People spend a significant portion of their day on their phones. They check it on average every 10 minutes for new text messages, emails, and app notifications. The number of texts sent in 2020 increased by 52 billion compared to 2019. COVID-19 is a significant factor in this surge. While people were already using their phones regularly, it became the primary method of keeping in touch with friends and family during the height of the pandemic. Younger generations are also driving the increase in text messaging, as many of them prefer texting over talking on the phone.
Insurance companies have a significant opportunity to improve the customer experience by embracing text message communications. Customers are already on their phones, and conversations flow smoother when insurers communicate with customers on their preferred platform. Here are several ways text messaging can improve the customer experience:
- Texting is inherently more personal than an email or phone call. The casual tone allows conversations to flow easily. Texting also offers rapid resolutions to customers’ problems without the hassle of navigating a phone tree.
- Customer service agents can’t carry on multiple phone calls at once without placing everyone on hold in turns. With texting, agents can quickly respond to several different text conversations without sacrificing the quality of service.
- A text message is faster than an email without monopolizing the customer’s time. When a customer has to call their insurance provider, they can’t accomplish much else. With texting, they can take care of other work or personal tasks in between messages. If the customer experiences a loss, they can receive answers to their urgent coverage questions without delay.
- Some customers don’t like talking on the phone. Between work and family obligations, some may not have the time required to resolve their problem over the phone. Offering multiple communication channels allows customers to choose the method they prefer.
A text message communication channel facilitates smooth, prompt, and efficient customer service conversations. If an insurance company wants to engage with its customer base, it needs to reach out to them on the channels they’re using. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our text and chat customer support services.
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.
The past several years have seen massive shifts in customer expectations, and the customer experience is more critical than ever. Recent reports underscore this fact, as three-quarters of customers list stellar service as a key factor in securing their loyalty. However, providing superior service in 2021 differs vastly from previous years.
Customer service expectations are always evolving, and companies need to know what their customers care about most. Here are the customer service trends defining 2021:
- Customer service is synonymous with the brand. In the wake of the pandemic, customers interact less with businesses in person. Most of their communication occurs online or over the phone, and call center agents are experiencing a massive uptick in support tickets. Online shopping is also driving this trend. Without face-to-face interactions, customers engage with a brand almost exclusively through its customer service representatives.
- Customers are reexamining companies’ values. The pandemic forced people indoors and gave them ample time to reflect on what matters most to them. Customers are extending this thought process to businesses and are taking a hard look at company values. Customers want to buy from companies that prioritize social responsibility, diversity, and empathy. It’s no longer enough to provide the fastest service or the greatest convenience. Companies need to prioritize these values to earn a customer’s business and loyalty.
- Transparency and data security. Half of a brand’s customers will leave after a bad experience, but it’s not always an unhelpful agent or issues with an order that drives them away. How a company collects customer data and what they do with it matters more to customers across the board. One survey found that 71% of customers would drop a brand if it disclosed their data to other entities with express permission. Companies must perform the sensitive balancing act of personalizing the customer experience without encroaching on their privacy. Transparency about data collection, use, and distribution is critical to earning a customer’s trust.
- A demand for messaging. Many customers contacted a business via message for the first time as the pandemic forced them indoors. Most of those individuals plan to continue messaging businesses. However, messaging is a broad term that encompasses many platforms, and customers want to engage on their preferred communication channel. Tickets across all messaging channels leaped in 2020, including text, live chat, social media, online forms, and email.
Companies need to engage with customers where they are, and this means adopting omnichannel communications. Your business risks losing its customer base if you’re lacking messaging channels like chat and live text. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our messaging solutions.
Movies and television depict artificial Intelligence (AI) in a variety of ways, most of them sensational. In real life, artificial intelligence is a little less thrilling and a little more practical. The implications and uses of AI can prove every bit as fascinating, but we’re not likely to see sentient machines conversing with us or trying to take over the world any time soon.
Instead, these intelligent machines are automating tedious tasks and improving efficiency across all industries. For insurance companies, this means improving claim management and automating time-consuming claim and FNOL processes.
AI and First Notice of Loss
Insurers can expect AI to affect every aspect of the claims process from first notice of loss (FNOL) to resolving the claim. Improvements to FNOL are of particular importance as it has the greatest effect on client satisfaction. The claims process is cumbersome and unwieldy to a client not familiar with the process. AI can help insurance agents streamline and expedite claims for faster settlements and happier clients.
