Advancing the hybrid workforce in the insurance industry
AI has been redefining how customers interact with insurance providers for some time. In 2017, in the UK and Ireland anticipated making moderate or extensive investments in deep learning, embedded AI solutions and machine learning over the next three years.
While licenced agents play a critical role in being able to legally perform certain functions, given the challenges that have upended many industries relying on insurance this year, it is fitting that many are looking to AI-powered digital employees and investing in cognitive solutions to upgrade and scale customer-facing processes.
Insurance is calling for a blended AI-human solution -a hybrid workforce. So, where can AI be implemented to transform processes and improve operational efficiency and customer service within insurance firms, and how does this affect how experts employed in the insurance sector operate?
Streamlining the customer journey
Insurance firms want to make the customer experience of their contact centres as seamless as possible. So, many have chosen to integrate AI at the beginning of the customer journey to help authenticate users and identify the intent of enquiries. For example, a digital employee can confirm routine information, such as asking “What is your name and policy number?” to get the customer in front of the right agent from the outset.
This again allows human agents to avoid repetitive, information-gathering tasks, in turn saving them time, and helping them improve incoming calls management. By automating straightforward enquiries, insurers can improve customer satisfaction rates by empowering them to get answers more quickly. In turn, employees can instead focus their time on higher-level interactions that are both more rewarding for the employee and beneficial for the business, such as building rapport or handling sensitive enquiries.
Augmenting employee experience
Digital employees can also support in augmenting the work of insurance professionals by acting as ‘whisper agents’. Working directly with customer agents, digital colleagues can screen calls and discreetly share instant, relevant information with them, hence the term.
This is key for ensuring all customer calls are personalised to reflect the customer’s previous experiences while remaining compliant with industry regulation. Having the relevant information to hand in turn makes the call more seamless for the customer, as employees do not have to spend time searching through databases, policy guidance or FAQ documents.
Hybrid Workforces are the future of insurance
The role of insurance agents is changing dramatically, and with it, so are customer expectations. We will see an increasing number of firms adopting a Hybrid Workforce model, in a bid to speed up processes and enhance the customer experience.
Digital employees, such as , whose programming can be personalised to match the specific company she works with, use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to automate common customer requirements at scale, while securing backend integrations with an organisation’s specific data management systems.
It will no longer be feasible for organisations to expect customers to wait in long phone queues to get the answer to a simple claim query. AI is causing significant changes and improvements to customer service across nearly all industries - and insurance is no exception.
This article was contributed by Stephen Harcup, Cognitive AI Director for Banking, Western Europe at Amelia, an IPsoft company