Why Your Business Needs Live Chat Support

Posted on

February 9th, 2021


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.

How Insurance Providers Use Texting to Add Value

Posted on

November 23rd, 2020


As technology advances, insurance providers need to pivot to keep up with shifting customer expectations. Insurers must remain relevant and innovative, as customer loyalty is a fickle thing in the insurance industry. A single bad customer service experience or technology frustration can nudge long-time customers to explore their options.

New Technology Needs

Providing superior service and support requires a modern, multi-pronged approach. For example, if the primary form of communicating with customers is email, the provider isn’t likely to see significant engagement. Even social media has its limits due to filters, oversaturation, and algorithms. While email and social media marketing are still relevant, text messaging has better potential for niche marketing.

Insurance providers that expand their communication channels to include texting can add value to their services, products, and more for their customers. The following are some of the ways insurance companies can use texting:

  1. Appointment reminders. The claims process is hectic and hard to understand for those outside of the industry. Policyholders are under an unusual degree of stress following a loss, and they may forget when the appraiser is supposed to arrive, where they’re supposed to take their vehicle, etc. With texting, insurance companies can send reminders to help insureds keep track of everything they need to know about their upcoming appointments. This eases stress, reduces missed appointments, and provides a personalized touch.
  2. Marketing analytics can provide lucrative insight into policyholders’ purchasing behavior. For instance, many insureds bundle their home and auto policies for a discount. The data may show this demographic often needs special coverage for valuable personal property. While homeowners’ insurance has some coverage for jewelry, it often has a cap that may not provide full coverage. Sending a text message about valuable personal property insurance to protect the loss or theft of an engagement ring can bring in more business than an email would likely achieve. Automating text messages to trigger based on new policies can deliver the information in a timely manner when the insured still has their policy information fresh in their minds.
  3. Claim updates. The claims process isn’t always clear to policyholders, which can leave them frustrated and uncertain. While a mobile app can provide this information as well, it’s better customer service to alert the policyholder that the update exists. If the customer knows their insurance company will keep them up to date, it eliminates the need to frequently check an app or make a phone call through a convoluted phone tree.
  4. Other important updates. Insurance companies can send out reminders and alerts to help customers avoid a lapse in coverage, to notify them of coverage gaps, or to inquire about irregularities in their policies (e.g., unusually high or low deductibles that can affect their finances).
  5. Save money. If a significant weather event is approaching, insurance companies can text helpful information to policyholders to mitigate damages and losses. They can also send out guidelines on what to do following a loss from a covered event to reduce the severity of the damage (e.g., how to prevent flood damage from worsening).

Text messaging can give insurance companies an edge over the competition by providing personalized service, superior support, and timely product recommendations. To learn more about the benefits of text and chat support for your insurance company, contact the experts at Actec.

How Will AI Change FNOL and Damage Detection?

Posted on

September 28th, 2020


When a person initiates a claim following a car accident, they trigger a series of events beginning with first notice of loss (FNOL). Prior to AI, FNOL intake required a lot of back and forth between the insured and their insurance provider. Determining the extent of the damage, if a vehicle was salvageable, and the estimated cost took time and could cause delays. Further complicating matters, the inspection process is tedious and a common source of contention for underwriters—does it really cost that much for the repair? Harnessing the power of AI expedites the process and removes doubt regarding the true cost.

Using AI for Damage Detection

When tooling a machine to detect damage, the AI must first learn what a fully functional vehicle and its parts look like as well as varying degrees and types of damage. It absorbs sets of data and uses that knowledge to compare images of the damaged car components to their unblemished counterparts. The goal is to teach the machine to grade dents and scratches based on severity. It can then compute the estimated cost to repair it.

Reducing Costs with AI

Another helpful, money-saving feature is that the AI can determine if a part is actually damaged or not. Surface scratches and dents may look severe, but a machine can examine the part from all angles and rely on the historical data it learned previously. It may report that the scuffs are cosmetic, meaning it doesn’t need replacing during the repair. This translates to cost savings for all parties involved.