How AI Improves Claims Efficiency
Several administrative tasks within the claims process consume much of an insurance agent’s time. AI can take over these responsibilities, allowing agents to focus on investigating, appraising, and mediating the claim. For example, if a client wishes to review the history of their claim, an AI chatbot can assist them while the agent continues to work the claim. AI can also recognize common red flags for fraudulent claims or unnecessary repairs. An adjuster will need to make a final review, but it saves the time and expense associated with a human performing the legwork of these tasks.
The primary benefit of AI is its ability to help insurers recruit and retain customers. It does so by improving claims proficiency and reducing labor expenses. If your insurance company is struggling to acquire or maintain its clients, Actec can help. To learn more about enhancing your claims process, contact us today.
Insurance companies rely on key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the effectiveness of their processes. Insurers can generate more value for the customer while reducing their expenses by focusing on the following foundational KPIs:
- Customer experience
- Claims efficiency
- Claims accuracy
The most direct means to boost these KPIs is by digitizing the claims process. Digital claims simplify the process for customers by allowing them to electronically initiate first notice of loss (FNOL), upload images, and receive updates about their claims. Digital processes are also more efficient than manual claims management, as they allow agents to process more claims in less time. Digital systems can identify errors and red flag potential problems as well, which helps avoid clerical delays.
It can be challenging for insurance providers to make the leap as technology is constantly evolving. However, the most successful digital transformations share several elements:
- Digitizing claims prevention efforts. Insurance companies have a trove of data available to them to identify customer trends. By issuing data-based safety notifications, insurance companies can provide simple tips to help customers avoid a loss. For example, if the weather forecasts a winter storm, insurance providers can send automated texts to their customers with tips for driving during winter weather. Reminding drivers to slow down, put chains on their tires, or stay home unless it’s necessary to go out can help prevent claims.
- Digital FNOL. Customers expect fast and simple solutions to all their problems, but their urgency increases exponentially following a loss. Providing a digital, easy-to-use option for FNOL gives customers agency over their claim while expediting the process. Implementing text or chat FNOL services provides customers with another channel of communication. This service allows them to obtain answers to common questions about their claim, which eliminates confusion and anxiety.
- Automating claims management processes. Automating fraud detection, progress updates, and other administrative processes drastically improves claims efficiency. Digital software can identify the type of claim, route it to an appropriate agent, check it for fraud, and more within minutes compared to the lengthy process of checking it all by hand.
- Electronic appraisals and repairs. For simple claims, customers can submit details and pictures that allow appraisers to assess the damage or loss. Insurers already have a list of their preferred repair shops. Digitizing the process can identify which provider is closest to the customer. They can even schedule the appointment electronically, so the customer doesn’t have to do any heavy lifting during the claim cycle.
- Automatic settlements. One of the biggest pain points for customers is when a repair vendor is out of sync with their insurer. They may have to pay for the expense out of pocket and seek reimbursement from their insurance provider. However, the insurer may have already sent the payment to the vendor, which worsens the customer’s confusion and frustration as they try to get their money back. Automating the process eliminates this bottleneck. Insurers can automate several types of settlements, such as paying for a repair service, replacing the damaged item, or offering a cash settlement.
Digitizing claims processes can generate value by boosting KPI performance. While every step of the claim should be custom-centric, FNOL is the single greatest opportunity insurers have to secure customer satisfaction. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how text and chat FNOL services can improve claims management.
Insurance companies don’t often have frequent communication with their clients until a claim arises. While most insureds are fine with this limited interaction, how their insurance providers handle claims is the single most meaningful and telling interaction they have. If an insurance company mishandles the claim or fails to bring it to a satisfactory resolution quickly, they run the risk of losing a customer.
What Claimants Want
High-quality claims processes have three things in common: they’re fast, they’re efficient, and they’re transparent. Customers are no longer willing to accept vague or murky answers regarding where their claim is in the process. They also expect an error-free claim to receive their settlement quickly. Delays, mistakes, or confusion all cause insureds to reconsider their insurance provider.
