How insurers turn customer interaction into competitive advantage

  • October 23, 2023

In the dynamic landscape of the insurance industry, where customer satisfaction is critical, insurers are increasingly turning to innovative solutions to streamline their operations and enhance customer experiences. There's no better place to start this process than in the contact center. As the main touchpoint between customers and their insurance provider, every interaction is key.

Research has shown that frustrating user experiences can significantly contribute to customer attrition, highlighting the importance of focusing on this critical area. With customer acquisition in the insurance industry costing nine times more than customer retention, it's become imperative to prioritize service excellence and ensure the satisfaction of policyholders. This shift in focus is no longer a mere luxury but an absolute necessity.

The evolution of insurance customer interactions

Traditionally, customer-facing insurance processes were often complex, involving lengthy phone calls and in-person interactions, which often led to frustration among consumers. With the advancements in technology, communicating with your insurer has become significantly easier, offering a range of convenient touchpoints such as chatbots, email, IVR and more. Adding more communication options is great for the customer, but if your contact center platform hasn't been updated, it could still result in a disjointed experience for the customer and pose challenges for the CSRs trying to help them. NTT DATA’s contact center solution partners with Salesforce to help address this challenge by unifying communication channels, such as phone, email, chat and even social media, into a centralized platform. This integration makes sure customers can effortlessly switch between channels while receiving consistent and personalized support.

Empowering insurance CSRs for better customer experiences

The insurance industry is notorious for its demanding nature, with CSRs handling intricate queries and complex claims. This often results in CSR burnout and high turnover rates. A modern contact center alleviates these issues through various means.

  • Comprehensive customer insight: One of the most significant advantages of a more modern contact center is the consolidation of multiple systems into one place. Previously, a CSR needed to be trained on and use multiple systems daily, leading to inefficiencies. A contact center combines systems such as Policy Admin, Imaging, Knowledge, Phone systems and databases for tracking into a single platform. Our comprehensive view provides CSRs with a 360-degree understanding of the customer's history, including previous interactions, purchased policies and ongoing claims. Such rich information enables CSRs to offer more personalized assistance, anticipate customer needs and ultimately drive customer satisfaction.
  • Efficient query resolution: The integration of advanced technologies, such as AI-powered chatbots, assist CSRs in addressing routine queries quickly. This reduces the CSRs' burden, allowing them to focus on more specialized and intricate tasks, consequently improving their job satisfaction.
  • Continuous learning and improvement: A smarter contact center facilitates ongoing training and support for CSRs. AI-driven analytics identify areas where CSRs might need further training, enabling insurers to provide targeted upskilling. This not only enhances CSR expertise but also translates to more accurate information for customers.
  • Enhanced data journey: By building a content repository that features "next best recommended articles," you can assist your CSRs in navigating the complexities of customer inquiries. This feature guides them to relevant resources during calls, providing a smoother interaction and quicker issue resolution.

Benefits to customers

The benefits of our insurance contact center extend beyond the organization and directly impact the customers themselves.

  • Better customer experience: The consolidation of systems enables CSRs to access information faster and more efficiently. This translates to quicker query resolution and a smoother overall experience for the customer.
  • Multi-channel communication: Enable multiple channels of communication, including calls, emails and chat. These diverse communication options flow into the same platform, allowing for a seamless and consistent customer management process.
  • Enhanced digital channels: The integration of digital channels, such as chat, further enhances the customer experience. Customers can interact in their preferred medium, knowing that the support they receive is cohesive and informed across all channels.

Support your insurance organization

Improving your contact center offers several organizational benefits, creating a positive feedback loop that improves both CSR and customer experiences.

  • Faster onboarding: Decrease ramp-up time for new associates. With multiple systems combined into one, training becomes more efficient, enabling new employees to become productive faster.
  • Cost savings: The decrease in training time on multiple systems leads to reduced costs associated with employee ramp-up and training.
  • Customer satisfaction: Quicker service, whether through faster query resolution or enhanced digital offerings, leads to improved customer satisfaction.
  • Operational efficiency: Our contact center reduces the time CSRs spend navigating between different systems during a call, resulting in a decrease in the time they spend on each call.
  • Risk mitigation and privacy: The enhanced capabilities of our modern contact center include better fraud reporting and privacy features, enhancing overall security and risk mitigation efforts.
  • Escalation and compliance: Cases can be escalated through our contact center to the compliance team, making sure issues are resolved with the necessary expertise and oversight.
  • Hiring CSRs: Removes the need for learning (or having) idiosyncratic systems knowledge, making it simpler to hire CSRs.

The path forward: Prioritizing a modern contact center

As the insurance industry continues to embrace digital transformation, smarter contact centers emerge as a cornerstone of this evolution. By prioritizing CSR experiences and operational efficiency, insurers can effectively enhance customer experiences, fostering loyalty and positive word-of-mouth. The efficiency, personalization and empowerment facilitated by these centers pave the way for a future where the symbiotic relationship between improved CSR experiences and enhanced customer experiences underscores the central role of technology in shaping the future of the insurance industry.

With the potential of contact centers as a vital solution, the insurance industry is poised to reach new heights of customer satisfaction and operational excellence. The journey toward a more streamlined, customer-centric insurance experience begins with implementing the right insurance contact center.

Learn more about how you can embrace insurance transformation and elevate your customer interactions.

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Mercedes Concepcion-Gray

Mercedes is the head of growth and innovation for NTT DATA's Global Insurance Digital Platform (GIDP) in the Life and Annuity Industry. Mercedes has a wealth of consulting experience on the service provider and carrier sides and has received honors for her ability to work independently and with others to solve today's toughest business and technology challenges. Mercedes graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Systems Engineering from Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic. In addition, she holds a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell's Johnson Graduate program and an International MBA degree from Kennesaw State University.


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