Messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, are among the most downloaded categories since the Apple App Store launched over a decade ago. Today these applications have more than 3 billion active users and there is no sign that indicates that engagement and usage will stop growing. In fact, did you know that people spend more time on messaging apps than on social media?

This explains why in recent years the integration of chatbots in messaging apps has increased and why businesses are investing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to get closer to their customers and gain a competitive advantage. For those who are not familiar with chatbots, they are software programs that use AI to simulate conversations with human users. Put simply, the user types or asks something in a messaging application and the chatbot answers his query by providing relevant information or performing a task. This allows for economies of scale.

How to Improve the Customer Experience for Insurance Companies

Whether it’s finding the right plan, filing a claim, or just understanding how your benefits work, interacting with your insurance company can feel like a daunting task. Navigating complex websites and technical jargon can leave customers feeling confused and uncertain.

That’s why it’s in the best interest of insurance companies to make their customer experience as smooth and intuitive as possible. But what’s the best way to achieve that? Almost 80% of insurance executives believe AI will revolutionize the way they interact with their customers. And chatbots are one of the best forms of AI at your disposal.

Chatbots for customer support

How have customer expectations evolved in recent years?

In today’s world, tech giants like Amazon have led the pack in creating intuitive and responsive customer service systems. And while that’s great for Amazon’s customers, it’s also led to increased expectations for other brands and companies. Nowadays, if you’re not providing streamlined and flexible digital channels for your customers, you’re missing out on the potential for high customer satisfaction.

Fortunately, insurance companies are rising to the challenge. A recent report by J.D. Power found that insurance companies’ commitment to providing accessible online self-service tools through their websites and mobile apps has helped drive record-high customer satisfaction rates. Greater and easier access to information for your customers isn’t something you can sleep on anymore. In fact, it needs to be one of your prime focuses.

How does this affect insurance companies?

One obvious thing to consider is that, with customer satisfaction levels increasing across the board, it can be a challenge finding ways to develop new customer bases. In other words: If everyone’s happy with their current provider, how are you supposed to peel customers away and convince them to try your service?

One answer is data — and lots of it. Understanding customer pressure points and user friction is the first step in making your customer experience as smooth and painless as possible. There are plenty of old-fashioned ways of gathering that data, but chatbots offer a two-in-one solution. They’re designed to improve the customer experience in the first place. But at the same time that they’re helping your customers, they’re also collecting data on each interaction.

Key tips for and use cases leveraging chatbots for the insurance industry

  1. Make sure your chatbot responds to your users’ specific needs: people only complain about talking to robots when they are not able to help them. Make sure to clearly define the objectives of your chatbot so that you can provide personalized customer interaction. It’s important to identify the main issues or problems that your clients face in order to provide AI solutions.
  2. Analyze the questions and objections your potential clients may have when they consider hiring you: think of your chatbot as your most successful salesperson. Identify the objections your prospects may have regarding your services or insurance plan so that your chatbot can overcome these objections and provide the necessary information in order to close a sale or retain a customer.
  3. Create a comprehensive process and automate tasks: if you are looking for a chatbot that achieves results, it should not be separated from your organization's operational plan. The chatbot should be used as one more tool to meet your objectives.
  4. Start with the processes that provide the most value to your leads and customers. It’s important to perform tests in order to determine what your potential and current customers value the most. Do they want a quality after-sales service? Do they regularly need help filing claims? Do they need information or clarification regarding their coverage?
  5. Test and then make decisions: when talking about digital transformation and automation it is very common for companies to get lost in translation and start thinking about complex processes. We recommend starting with more simple processes, testing your chatbots’ performance via simulations, and then making decisions based on your results. When your results are satisfactory, you can take on more complex processes.
  6. Connect the chatbot to your customer management software. It’s important that the integration between your systems be seamless. Your platforms should be able to talk to each other and share information, otherwise, they will duplicate the work that needs to be done.
  7. Human supervision is required when building your chatbot for insurance:although some solutions provide preloaded options, at the beginning human supervision is necessary to fine-tune your chatbot and make sure it meets the objectives of your company.
  8. View this as an investment instead of a cost: this way of thinking will help reduce costs and friction with customers. Plus, in the long run, you will reap the benefits that come with leveraging AI.
  9. Choose a flexible platform: the platform you choose will determine the success of your bot and what it can achieve. Botpress’s open-source platform is the result of the collaboration of a community of hundreds of developers who constantly improve it and expand its capabilities.
  10. Humanize your chatbot: everyone likes to feel that there is someone on the other side. Companies should seek to humanize their chatbots so that they can mimic insurance agents.

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What are the benefits of a chatbot for insurance?

Chatbots powered by conversational AI are one of the most cutting-edge tools for companies that want to improve their customer experience. By interacting with hundreds of customers at once, they can reduce the workload on your support team by offering automated, 24/7 support. And by automating many time-consuming tasks, they can increase overall efficiency, cutting down on costs.

But chatbots also have plenty more to offer insurance companies. Here are some of the key benefits that can sometimes go overlooked:

Educate your customers on insurance

Instead of wading through pages of information searching for what they need, customers can ask simple or complex questions to your chatbot and receive helpful, relevant answers. You could also develop an onboarding experience through your chatbot, so that as soon as a customer signs up for a plan, a guided conversation walks them through its key features.

Faster claim processing and payment assistance

One of the leading reasons insurance companies are adopting AI solutions is to improve claim processing. It’s a common practice nowadays to be able to file a claim through a mobile app, but chatbots can expedite the process. Answering a series of questions can help customers autofill their claims, ensuring they’re filed quickly and correctly.

Lead profiling and conversion

Chatbots are also helpful for acquiring new customers. Chatbots can be used to introduce potential customers to the benefits of your service, while at the same time collecting data on what these potential customers are looking for. That’s vital information that can be used to further develop your chatbot, ultimately boosting your conversion rate.

Analysis and key insights

In addition to collecting valuable customer feedback, chatbots can also analyze their own interactions with customers to determine what’s working well and what could be improved. Chatbot analytics can offer useful insights to optimize your customers’ chatbot experience, revealing service problems and suggesting solutions.

The world is rapidly becoming more mobile, with nearly 70% of insurance customers now preferring to buy their policies through a mobile app. Finding the best ways to adapt to this trend and provide tailored, intuitive customer service should be on every insurance company’s docket. And one of the best ways to do that is with a chatbot powered by conversational AI. Learn more about the benefits here.

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