Many insurers have been concentrating on improving customer satisfaction in the sales and quotation process, and by that far too often neglected the claims experience. From a customer perspective, however, the claims experience is ‘the moment of truth’ in which the value of their insurance premiums materialises and thus is a key factor in their loyalty.
An integral part of managing the claims experience today is the task of servicing a growing number of interaction channels. As the tech-savvy generation Y matures, the service delivery on digital channels will increasingly define satisfaction levels. Rather than being an obstacle, we believe that ‘digital’ has an enormous potential to overcome many of the traditional pain points in the claims experience to better serve customer demands. In order to assess this potential, we have identified three major challenges within insurers’ control that currently define the ‘moment of truth’ for claimants: long waiting times, complex processes, and a lack of transparency.
KEY CHALLENGES IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
Traditionally, overcoming these three major weaknesses in the claims journey would have meant increasing service capabilities through a higher staff count, resulting in a spike in cost. However, since technology introduces new economies of scale and low cost of service, it is opening up many possibilities to efficiently enhance the customer experience along the entire claims journey. For example, digital interconnectedness of the involved parties allows for better information flows. This can result in a higher degree of transparency as well as the possibility of reducing complexity and waiting times through ‘real-time’ scheduling.
Based on persona-driven analysis of the claims journey and the identification of respective levers for the enhancement of individual customer journeys, we understand that even minor improvements can have a major impact. Taken together, we calculate that the levers below allow for an improvement in Net Promoter Scores (NPS) after a claim by up to 25% for tech-savvy customers.
Whilst we have briefly introduced the levers of that opportunity in our overview article, we will now take a closer look at potentials to increase customer satisfaction along the three identified weak points.
CORE TECHNOLOGICAL LEVERS FOR CLAIMS CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
From long waiting times to full accessibility irrespective of time and location
After a damage occurs, a lengthy claims process adds to the claimant’s anxiety and frustration. For example, a prolonged waiting time in a call centre queue after a Road Traffic Accident (RTA) renders the claims experience pain-staking. With technological advances, however, insurers are increasingly able to offer real-time service.
AI-driven chat bots: Chat bots can be introduced along the entire value chain, answering questions from the claimant as well as accepting a notice of loss, opening up an opportunity to provide real-time responses. As an important factor for customer satisfaction, chat bots can become increasingly proficient at sensing a client’s mood through linguistic analysis and adapting their responses accordingly. If, for example, a client types in a question repetitively, the chat bot can redirect the client to the call centre staff and apologise for the misunderstanding. Overall, chat bots can be leveraged to interact with clients across all platforms and devices, thus providing an omni-channel experience irrespective of time and location.
Examples of suppliers include: IP Soft; avaamo; api.ai
Digital assistance: Connected devices offer various possibilities to increase the speed of service as well as create a personalised experience. For example, telematics-based services can offer a step-by-step guide for customers involved in an RTA. These can range from GPS directions to the nearest repair mechanics garage, and providing emergency services contacts, to tracking dispatched (tow) services. All of this takes place within a few seconds only. For home insurance, incumbents can provide emergency domestic repairs for damages such as burst pipes, carbon monoxide leaks, electric wiring or blocked drains, and engineers would arrive in the shortest time possible to fix the issue. From our experience, shorter waiting times and immediate responses bolster customer satisfaction substantially and can increase the NPS after a claim by at least 5-10%.
Examples of suppliers for car include: ControlExpert; Vizion; Pace; OCTO; Openbay, and interesting best practices are Allianz – MyTripBuddy; Ford- Mi.Ford; Volvo – Volvo On Call app
Examples of suppliers for home include: HomeServe; ROW Home; YourRepair, and interesting best practices are AXA HomeSmart, HomeSafe, and Homesure; Allianz; Direct Line
From complexity to simplicity
While complex processes are a problem deeply rooted in the insurance industry, partially due to regulatory requirements, complexity in the claims process is strongly connected to the need to liaise between repairers, claimants, and claims handlers. Bureaucratic procedures that involve complex questionnaires and numerous touch points demand both time and energy from the customer, significantly taking a toll on the overall satisfaction.
Possible solutions include web-based applications that enable customers to digitally record an accident and file a claim through completing dynamic questionnaires, often with the option to submit brief videos along with photographic evidence in real-time. For tech-savvy customers, this simplifies an otherwise cumbersome pen-and-paper approach, thus alleviating stress through reduced touch points.
Examples of suppliers include: RightIndem; Pega; Snapsheet; VIZION; ControlExpert; 360Globalnet
Medium-value claims (not too low to qualify for direct settlement nor too high to require manual inspection) can be assessed via remote video inspection, i.e. in the format of a live video call from the client’s mobile device. Remote video inspection removes the need to schedule manual inspections for the customer, resulting in less stress and time required.
Examples of suppliers for live video inspection include: Odigo; MotionsCloud
From our experience, these solutions enable customers to gain a sense of control over the claims process, potentially increasing the NPS after a claim by another 5-10%.
From a lack of transparency to a complete overview and real-time insights
With effective claims processes often requiring complex assessments and communication between various service providers, the actual status and progress of the claim is mostly not made transparent for the claimant. This, coupled with lengthy waiting times, can lead to dissatisfaction and distrust in the insurer. In order to increase transparency, as a key driver for customer satisfaction, insurers can digitally share the status of a particular claim with the client by either feeding the information into a portal or by sending out a personalised link. Sometimes, these solutions also include the option to digitally schedule repairs and inspections.
Examples of suppliers for live video inspection include: Verisk (portal); MotionsCloud (link)
We anticipate that the introduction of online claims statuses and forecasts can increase the NPS after a claim by another 5-10% among tech-savvy customers.
Overall, we believe that an enhanced claims experience on both digital and traditional channels is no longer an add-on service, but rather a core component of competitive strategy. If insurers manage to leverage technologies in order to eliminate the pain-points in claims journeys, they will benefit from a tremendous increase in trust, customer loyalty, and recommendation.