4 Ways Tech-Savvy Competitors are Disrupting the Insurance Industry

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June 14th, 2022

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Substantial upfront costs and underwriting knowledge insulated the insurance industry from disruptors for some time. However, startups shifted their focus to other areas of insurance, such as policy distribution, marketing, and merchandising. These companies worked hand-in-hand with established insurance carriers and are harnessing their newfound knowledge to alter the status quo in insurance. Examples of some of the biggest disruptions include:

  1. Flexible coverage. Disruptors offer their customers short-term coverage that can flex depending on their needs. For example, customers that don’t drive very often don’t need as much coverage as the average driver. However, they often overpay for standard policies that carry coverage they don’t need. Rising competitors offer by-the-mile coverage to insure individual trips and allow customers to see the cost of insuring each trip before they depart.
  2. Policy comparisons. Many customers struggle to compare coverage options between individual products. Comparing policies from one company against another is even more challenging, as they don’t always use the same language or formatting. Comparison websites equipped customers with a powerful tool to easily compare policies and quickly identify the least expensive providers.
  3. Connected devices. Customers expect personalized experiences from their insurance providers, and connected devices neatly meet that necessity. Sensors can detect and alert homeowners of water leaks and fires to prevent large-scale damage. Satellite imagery can monitor the home for changes and identify suspicious activities to prevent break-ins and thefts. The companies also offer their customers discounts for preventing costly claims.
  4. Digital experiences from start to finish. Few customers enjoy the idea of communicating with their insurance provider. Many dread the long wait times, multiple transfers, and protracted claims cycle that plague low-tech insurance carriers. Disruptors are digitizing the entire customer lifecycle, from researching and purchasing insurance products to initiating and resolving claims. Some examples include providing simple coverage comparisons, rapid policy quotes, multiple payment methods to suit customers’ comfort levels, and omnichannel communication.

Regardless of how an insurance provider chooses to address the challenges of emerging innovators, solid communication is the cornerstone for success. Contact Actec to learn more about implementing new communication channels for FNOL to improve the customer experience.

4 Things Customers Expect from the Insurance Claims Experience

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May 10th, 2022

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FNOL SolutionsCustomer expectations are constantly evolving in complexity. In the past, insurance companies only had to compete against each other. Now, customers compare providers based on all their digital service experiences. They want the personalization they experience with Amazon combined with the unparalleled customer service of Zappos. They want self-service options, rapid resolutions for their problems, and knowledgeable agents.

Today’s customers have high expectations, and falling short may mean losing their business. Here are a few strategies insurance providers can implement to improve the customer’s insurance claim experience:

  1. Use electronic forms. Electronic forms reduce the frustration and delays caused by human errors. For example, digital forms can guide customers through claims paperwork to ensure they fill and sign everything required. Eliminating human error expedites repairs, payouts, and more for a much more efficient claim cycle.
  2. Personalize product offerings. Customers have a general idea of the insurance coverage they need, but they may not be aware of coverage exclusions or gaps in their policies. Insurance providers can add value to their services and improve the customer experience by including recommended products tailored to the customer’s existing policies. For example, if a customer lists their occupation as a driver for food delivery services, they likely need special coverage for their vehicle. Customers may not be aware that many personal auto policies don’t cover the business use of the vehicle.
  3. Engage more often. Many customers only hear from their insurance provider when it’s time to renew their policy. Such limited interactions fail to build meaningful relationships, and insurance providers are missing out on valuable customer insight. Insurance providers can conduct surveys, create content customers value (e.g., tips to reduce insurance premiums, common coverage gaps, dispelling insurance myths, etc.), and engage with customers on social media.
  4. Implement omnichannel communication. Customers use a variety of communication channels daily, and many have clear preferences. Some may prefer a traditional phone call or email, while others may prefer the casual nature of texting or messaging over social media. Offering text communication is also important, as there may be times when customers need answers straightaway. Providing a multitude of communication options allows customers to engage on their preferred platform.

Omnichannel communication is an important component of elevating the customer experience and digitally transforming the insurance industry. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how text and chat services can improve your customers’ claims experiences.

4 Best Practices for Onboarding New FNOL Customers

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March 15th, 2022

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Which insurance provider a customer selects depends on several factors. The value of the product and the service quality customers receive are significant factors in their overall satisfaction. However, insurance providers have a significant opportunity to secure a new customer’s loyalty immediately after establishing their account.

