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The influence of data intake methods on customer experience in insurance

The influence of data intake methods on customer experience in insurance | EasySend blog
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4 minutes

The world revolves around data. Insurance companies collect data to determine risk, set prices, and sell policies.

What is data intake?

Many core processes require customer data collection, documentation, and signatures directly from customers to kickstart the insurance customer journey. Yet, this crucial step in the insurance customer journey is often overlooked when organizations prioritize their digital transformation initiatives.

[.emph]Data intake is the process of collecting customer data. This data is used to generate quotes, calculate premiums, and assess risk.[.emph]

The role of digital data intake in the insurance customer journey

Data intake is a crucial part of the insurance customer journey. It's the first step in any process, and it sets the tone for the rest of the customer's experience with the organization.

For example, a customer looking for insurance is likely to start their journey by searching online. If the insurance company has a streamlined digital data intake process, the customer is more likely to continue their journey with that company. This highlights the importance of digitizing data intake to provide a better customer experience.

The impact of data intake methods on customer experience

A streamlined, digital data intake process can make a huge difference to the customer experience. It can make it quicker and easier for customers to get a quote, file a claim or update their policy, and it can make the whole process more efficient for insurance companies.

The way that data is collected can have a significant impact on the customer experience. Data collection should be easy, efficient, and accurate. Otherwise, it can create frustration and cause customers to look elsewhere for insurance.

There are a few key ways that data intake affects customer experience:

  • Convenience: Customers should be able to provide their information in a way that is convenient for them.
  • Accuracy: The data that is collected should be accurate. This avoids confusion and frustration down the line.
  • Efficiency: The data intake process should be efficient. Customers should not have to provide the same information multiple times.
  • Transparency: Customers should know how their data will be used and why it is being collected.
  • Reduced Friction: Collecting data digitally can reduce the friction in the customer journey.

Digital data intake methods

There are many ways to digitize data intake, but not all are created equal. Some methods are more customer-friendly than others, and some are more efficient for insurance companies.

Here are a few methods of digital data intake:

PDF forms

Customers can fill in their information on a PDF form and submit it via email or customer portal. This is one of the common methods of data intake, but it leaves much to be desired in terms of customer experience.

This method results in friction in the data collection process, as it requires the customer to fill in all their information manually, is not interactive, and is not mobile-friendly.

The method is not interactive and doesn't respond to customer input, and is not personalized.

In addition, this method is inefficient for insurance companies, as they have to manually input the data into their systems.

Online forms

Online forms are a common way for insurance companies to collect data from customers. They are easy to use and can be completed quickly.

However, online forms have some drawbacks. Long and complex processes, such as insurance claims, can be difficult to complete. They can also be prone to errors, and customers may not always have all the information they need to fill out the form.

In addition, online forms can be difficult to change or update since they are often hard-coded into insurance company websites.

Chatbots

Chatbots are a newer method of data intake that is becoming increasingly popular. They allow insurance companies to collect data from customers through natural conversation.

Chatbots have several advantages over online forms. They can handle more complex processes, such as insurance claims. They are also more flexible and can be easily updated. In addition, chatbots can provide a better customer experience since they offer more human interaction.

However, chatbots also have some drawbacks. They require insurance companies to have a good understanding of artificial intelligence and natural language processing. In addition, chatbots may not be able to handle all insurance company processes.

Data intake journeys

Data intake journeys are step-by-step guided workflows that help customers provide the right information. They can be used for simple processes, such as getting a quote, or complex processes, such as filing an insurance claim.

Data intake journeys have several advantages over other methods of data intake. They are easy to use and can be completed quickly. In addition, data intake journeys can be dynamically personalized based on responses to the previous questions, which helps to ensure that customers are only answering relevant questions.

Data intake journeys can be initiated from any channel, either through the call center, via the customer portal, or through SMS or email. This flexibility allows insurance companies to reach customers where they are, ensuring that the data collection process is user-friendly no matter the channel.

By using data intake journeys, insurance companies can make it easier for customers to provide their information.

Most importantly, they provide a seamless customer experience by guiding customers through the insurance process from start to finish.

However, data intake journeys are not easy to build - they require insurance companies to have a good understanding of customer experience design.

Until recently, insurance companies have relied on paper forms and in-person meetings to collect customer data. Today, it remains mainly a manual process involving paperwork, call-centers, email and PDF forms. 

However, this is changing. Insurance companies are digitizing data intake to make the customer journey more efficient.

There are several reasons for this shift.

Benefits of digital data intake in insurance industry

  1. Streamlined customer journey: By digitizing data intake, insurance companies can streamline the end-to-end insurance customer journey. Customers can submit data via the channel of their choice in a digital-first format. This saves time and makes it easier for customers to do business with insurance companies.
  2. Reduced errors: Errors are common in insurance customer journeys when data is collected manually. This can lead to mismatched data, incorrect premium calculations, and other issues. By digitizing data intake, insurance companies can reduce errors, better control the quality of data they collect, and provide a better experience for their customers.
  3. Increased flexibility: Digitizing data intake gives insurance companies increased flexibility. The way the data is collected can be adapted to match individual customer needs. For example, insurance companies can use chatbots, digital journeys or voice assistants to collect data from customers. This allows insurance companies to be more flexible in how they interact with customers.
  4. Improved customer experience: Ultimately, digitizing data intake improves the customer experience. Customers can get the information they need quickly and easily. This makes customer retention more likely.
  5. Greater insights: Digitizing data intake also provides insurance companies with greater customer insights. Digital data intake ensures that an organization has a complete 360 degree picture of each customer. This helps insurance companies understand their customers better and make better decisions about product development, marketing, and sales.
  6. Improved compliance: Insurance is a highly regulated industry. By digitizing data intake, insurance companies can track data and documentation more effectively in order to comply with regulations.
  7. Cost savings: Finally, digitizing data intake can help insurance companies save money. They can eliminate the need for paper forms and manual data entry altogether, helping insurers realize efficiency gains from automation. These cost savings that can be passed on to customers to further improve customer satisfaction.

[.emph]Overall, digitizing data intake is a smart move for insurance companies looking to improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs.[.emph]

Data intake is crucial for a smooth customer journey in insurance

Collecting data from customers doesn't have to be a point of friction. By digitizing data intake, insurance companies can make the customer journey smoother and more efficient.

Digital data intake can take many forms, such as online forms, chatbots, or data intake journeys. However, not all methods are created equal. Some methods are more customer-friendly than others, and some are more efficient for insurance companies.

The best method of digital data intake will vary depending on the insurance company's needs. However, data intake journeys are generally the best option for insurance companies that want to provide a seamless customer experience.

Digitizing data intake with a no-code approach

Building data intake journeys can be a complex and time-consuming process. No-code platforms offer a quick and easy way to digitize data intake without the need for complex development.

That means that insurance companies can improve their customer journey right away, reaping the benefits of a streamlined customer experience.

Vera Smirnoff
Vera Smirnoff

Vera Smirnoff is the demand generation manager at EasySend. She covers digital transformation in insurance and banking and the latest trends in InsurTech and digital customer experience.