been notoriously slow in digitizing this process, but this is starting to change. In particular, insurance companies are beginning to invest in digital intake journeys that streamline customer interactions and make it easier for customers to provide the data that insurers need.
The evolution of direct customer data collection methods
Insurance providers have traditionally relied on paper-based data intake methods for insurance applications, policy documents, and claims forms. The big leap to digital happened with the advent of fillable PDF forms, which insurance companies could send to customers electronically and which could be completed and signed digitally.
Despite advances in digital technology, the methods of customer data collection have stagnated in the past decade. PDF forms are still prevalent, but it’s a format that was not designed with insurance customer data collection in mind. PDFs are often seen as “static” by customers, meaning that they can be difficult to navigate and understand. They are also notoriously difficult to fill in on mobile devices. And it requires manual data entry by insurance staff to transfer data from the PDF into internal insurance systems – a process that is both time-consuming and error-prone.
This has led to a number of problems for insurance companies, such as:
- Customers filling out forms incorrectly and providing incomplete data
- Insurance company staff have to spend time correcting customer mistakes and chasing down missing information
- Customers are getting frustrated with the process and giving up altogether
Some insurers have transitioned to static web forms as a method of customer data collection. There are many advantages to using web forms, such as the ability to auto-populate fields with data from other sources and the ability to use conditional logic to show or hide fields based on customer input. However, web forms also come with their own set of challenges.
For example, insurance companies need to be able to integrate web forms into their existing systems in order to capture data in the right format and in the right place. This can be a complex and time-consuming process, particularly for larger insurance companies with multiple legacy systems. In addition, insurance companies need to have the resources and expertise to design web forms that are user-friendly and compliant with industry regulations.
The biggest issue is that for lengthy and complex insurance forms, web forms can be just as “static” and off-putting for customers as PDFs. In fact, a study by Forrester found that user abandonment rates for insurance web forms are as high as 70%.
[.emph]high form abandonment rates for insurance companies[.emph]
Introducing digital intake journeys
The insurance customer journey has changed dramatically in recent years, but the methods for data intake have not kept pace. This is starting to change as insurance companies are beginning to invest in digital intake journeys.
Digital intake journeys are interactive data collection UIs that provide a more seamless and intuitive way for customers to input data. Unlike web forms or PDFs, digital intake journeys are designed specifically for customer data collection. They are built to be mobile-friendly and responsive, and they can be easily customized to match the look and feel of an insurance company’s brand.
How data collection methods impact your operations
Becoming data-driven doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey that requires insurance companies to rethink their approach to customer data collection and move towards digital intake journeys.
There are many operational benefits of using digital intake journeys, such as:
- Reduced customer frustration: Digital intake journeys are designed to be easy to use and understand. This helps to reduce customer frustration and increase conversion rates.
- Improved data quality: By making it easier for customers to input data correctly, digital intake journeys can help to improve data quality and reduce the need for manual data entry by insurance staff.
- Faster data collection: Digital intake journeys can be used to collect data in real time, which helps to speed up the insurance customer journey.
- Increased customer engagement: Digital intake journeys provide a more interactive and engaging experience for customers, which can help to build trust and loyalty.
- Interactive experience: Real-time interactions with insurance agents can also help to reduce customer queries and improve customer satisfaction.
- Enable automation: Digital data collection is a prerequisite for insurance automation. By digitizing data collection, insurance companies can lay the foundation for a more efficient and effective customer journey.
Digital intake journeys are not a panacea, but they are a major step forward in the insurance customer journey. As insurance companies increasingly become data-driven, digital intake journeys will play an important role in streamlining customer interactions.
Digital intake journeys are the future of insurance customer data collection. Insurance companies can streamline their customer interactions, improve data quality, and speed up the insurance customer journey by investing in this technology.
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