Better data and automation can help insurance providers streamline their claims processes. The following are some of the ways insurance providers can utilize data:
- Automatic first notice of loss (FNOL). First notice of loss occurs when the insured first reports the incident to their insurance provider. However, many vehicles come equipped with telematics that can detect accidents and injuries. While some vehicles will dial emergency services in the event of an accident, insurance providers can use this same technology to trigger a claim on the insured’s behalf. Vehicle sensors and video imagery can give insurance companies an idea of the extent of the damage to make sure the most relevant adjuster receives the claim.
- Drones and satellite imagery. Similar to using vehicle telematics to initiate FNOL for car accidents, insurance companies can pull data from drones and satellites following major storms to identify damage to the insured person’s property. When the customer calls to report the loss, their provider can already be several steps into the claim to expedite the process and improve the insured’s experience during a stressful time.
- Greater accuracy on repair timelines. When insureds file a claim for a vehicle loss or property damage, the first question on their minds is how long it will take to fix so they can resume their lives as usual. Insurers can pull from historical data to see how long certain repairs will take based on the type of damage or loss the insured reports.
- Reduce fraud. Fraudulent claims increase costs, which increase premiums for all customers. By harnessing data from social media, insurers can identify fraudulent claims. Utilizing AI can also red flag cases that score high for fraudulent behavior.
Most insured don’t think about their insurance provider until they need to make a claim. How smoothly and quickly that claim processes play a significant role in customer satisfaction and retention. If your claims processes are frustrating customers or costing your insurance company business, Actec can help. Contact us to learn more about improving claims management.
Monitoring the status of a claim is important to ensure it funnels through the correct channels without time-consuming errors, denials, and more. However, providers often report that monitoring a claim’s status is a heavy burden as it takes up considerable time. While one claim only requires around 14 minutes and costs an estimated $7.12, medical providers made 737 million claim status inquiries by phone, fax, or partial electronic means in 2018 alone.
The following are the biggest hurdles for providers, practices, and billing teams when it comes to claim status inquiries:
- Manual inquiries are costly and time consuming. Looking at the statistics above, manual claim inquiries cost billions of dollars and took up millions of work hours.
- Claim status inquiries don’t yield actionable results. Many claims follow their course as they should, which means providers waste their time following up on claims that aren’t at risk of denial.
- There are often limits to how many inquiries a provider can place on one call. This means providers must make multiple inquiries, taking up even more time.
- Lack of visibility makes prioritization difficult. Providers can’t intrinsically know which claims offer the highest yield, which can mean they give unnecessary time and attention to lower priority claims.
The simplest way to shorten the amount of time and money spent on claim status inquiries is to automate the process. Compared to manual and partially electronic claims, fully autonomous claim status inquiries cost $1.89 per claim and only take up around five minutes of the provider’s time. This means with 100% electronic claim status inquiries, the healthcare industry could save as much as $2.6 billion per year.
Improving the claims process from start to finish not only improves customer satisfaction, but it also helps save time and money for the provider while boosting transaction rates for the insurer. Insurance companies will receive more claims on a faster timeline, which translates to more cash flow. To learn more about improving the claims handling process, contact the experts at Actec.
The insurance industry has a harder time interacting with its customer base than many other fields. The only time an insured thinks of their provider is when they receive a bill, need to renew their policy, or have to file a claim. Otherwise, the insured is unlikely to give their insurance company much thought.
Insurance companies often have impersonal relationships with their clients, and this creates significant retention problems. Most insurance companies hover at around an 80% retention rate. This means after one year, 20% of their customers find a new insurer. Traditional communications between an insurance company and their customers don’t allow for interpersonal relationships. Most customers don’t feel a strong loyalty to their insurer like they do for retail-based businesses.
This means insurance companies need to find new and effective ways to cultivate customer loyalty. Some methods to increase customer engagement include:
- Data corroboration. Insurance companies gather a lot of data about their customers. They know their addresses, their phone numbers, their assets, their financial statuses, and more. However, most insurers aren’t doing anything with that information. The data exists in oversized, unusable spreadsheets or some other antiquated data aggregation system. What insurers need is software to cleanse the data to validate its authenticity, remove duplicates, etc.
- Utilize analytics. Organizing data in a way that makes sense is just the start. Insurance providers need to invest in software that helps them gain insights into the information. Analytics can help identify trends to help prevent turnover. For example, analytics may reveal common signs that a customer is considering changing providers. The insurer can then reach out to that customer through a newsletter, poll, or some other method of communication to determine what they can do to improve their satisfaction.