The AI does all this through a process called computer vision. It imitates how human eyes work while surveilling the damaged vehicle. It can perform a vehicle inspection and determine the severity of the damage at remarkable speeds as well as produce a full report to provide to the insured. Faster turnaround, precise reporting, and reduced costs benefit both the insured and the insurance provider.

FNOL is the most significant factor that affects customer satisfaction during a claim. However, delays and doubts about damage reporting accuracy can erode insureds’ trust and faith in their insurance provider. AI can eliminate those issues while resolving claims on a faster timeline. To learn more about improving customer satisfaction and FNOL, contact the experts at Actec.

4 Ways Chat Support Builds Trust in the Insurance Sector

Posted on

August 10th, 2020


Today’s customers have a significantly different approach to purchasing insurance than customers a decade ago did. They’re more likely to shop around online and they expect superior customer service and products. They also place a premium on transparency, which has forced many insurance carriers to overhaul their processes to remain competitive.

One of the simplest methods insurance providers can take to build a positive rapport with their customers is to implement chat support. Having the ability to receive customer support through text or chat programs can provide the following benefits:

  1. Provide faster solutions. Customers who need help understanding their policy or a claim don’t have the patience to navigate a confusing website or phone tree. They need to find the answers to their questions quickly to gain peace of mind or resolve an unpleasant situation. Having access to chat support can provide timely information and superior service.
  2. Improves transparency. Many phone trees inform customers that the insurance provider records calls to improve customer service. However, it’s not often clear how those calls help the customer, particularly if they have to repeat themselves every time they call in about a claim. With a chat service, the insurance provider has a text log of the conversation. Providing customers with this exchange via email or their customer portal enhances transparency efforts and improves trust.
  3. Decreases average handling time. Chat support programs often allow customers and insurance representatives to upload images or screen share. This cuts down on confusion and can allow chat support to resolve a customer’s questions faster as visual aids are usually easier to understand than verbal instructions.
  4. Suggest relevant or complementary products. The average customer has a basic understanding of their insurance needs, but they may not be aware of risks and coverage gaps in their existing policies. Having chat support can allow insurance representatives to suggest different policies or additional coverage options based on the customer’s existing products and questions. For example, a customer may inquire if their renters’ policy covers jewelry loss due to a covered peril. While many policies do offer coverage for jewelry, it often caps at a certain dollar value. As a result, many insurance companies offer separate policies for valuable property such as engagement rings. These policies are usually inexpensive and providing customers with information can help them make informed decisions regarding their insurance.

Chat support is a rapid, effective means to assist customers as well as build better relationships with them. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about implementing chat support.

What Insurers Need to Know to Keep the Pace in the Next Digital Age

Posted on

June 3rd, 2019


The digitization of the claims process isn’t a new concept. Any insurer hoping to remain relevant knows they need to adapt and implement changes to keep up with customer expectations. Offering a mobile app is a good start, but transformative companies are revolutionizing the insurance landscape beyond this basic measure.

New insurers emerging from the FinTech sector harness the power of artificial intelligence alongside chatbots to eliminate brokers altogether. While this may seem like a radical business model, the processes of buying insurance and filing claims with these companies are simple and easy—a major lure to customers that are tired of confusing, frustrating traditional methods of filing a claim.

Implementing a Successful Digital Transformation

Insurance companies that want to keep pace with new-age providers need to address three areas to see the greatest results:

  1. Customer experience
  2. Efficiency
  3. Effectiveness

With happier customers, less expensive claims processes, and more accurate management of claims, insurers can guarantee their place in the industry. To achieve those goals, they will need to make the following changes:

  • Offer a digital method for first notice of loss (FNOL)
  • Automate claims management to expedite the claim
  • Accelerate loss assessments and repairs through digital means such as photos, videos, and geo-locators to find local repair facilities
  • Automate settlements to reduce customer frustration and unnecessary delays in receiving funds

Another way insurers can lean on technology is to try to prevent claims before they occur. Claims prevention is nothing new, but sending out useful information via digital means can help ensure the information reaches the customer in a timely manner. This also allows for active participation with customers through online portals and chats.