The onboarding experience can help customers feel welcomed while showcasing the value of their insurance packages. The following new customer onboarding procedures can boost customer retention and satisfaction:

  1. Offer simple tutorials. Logging into a web portal or mobile app for the first time can be overwhelming for new customers. Several tabs and content features compete for their attention and may leave them feeling confused. Including a tutorial can help new customers learn to navigate their products and services without frustration or confusion.
  2. Include an onboarding checklist. Customers may not be able to unlock the full potential of their portals without completing certain onboarding tasks. Including an automated checklist that updates as they complete these tasks can ensure the best experience possible. Automating these tasks can expedite the process as well.
  3. Provide a self-service area. Many of today’s customers are tech-savvy. They want to find the answers to their simple questions without placing a call or submitting a ticket. Offering help documentation and online answers to frequently asked questions empowers customers and allows them to find solutions quickly.
  4. Offer multiple communication channels. Customers want a personalized experience, which includes communicating on their terms. Some individuals prefer to speak to a customer service representative, while others want a chat option. Implementing several communication channels allows customers to use their preferred method to engage with their insurance provider.

Implementing text and chat services provides flexibility for customers, particularly when establishing first notice of loss (FNOL). Customers reporting a loss are often under immense stress. Having the option to text or chat with their insurance provider removes the frustration of waiting on hold or reporting a loss through a web portal. Text and chat services for FNOL meet customer needs during stressful events. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our text and chat services.

5 Ways to Provide Service Above and Beyond Customer Expectations

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February 8th, 2022

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Today’s customers are more empowered and want more involvement when engaging with their service providers. Many prefer self-service options and want to find answers to their questions on their own. As a result, they have elevated expectations when they reach out to their insurance company for assistance. They’ve likely already tried to resolve the issue, and they don’t want a quick fix. Customers expect representatives to be knowledgeable and go the extra mile to resolve their complex problems.

Customer loyalty is fickle in the insurance industry, and a single negative interaction is enough to send them looking for a new provider. However, lackluster service isn’t likely to stimulate customer loyalty. The following are several ways to provide stellar customer service in a hyper-competitive environment:

  1. Engage with social media. Customers are more connected than ever and having a social media presence is a must. However, social media pages are ripe for gathering data and enhancing customer service. For example, companies can follow customers back to see what they’re talking about and gain insight into their customer base. Insurers should respond to all comments as well—the good and the bad—to build trust and show the customers that their provider cares about them. Social media also helps gather unfiltered customer feedback, which insurance companies can use to improve the customer experience.
  2. Seek feedback through multiple channels. Not all customers engage with companies in the same way. Some prefer to complete surveys through email, text, or phone, while others prefer to leave reviews online. Social media is another great way to gather feedback through interactive polls. Essentially, companies should seek feedback where their customers are congregating. They are much more likely to yield useful information for improving customer service.
  3. Respond quickly. Even if there is no immediate answer to a customer’s problem, insurance providers need to let their customers know they are working on a solution. Companies that reply quickly are way ahead in the customer service race than companies that leave their customers wondering if their insurer received their message.
  4. Surprise customers with thoughtful gestures. Monitoring social media channels is a great way to identify features customers want. Sending a tweet to a customer about a new service offering made based on their suggestion humanizes the organization and shows the company cares about their customers’ opinions. Gestures don’t have to be grand to have a positive effect, either. For example, insurance providers can send customers a gift card with a thoughtful message after experiencing a covered loss. Small gestures like this show the customer their insurance provider cares about the difficulties they’re facing during a stressful claims process.
  5. Use technology the right way. Trying to shoehorn a customer into an awkward technology funnel will fail to meet expectations every time. Technology should help customer service representatives provide the best possible service while meeting customers’ needs when and how they require it.

Implementing text and chat first notice of loss (FNOL) support is a great way to expedite the claims process and provide customers with a sense of agency during a stressful event. Customers can report accidents or other covered perils through their preferred communication channel, receive updates regarding their claims, or find answers to their coverage questions. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about the benefits of text and chat FNOL services.

Improving FNOL Processes with Technology Changes

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February 1st, 2022

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First notice of loss (FNOL) represents the single greatest opportunity insurance adjusters have to set the tone for customersatisfaction. If any missteps occur, it’s incredibly difficult to turn the customer’s opinion around after the fact. Streamlining the FNOL process is vital to ensuring a positive start to the claim, but implementing effective change can be a challenge. Insurers may not know where in the process the bottleneck occurs, but technology can help illuminate and resolve those issues.

Automating for Intelligent Claims Routing

Some of the issues with FNOL can occur dependent upon which adjuster receives the claim. While insurers take steps to ensure the claim goes to a qualified adjuster, it can be hard to know upfront who is best for the job. Fields of experience, workloads, and years on the job all affect which adjuster is best for the claim. An insurer may think that a seasoned adjuster is best for a complex claim, but this isn’t always the case if that adjuster is already overloaded with work or doesn’t have experience in that type of claim.

