The human touch in the digital world: balancing automation with personalization in insurance
Insurance is an industry traditionally built on human relationships and trust. It requires a certain level of understanding and empathy to ensure that customers get the protection they need and the peace of mind they deserve.
At the same time, insurance companies are increasingly using automation to improve customer experience by increasing efficiencies and reducing costs. Automation can help streamline processes for both customers and insurers, but it can also lead to oversights and mistakes.
Automation can also create a negative and frustrating customer experience if not balanced with the necessary human touch. The key to successful automation in the insurance industry is finding the right balance between technology, efficiency, and customer service. But how do you achieve this balance?
Rule 1: Make it easy to connect with a human
Many insurance companies now offer customer self-service portals or online chatbot options for simple inquiries or requests. This allows customers to quickly and easily access the information they need without having to speak directly with a customer service representative.
However, it’s important to ensure that customers have the option of speaking with an actual person if they wish to do so. Automation can be used to answer basic inquiries or provide quick answers, but customers should always have the option of speaking with a representative if their issue is more complex or if they simply want to speak with someone.
Nothing frustrates customers more than a chatbot stuck in a loop without an option to talk to a real person.
Rule 2: Provide personalized support and advice for more complex requests
For more complicated or sensitive inquiries, it’s important to provide personalized customer care by making sure your representatives are well-trained and able to provide helpful advice and recommendations.
For example, a customer may need assistance selecting the right coverage for their needs or want to know more about certain types of policies. In these cases, customers should be able to speak with an informed representative who can provide personalized support and advice based on their individual situation.
Rule 3: Customize your workflows
You must understand your customer base and tailor automated processes accordingly. Automation should not be a one-size-fits-all solution. Customers value different levels of service in different areas, so automation should be tailored to the individual needs of customers.
Rule 4: Provide options for feedback
Customer feedback is an essential part of ensuring that automation works correctly and provides the best possible customer experience. Give customers easy ways to provide feedback, such as surveys or online forms, so that any issues can be quickly identified and addressed.
Rule 5: Train staff in customer experience management
Make sure your staff is trained in customer experience management and can use the skills they have learned to make the best use of automation. Automation should not be seen as a replacement for skilled customer service representatives but rather as a way to supplement their work and help enhance the customer experience.
Rule 7: Give your team the tools they need
Team members should have access to the right tools:
- Having the option to initiate a data intake journey via a website, SMS, email, or agent portal is paramount to make sure customer agents have the right information and tools available.
- Co-browsing is a great tool to help staff provide the necessary human touch when interacting with customers. It allows staff to hop on a screen-sharing session to assist customers with their inquiries in real time.
Rule 8: Sync customer data across systems
Ensure that all customer data is updated in real-time on all core and secondary systems. Nothing frustrates customers more than having to repeat themselves or provide the same information multiple times to different representatives.
Ensure real-time data sharing between all relevant systems to keep customer information up-to-date and accessible across your entire organization.
Rule 9: Enable smart validations
Insurers need to set up automated checks and validations to ensure that customer data collected via automated forms and journeys is accurate and compliant. This includes flagging errors or inconsistencies in customer data, as well as any major changes in circumstances such as address or income level.
Rule 10: Follow up with customers to ensure their satisfaction
Insurance companies should also make sure that customers are satisfied with the service they receive. Following up with a customer after a request or inquiry is made is an important way of ensuring that the customer’s needs have been addressed and that they are happy with the experience.
Automation is an effective tool for streamlining processes, reducing costs, and improving customer experience. But automation should be combined with the necessary human touch to create a positive customer experience.
The bottom line
The key to successful automation in the insurance industry is finding the right balance between technology, efficiency, and customer service. By customizing workflows, providing options for feedback, training staff in customer experience management, giving the team the tools they need, syncing customer data across systems, and enabling smart validations, insurance companies can ensure that automation works to provide customers with a balanced mix of efficiency and excellent service.
Automation should not replace the essential customer service skills of empathy and understanding but rather be used to enhance the customer service experience.
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