Before making any significant changes, insurers need to consider them from the customer’s perspective. If the change doesn’t offer a noticeable improvement on the front end, it won’t likely yield an increase in customer satisfaction. Insurers should focus their efforts on optimizing back-end processes to improve services for customers instead.

Technology has transformed the way insurance companies do business and what customers expect of their provider. Failing to keep pace with these things can lead to retention problems with existing customers as well as hinder acquisition efforts for new customers. To learn more about improving FNOL, claims management, and more, contact the experts at Actec.

Integrating Technology into Claims Management

Posted on

July 5th, 2017


aiInsurance companies have to balance several priorities while managing claims. They need to ensure the loss information is accurate, control costs, and keep customers happy. Thankfully, there are several new technologies designed to help insurance providers improve their performance.
Most claims involve a lot of back and forth between the person handing the claim and the individual filing it. Technology can help reduce the need for such frequent conversations as well as improve efficiency. This translates to cost savings as claims managers can resolve more claims in a shorter window.

Technologies for Improving Claims Processing

There are several new technological advancements for claims management. Some of these include:

  • Cognitive intelligence. Another term for this is machine learning. This technology allows computers to learn without the constraint of rules-based software. The computer collects data and learns from it. Such programming can reduce the legwork claims agents must perform, improve efficiency, and enhance customer service.
  • Digitization. Mobile apps and other electronic channels of communication improve customer satisfaction. Customers can start claims and provide pertinent information at any time. This simplifies and expedites the claim process.
  • Drones. Drone technology works best for property insurance claims. Drones provide an aerial view for adjusters. Adjusters can then provide more accurate damage assessments. This technology improves safety as well since adjusters no longer need to scale buildings in sometimes treacherous conditions.
  • Intelligence automation. Piggybacking off cognitive intelligence, this technology allows a machine to perform tasks based on the information it receives. Machines could manage first notice of loss intake, confirming coverage, assigning adjusters, and more.

The greatest benefit of incorporating technology into the claims process is an increase in productivity. These technologies allow insurance agents to resolve more claims much faster, which has the added bonus of improving customer satisfaction. To learn more about improving claims management and processing, contact the experts at Actec.

More Insurers Turn to AI for FNOL

Posted on

June 5th, 2017


aiMany industries make use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for basic customer service tasks. This frees up associates’ time to help customers with details that are more complex. This improves the customer’s experience and boost their loyalty. It is no surprise that AI is making headway in the insurance industry as well.
However, AI is not without its limitations. Issues such as imperfect speech recognition, incomplete historical data, and a general distrust of artificial intelligence programs prevent insurance companies from fully embracing the technology. For now, those companies that do use AI only do so for tasks their mobile apps or web portals can accomplish. For example, several insurers now make use of virtual assistants for their chat portals.

A Need for More Data

The largest hang up by far is a lack of claims data. AI programs cannot make informed decisions without historical information. Once companies have amassed enough data, AI can make decisions to speed up the claims process. For example, AI could handle first notice of loss (FNOL) and file the necessary information much faster than an agent can. This would allow insurance agents to skip to the next step in the claims process. The faster an insurance company resolves a claim, the happier their customers are.

Speech Barrier

The next problem halting a full AI integration is inadequacies in speech recognition. Speech recognition programs do not understand idioms or long, involved sentences. However, most individuals do not speak in a concise manner after an incident. Fortunately, technology is catching up to this; however, until it is fully functional, insurance companies will only trust AI to perform simple tasks.

Legacy Systems

The main goal of incorporating AI is to improve the customer’s experience by speeding up the claims process. The final obstacle to this is legacy systems. Many insurance companies rely on dated programs and technology to complete their claims process. Some tried retrofitting their data to work with newer technologies, but this provides limited functionality. Actec can help insurers overcome these issues by implementing in-house solutions to improve claims management. This includes complete FNOL tracking, escalating claims when necessary, call logging, and many other features. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more.

