How forward-thinking insurance companies are dealing with the paperwork crisis
In the tech world, there’s an adage that programmers love — garbage in, garbage out. The saying is something the insurance industry should keep in mind. If the data going into the system is inaccurate or incomplete, the information leaving the system will be useless unless corrections are made somewhere in the process. For many companies, collecting the correct information requires human intervention, whether by phone, email, or snail mail.
To minimize the misinformation entering the system, many companies are looking to digitize some, if not all, of their paper-based back office. With a range of available technologies, insurers can implement inexpensive solutions such as optical character readers (OCR) or design a digital system from start to finish. Unfortunately, most insurers do not have innovation in their DNA, making them hesitant to change.
The need for digital transformation
No organization can escape the need for a digital transformation. Just take a look at these statistics:
- 87% of companies think digital will disrupt their industry,
- 59% of businesses fear it is too late to start a digital transformation.
- 55% of companies without a digital transformation believe they have less than a year before they begin to lose market share
- 88% of customers are less likely to return if they have a poor experience
- 61% of consumers won’t return to a mobile site that they had trouble accessing.
- 40% of consumers end up visiting a competitor’s website if they have difficulty accessing a company’s mobile site.
Successful transformations focus on the customer because that focus can generate a 20-30% increase in customer satisfaction and an economic gain of 20% to 50%.
The cost of inefficiency
Companies understand that inefficiency costs money, but they may not realize how much. Inefficiencies can cost an organization as much as 20% to 30% of its annual revenue. These costs come from wasted time, reduced quality, and lowered morale.
In simplest terms, inefficiency results when a business spends more money than is necessary to achieve the same results. Every time an employee has to correct a data entry error, time is wasted, time that could have been spent processing another application or addressing a claim.
An inefficient process impacts customer satisfaction. It can lengthen the time it takes to respond to a customer. Data entry errors mean contacting the customer to correct the error, further resolving a customer’s concern.
Employees are left to address a frustrated customer who had to wait while the error was corrected. When inefficiencies are built into the system, employees become irritated at a process that does not work. The longer a company delays responding to process inefficiencies, the more irritated employees become. Eventually, that irritation turns into a poor performance that impacts customer satisfaction and the bottom line.
The value of a positive customer experience
As statistics indicate, positive customer experiences are crucial to survival. But, what do customers view as a positive experience?
- 75% of online customers expect a response within five minutes.
- 60% of companies believe they have a positive mobile experience, although only 22% of customers agree.
- 78% of consumers use mobile devices for customer service.
- 60% of American consumers prefer digital self-service tools, such as an online knowledge base, app, or chatbot.
As insurers look to improve inefficiencies, they can’t lose sight of the customer. No matter how efficient the back-office operations become, the digital transformation is incomplete without a positive customer experience at every touchpoint.
The cause of inefficiency
It may seem harsh, but inefficiency is the result of garbage in garbage out. If the data coming into the system is incorrect, the information leaving the system is suspect. And consumers have little patience for repeating themselves, so asking them to resubmit a form or answer the same questions a second time only frustrates them.
The first step in improving the customer experience is to evaluate an organization’s business processes (BPM). Look at all the data collection methods during a customer’s journey and identify where in the process errors occur. If a company has already implemented technologies such as OCR or RPA, assess performance. Are there still areas where mistakes occur consistently?
For example, OCR can expedite ingesting data; however, it isn’t perfect. OCR technology has difficulties:
- Recognizing handwritten data
- Recognizing poor quality printed documents
- Recognizing incorrect or incomplete information
In each of those situations, an agent or agent’s office must contact the customer for the needed information.
Robotic process automation
No one can argue with the success RPA has had in improving back-office processing. The latest figures show:
- 92% improved compliance
- 90% improved quality and accuracy
- 86% improved productivity
- 59% cost reduction
While those numbers are impressive, RPA cannot solve the paperwork crisis alone.
- If data is missing, it can’t manufacture it.
- If the customer enters an incorrect zip code, RPA can make assumptions, but it can’t guarantee its guess is correct.
- If the data is unreadable, it can’t process it.
Businesses need complementary solutions to ensure that the data coming into an RPA system is correct and complete.
Consumers make mistakes. When they complete forms, they forget a digit in a zip code or mistype a city name. That’s why online forms must be checked for accuracy before they are sent to an RPA system. A well-designed structure can also reduce errors because it can intuitively lead the consumer through form completion. With a no-code eForm solution, companies do not have to wait for IT to create a form because programming skills are not required. Changes can be made quickly if new information is needed. Or forms can be altered if the design results in more end-user errors.
Creating an end-to-end digital solution can significantly reduce inefficiencies; however, that end-to-end solution requires more than just RPA. Download our ebook to learn more, or contact us to schedule a demo.