Most insurers don’t have the time to dig down into the nitty-gritty details, which often results in changing adjusters as the claim progresses. This irritates customers because they have to repeat their story, re-send documentation, and other redundancies that hurt their overall experience and confidence in their insurer.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can prevent these repetitive tasks. AI can compare adjusters’ locations, availability, areas of expertise, and licenses to pinpoint the best adjuster for the claim without slowing down the claims process. Automating the claims assignment process saves managers time and reduces aggravations on the back end and front end alike.

Identifying key areas of slowdowns in the claims process can help expedite incoming claims, improve customer satisfaction, and boost an insurance company’s bottom line. The experts at Actec understand the frustrations insurers face when trying to overhaul their claims process. Contact us to learn how we can help streamline FNOL as well as improve your claims processes with our custom claims intake solutions.

How to Transform the Customer Experience with Technology

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November 9th, 2021

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The insurance industry has made significant strides toward improving the customer experience in recent years. Many have updated customer documents to reduce industry jargon and increased engagement with their customer base. While these are promising first steps, insurance companies need to harness new technology to deliver the experience their customers want. Some examples include:

Show Customers the Value of Data Sharing

Today’s customers expect services tailored to their needs, but meeting that expectation relies on having accurate data. Insurers that collect customer information during every interaction can provide personalized policies and other product recommendations that align with their customers’ lifestyles, risk profiles, and more. Encouraging customers to share these details also gives insurers an opportunity to demonstrate their transparency by explaining how they use that information.

Implement AI at Every Stage of the Customer’s Journey

Insurance providers have started dabbling in AI integrations. Some use AI chatbots to provide answers to customers’ simple questions regarding their coverage or claims. Insurers also use AI to automate certain aspects of the claims process, while others use the technology to detect fraud. Applying AI technology to all customer interactions expedites claims processing, resolves customer questions quickly, and provides an overall better experience.

Offer Omnichannel Communication

Customers hate waiting on hold, waiting for email responses, and waiting for claims updates. In short, they hate waiting, and it erodes their satisfaction and loyalty. Offering omnichannel communication allows customers to engage with their insurance provider when and how they prefer. Insurers should aim to expand upon the typical communication channels like phone and email to include social media, text, and chat.

Customers expect a personalized experience when they interact with their insurance provider. They also want convenience and rapid solutions to their problems. Text and chat communication offers insurance providers a chance to use a more personal communication method to improve the customer’s experience and exceed their expectations. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about implementing chat and text communication.

How to Maximize the Digital Customer Experience

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July 27th, 2021

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The pandemic forced companies to change how they do business as stay-at-home orders limited how they could interact with customers. As people adjusted to working from home and shopping online, their expectations for digital interactions evolved. Customers aren’t as forgiving of clunky digital experiences, and companies need to keep up with the latest trends. Here are a few pivotal elements companies can implement to enhance the digital customer’s experience:

  1. Business conduct matters. People are no longer content to purchase products and services without knowing how they’re rendered. If a business claims to be eco-friendly, it needs to show proof. Showing customers how the company produces its goods and services establishes a positive character and culture. Gaining customers’ trust goes a long way toward earning their business.
  2. Measurable differentiation. Companies often boast that they’re innovators in their field, but the words fall flat without proof. With a flood of competition, companies need to work harder than ever to show how they are different and why a customer should choose them. Companies can do this by investing in causes that align with their values or producing unique solutions for customer’s pain points. Telling customers how the company is different is easy, but showing it will be critical to securing customer loyalty.
  3. Chat programs. Offering chat services isn’t new, but customers’ expectations of it have changed. Customers want rapid solutions. They don’t want to sit and wait much as they would on a phone call. Chatbots can provide immediate answers based on the customers’ inquiries, which eliminates a previously frustrating experience.
  4. Omnichannel communication. Customers want the option to connect with a company through a variety of channels. Some prefer traditional phone calls, while others want to use a contact form. Customers want modern options as well, including chat, text, and social media interactions. Companies need to be available when and where their customers need them, which means expanding the available communication channels.

The digital customer experience has become more nuanced in the wake of the pandemic. Companies need to be able to pivot and keep up with customer preferences and trends. Investing in a chat and text program can help bring your company in line with customer expectations. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our chat and text solutions.

4 Ways Technology Improves Customer Loyalty

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May 11th, 2021

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An insurance company’s reputation relies heavily on the quality of its customer service. Customer loyalty is harder than ever to retain because of the sheer volume of options available to customers. A single bad experience can cause a repeat customer to give their business to a competitor. The onus is on businesses to remain competitive through first notice of loss (FNOL) and other interactions, and many are turning to technology to meet rising customer expectations.