Is Your Claims Process Ready For Autonomous Vehicles?

Posted on

March 7th, 2017


greenhouse gas truckThe number of automated processes within any given vehicle continues to grow as technology progresses. Fully autonomous vehicles are on the horizon and insurance companies need to prepare themselves for this reality. Autonomous vehicles will change claims management to a significant degree. Some examples of these changes include:

  • Targets of claims and lawsuits
  • How adjusters allocate liability
  • An increase in product liability claims

With incidents involving traditionally operated vehicles, most claims and lawsuits target one or more drivers. By removing drivers from the equation, individuals will turn to the car and technology manufacturers. Technology may be insusceptible to distractions and alcohol, but it can wear down over time. Experts expect many autonomous vehicle lawsuits to focus on the potential for fatigued software to malfunction.
Meanwhile, insurers will need to consider how they will assign liability after a customer makes a claim. Another liability headache adjusters should expect is dealing with shared ownership of a vehicle. Autonomous vehicles come with a hefty price tag, so more than one individual may own and operate the vehicle. This adds an additional layer of complexity to allocating liability.

Expect More Product Liability Claims

Specialists are predicting a rise in product liability claims for one significant reason: money. Car manufacturers and software development companies have much deeper pockets than one individual does. This makes them a lucrative target. Engineers responsible for crash avoidance algorithms could also find themselves liable or pulled into lawsuits.
While autonomous vehicles pose certain difficulties for insurers, experts agree the technology will reduce accidents. Insurers may need fewer dedicated auto adjusters as a result, but they will need a proportionate increase in product liability adjusters. Regardless, insurance companies need to examine their current claims management process. To learn more about custom claims management solutions, contact the experts at Actec.

Technology a Critical Component in FNOL Solutions

Posted on

October 24th, 2016


shutterstock_229854826 1920x750First notice of loss plays a critical role in many organizations. The manner in which data is reported, transmitted, managed, stored, organized, and used will dramatically impact the efficacy of an FNOL operation and everything it touches. Whether in use by an insurance carrier, an airline, or other FNOL-dependent organizations, success has been redefined by the widespread implementation of technological advancement. What kinds of technology play such an important role?
Electronic Data Interchange – FROI, SROI and medical bills can be carefully reviewed before submission to avoid delays. This can improve customer service while decreasing costs and reducing error.
Adaptable, Cloud-Accessible Database Functionality – Keep data in the form most conducive to its users with unique, cloud-accessible implementations of data intake, organization, and management.
Multifold Communication – Leveraging modern communication tools like social media and texting to communicate reduces lag time in reporting and management while increasing customer and employee satisfaction.
High Fidelity VoIP – Increase bandwidth, record communications for further analysis, and decrease costs with internet-based telecommunications.
To learn more about first notice of loss and technology-based implementations, read our blog posts or contact us.

Using Metrics Data to Improve the Claims Process

Posted on

October 10th, 2016


shutterstock_251707783 smIntegrating your claims process with technology can provide a number of benefits. Your company can reap most of these benefits through the collection and analysis of data. Simply having the data is not enough, though. Claims management should use the data to improve operations, discover trends, and forecast future claims.

Data to Improve Operations

Metrics can locate areas that need improvement within your claims process. They can also show you where your claims process is performing at its best. You can leverage this information to implement practices that improve the areas where you are weakest. Relevant data include:

  • Open and close rates
  • Closing ratios
  • Age of claim (time it takes from receipt to move it forward in the claims process)
  • Workloads of employees

Data to Discover Trends

Discovering trends can help your company manage incoming claims. It allows you to take a more aggressive approach to managing certain types of claims based on trend data. It can also allow your company to make changes to reduce the frequency of certain types of claims.

Data for Predictive Modeling

Knowing trends is great, but predicting the outcome is better. While predictive models will never remove the needs for a claims expert, it can help assist and expedite the claims process. For example. Predictive tools can alert the claims representative of a potential fraudulent claim.
Data collection can help you streamline your claims process. To learn more about claims management and custom claims solutions, contact us.