Transforming Engagement Can Change The Insurance Industry

Alex Zukerman is Chief Strategy Officer at Sapiens, empowering insurers with digital software platforms, solutions and services.

There’s a reason why companies mold their business around their customers. Around 84% of consumers feel that the experience a company delivers—including value, personalization and transparency—is just as important as the goods and services it sells. Traditional insurers, however, tend to struggle with the customer experience (CX).

For decades, the insurance sector has engaged with policyholders the old-fashioned way—agent phone calls, snail mail and page after page of paperwork. In retrospect, the ingrained inner workings of the industry—a product of time—now stick out like a sore thumb, especially in this digital age.

With technologies advancing and consumer expectations rising, modern market forces are compelling the industry to compose a new symphony of engagement—where a company’s interactions foster strong B2C relationships, experiences and loyalty. In the realm of insurance, seamless communication between insurers, intermediaries and policyholders across multiple digital platforms and touchpoints is now the benchmark for robust engagement.

Beyond fixating on the “latest” technologies, insurers can transform their CX by facilitating a customer interface that enhances and diversifies engagement strategies. Old engagement habits die hard, but the rapidly evolving digital consumer landscape that now surrounds insurers necessitates a two-part reevaluation.

Step 1: Reinvent Distribution

Insurers’ first course of action should be to reconfigure distribution approaches to insurance offerings. The reality is that more and more consumers are leveraging mobile apps and websites to search for and access insurance content. Therefore, traditional insurers have an opportunity to meet customers on the digital channels they already use. This means adopting omnichannel approaches and embedded insurance models that meet customers in their preferred areas using their preferred methods at times that are most suitable.

The gradual integration of IoT technologies and AI products like generative AI, in addition to new proactive and tailored claims experiences, is also giving rise to new engagement touchpoints. As opposed to conventional web communication, AI-powered answer engines can play a crucial role in facilitating engagement between insurance carriers, distributors, third-party functions and end-consumers. They provide clarity in moments of confusion 24/7, offer guidance and insights regarding the protection gap, and help consumers make the most informed decisions possible. What sets these solutions apart is that all interactions are carried out in natural language. GenAI models eliminate the need to prep possible Q&As in advance, eliminating the need for customers to scour FAQ pages and allowing them to communicate as they would with a real person.

Carriers should consider these dynamics when refining risk assessment and underwriting strategies. Implementing measures such as automated onboarding, AI-based personalization recommendations, as well as seamless document analysis, summarization, comparison and processing not only helps to improve customer service and engagement but also enhances operational efficiency. When carefully implemented, these measures can foster significant improvements in the perceived value of insurance.

Step 2: Reassess Service And Support

The second step insurers must take to transform engagement is to depart from antiquated procedures and update how insurance offerings are serviced and supported such that they match modern policyholder preferences for tech-driven and user-friendly services. Generative AI, for instance, is setting new standards for customer interactions and is pushing insurers to adapt their engagement strategies accordingly.

This transformation is dependent on the successful execution of several key tasks. The first is providing self-sufficient offerings. These days, policyholders expect insurance products to provide a strong degree of self-sufficiency. In other words, customers should be able to find answers, troubleshoot and complete standard tasks on their own while avoiding the frustrations commonly associated with traditional modes of customer service—being put on hold, redirected and so on.

To that end, insurers must be empowered to leverage no-code tools that promote self-sufficiency. These tools give insurers the ability to tailor their suite of solutions and offerings such that they are seamlessly integrated with internal platforms and align with the wider mission of any given carrier. By engaging directly with relevant stakeholders, carriers help ensure seamless and efficient claims resolutions, thereby enhancing the overall customer experience and their brand.

Lastly, insurers need to leverage the technologies that support virtual claims. Conducting assessments remotely is faster and more convenient and effectively streamlines the entire claims process. It’s a win-win for policyholders and insurance agents alike.

Meet The Moment

The insurance industry has largely engaged with its customer base in one way for too long. Now, it needs to change its tune in order to harmonize with widespread digitalization and evolving consumer preferences. Refining customer engagement is the key.

Recalibrating approaches toward distribution and service models can offer traditional insurers and carriers a promising track to meet the expectations of their tech-savvy base and become trustworthy, reliable advisors for customers. Doing so can transform the greater insurance industry in a way that truly resonates with modern-day policyholders.

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