Technology can improve the customer experience in the following ways:

  1. Mobile self-service features. Sometimes, customers want to find the answers to their questions themselves. They don’t want to wait on hold or for a representative to look up information they can find on their own. Businesses can meet this need by implementing automated chat or text programs. Customers can then use self-service technology to resolve their simple questions without delay.
  2. Faster response time. When customers a covered loss, they want it resolved as soon as possible. They don’t want to leave a message or wait for their insurer to respond to their email. The customer threshold for frustration is low, and every minute they spend waiting fuels their dissatisfaction. Text and chat services open a channel of communication that guarantees a rapid response.
  3. Greater convenience. Part of providing stellar customer service is how convenient the process is for the customer. If the customer sat on hold after navigating a convoluted phone tree, the representative who eventually fields the call is starting at a disadvantage. Providing multiple channels of communication allows customers to engage with the company on their preferred terms.
  4. Holistic communication. More channels of communication create more opportunities for misunderstandings without technology. Text and chat software allows businesses to deliver the same quality of messaging regardless of how the customer contacts them. Electronic records also provide customer service representatives with historical data to offer faster, personalized assistance.

Technology is a limiting factor for the quality of service an insurance company can provide. Without the proper tools, customer service will fall short of customer expectations. Implementing text and chat technology can eliminate customer pain points while quickly resolving their most pressing concerns. Contact Actec to learn more about improving customer loyalty with our text and chat support solutions.

5 Biggest Trends Transforming Call Centers

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March 23rd, 2021

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Most insurance companies that utilize call centers view it as the cost of doing business, but new trends are changing this perception. Modern call centers can do much more than provide a necessary service. They can engage with their customers in new ways to improve customer satisfaction. With customer expectations higher than ever, insurance providers need their call centers to deliver where it matters most.

The following call center trends are driving value and revenue:

  1. Prioritizing the customer experience. The customer’s experience affects their satisfaction with their provider, likelihood to purchase future products, and their continuing loyalty. While obtaining new business is important, retaining existing customers has a much greater effect on revenue.
  2. Making data-driven decisions. Insurers will struggle to improve customer satisfaction if they don’t know their pain points. Call centers gather a plethora of data that can help insurance providers identify customer preferences and trends. They can then harness that data to provide in-demand products, mitigate recurring problems, and tailor marketing efforts to meet customer expectations and desires.
  3. Personalizing every interaction. Customers expect call center employees to know who they are, what their existing coverage and policies are, and have access to previous calls they’ve made. Legacy systems can’t deliver this kind of experience, which forces the customer to repeat themselves every time they call. Without personalization, customers feel like a file number and that their insurer doesn’t care about them.
  4. Implementing omnichannel communication. Customers expect offline and digital options to communicate with their insurer. This goes beyond web portals or email. Today’s average customer is well-versed in technology, and they expect their insurance provider to keep pace. Insurance providers need a call center that can deliver exceptional service across all channels, including chat support, social media, and text.
  5. Bringing call centers closer to home. Offshore call centers appeal to many insurance companies because they’re comparatively inexpensive, and they can offer customer service around the clock. However, many insurers are realizing offshore call centers have hidden costs. Customers across the board have voiced complaints about the poor quality of service, as well as raised concerns about data security. Bringing call centers closer to home allows insurers to vet that new agents have the right skill set and experience for the job.

Meeting customer expectations is critical to retaining their business. Communicating with them when and how they want to, as well as providing superior service, can help achieve that goal. To learn more about enhancing your communication and call center services, contact the experts at Actec.

Why Your Business Needs Live Chat Support

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February 9th, 2021

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Businesses connect with their customers through several channels. They interact with them through phone calls, emails, and social media. However, adding chat and text support to the list can reap significant rewards. Providing top-notch customer service is also critical to compete with other organizations. The top benefits of live chat and text support include:

  1. More conversions. Most organizations are in the business of selling something, whether it’s goods, products, or services. The transaction often begins online as eCommerce continues to grow in popularity. Unlike a brick-and-mortar store, however, there is no sales associate or help desk to assist the customer. Chat support helps bridge this gap to improve the customer’s experience and facilitate a purchase.
  2. Better user experience. Nothing is more aggravating for a customer than calling a company, navigating a complex phone tree, and repeating their inquiry multiple times until they connect with the right department or agent. Chat support software can store historical data about previous inquiries to reduce repetition for the customer.
  3. Convenience for the customer. Calling customer support, messaging a social media page, or sending an email all have one common pain point for the customer: time. For example, when a customer urgently needs an answer about their insurance policy, waiting on hold can be agonizing. Live chat can provide immediate answers with minimal wait times.
  4. Advantage over the competition. Beyond the better customer service element, chat support can help companies obtain new business. If a customer is comparing two products from competing vendors, the company that offers chat support to answer their questions is more likely to earn the customer’s business.
  5. Motivates agents. Customer service representatives deal with stressed, upset, and irate customers on a regular basis. Fielding these calls can take a toll on agents and erode their drive. Writing messages over chat or text, however, is much less fatiguing as agents don’t have to absorb the customers’ moods.

Chat support can improve customer service, employee engagements, and profits. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our chat and text support services.