- Targeted communication. Insurers don’t need to limit their customer communications to renewals, bills, claims, and attempts to retain their business. Personalized communication is often an effective tool to keep customers engaged rather than out looking for a new provider. For example, insurance companies can send newsletters about budgeting to customers going through difficult financial periods. The key is to send data that is useful to the customers’ life situation.
Developing deeper, more meaningful relationships with customers improves their loyalty and increases revenue. To put it another way, it’s difficult to send a believable heartfelt message alongside a bill statement. To learn more about improving customer satisfaction and client retention, contact the experts at Actec.
First notice of loss (FNOL) represents the single greatest opportunity to improve a customer’s satisfaction with their insurer. However, when a customer initiates a claim, they are likely in an emotional state. Filing a claim after an accident, loss, or theft is stressful and customers have high expectations with diminished patience.
A customer’s experience matters for retention and recruitment purposes. If the customer has a negative experience, he or she may find a new insurer as well as tell his or her friends and family to avoid that insurance provider. In fact, customers are 60% more likely to talk about their bad experiences than their positive ones. Because of this, it behooves insurers to fine-tune their FNOL process to ensure their customers have the best claim outcome possible.
How Strong is Your FNOL Process?
The following questions can help insurers assess the strength of their FNOL process:
- Can customers start a claim through their smartphone? Technology has caused customer expectations to skyrocket, meaning they want to initiate a claim when they want, how they want, where they want. Customers want the ability to switch their methods of communication from phone conversations to digital interactions. This gives them the freedom to manage their claims from the palm of their hand.
- Do customers have several options for how to start a claim? Continuing with the above, customers like a variety of ways to contact their insurer about a new claim. Some prefer to speak to an insurance representative directly while others want to begin the process via digital methods. Forcing customers to initiate a claim in one specific way will frustrate them during an already stressful time.
- Can customers receive real-time updates on their claim? Customers don’t like to be left in the dark when it comes to their claim status. They want easy access to updates regarding their claim. This can allow them to stay up to date on verified documents as well as missing information notifications.
- Do employees have access to customer data? Allowing a customer to initiate claims from their smartphone is useless if employees don’t have access to that information. This requires customers to provide information multiple times, which frustrates them. If adjusters from various processes can’t connect to FNOL systems, they won’t have the data they need to progress the claim in a timely manner.
A poor FNOL process can cripple retention and recruitment efforts. Addressing the above points can help ensure a positive customer experience and continued customer loyalty. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how we can help you improve your FNOL process.
When customers call their insurance provider to make a claim or discuss an existing claim, the experience isn’t always smooth. After wending their way through a phone tree, customers often just want to speak to a knowledgeable person about their claim. Many of these interactions flow through a call center, which represents a prime opportunity to improve customer retention. The following are several ways to boost customers’ experiences with insurance claim call centers.
- Give representatives the tools and training they need. Customer service representatives (CSRs) need to feel confident that they can help any customer that calls. The best way to do this is a blend of quick thinking and expertise with systems and tools of the trade. Skimping on training or forcing representatives to work with outdated tools will yield average results at best, which isn’t a great start for improving customer satisfaction or retention rates.
- Foster a positive working environment. Unhappy customers need fast resolutions to keep them from searching for new providers. However, representatives often take the brunt of customers’ anger. Insurers need to make sure they’re taking care of their people as well as their customers. Keeping CSRs in good spirits is vital to processing claims without complaints or delays. Some ideas to boost the office mood include providing snacks in the cafeteria free of charge, raffling off free movie tickets, recognizing performance-based achievements, etc.
- Focus on soft skills. Most customers are hesitant to contact call centers because they don’t want to interact with a robotic CSR. Soft skills such as communication, adaptability, conflict resolution, and more are all vital to successful claims resolution. Call simulations or listening to recorded calls can help CSRs learn how to handle angry or upset customers without losing their cool or coming across as unfeeling.
Many insurers focus on closing cases as fast as possible, and they can sometimes lose sight of the customers on the other side of the claims. By investing in a quality claim reporting solution, insurers can spend less time on redundancies and focus their efforts on customer satisfaction, retention, and claims resolution instead. To learn more about claim reporting and outsourcing, contact the experts at Actec.