Conversational artificial intelligence enhances the customer experience and is key to agents remaining competitive in today's socially distanced world.
The insurance industry has seen more than its fair share of change, disruption and innovation over its 400+ year history. However, in recent years, customer expectations have changed drastically, requiring insurers to increase the pace of technological transformation—a necessary trend that has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To remain competitive in this rapidly evolving landscape, agents must use all the tools at their disposal, and this includes artificial intelligence-driven technologies.
With its machine learning and natural language processing capabilities, conversational AI chatbots and virtual assistants can revolutionize how agents engage customers, ultimately enhancing their customer experience. And in today's on-demand culture, this might soon be the only viable option for agents to attract customers moving forward. Here's why:
Improves Customer Experience
Advancements in technology over the last several decades have completely transformed consumer expectations in all industries, and insurance is no exception. It is now no longer enough for insurance agencies to provide speed and efficiency. Customers are demanding personalized digital experiences that meet their individual needs.
In fact, 70% of customers want businesses to tailor communications and services based on the information gained from their previous interactions in order to create a more frictionless, individualized experience, according to a recent Salesforce report.
Conversational AI can offer customers this desired experience, and some of its most attractive advantages include:
- Communicating on millennial-friendly channels that seamlessly integrate with the other parts of consumers' lives that are already taking place online.
- Offering round-the-clock service to answer customers' questions when it suits their schedules.
- Providing convenient and efficient ways to manage policies, putting the power in the customers' hands.
What's more, AI-driven technologies can offload repetitive, time-consuming tasks from insurance agents, giving them time to engage in meaningful conversations customers still expect. This is important because the insurance industry is among the industries with the lowest trust rating, right alongside banks and the government, according to a 2019 survey by Eptica. Delivering a better, more personalized customer experience with the help of AI can help insurers establish trust with their customers, thus deepening their relationship and customer loyalty overall.
Drives Qualified Leads
Drumming up quality leads has long been one of the biggest pain points for insurers. Nearly 51% of insurance agents said lead generation is their biggest challenge, according to Retirement Advisor's recent Advisor Survey. It is especially difficult for them to generate leads among the millennial segment, who now make up the biggest share of the market. This is where AI can help.
Cognitive technologies use data and predictive analysis to build personalized packages for consumers. Insurers can then price products based on every individual customer's lifestyles so they are only paying for what they want.
This level of personalization is especially helpful for generating leads among millennials because many don't have much experience purchasing insurance packages. In fact, the majority of millennials believe that they are not educated enough on insurance, with only 32% considering themselves “insurance-savvy," according to a Liberty Mutual and Safeco survey. Data-based AI can take a lot of the guesswork out of the process for giving millennials the information they need to feel more comfortable purchasing insurance.
Boosts Industry Image
The short-term benefits of conversational AI tools for insurance agencies are huge. But these tools also have the potential to completely reshape the insurance industry as a whole.
Right now, the insurance industry is at a crossroads. The public—millennials in particular—has a poor perception of insurance agencies. Millennials tend to shy away from purchasing insurance because they either don't know how to apply, feel navigating the insurance options is difficult, or don't feel informed enough.
AI makes every aspect of the insurance-buying process more efficient and easier to understand. Some of the ways it does this include:
- Digging into data trends in order to properly weigh claims and provide policies that don't over-charge or over-service customers.
- Making the claims process more efficient following an accident, helping customers receive their payouts quicker.
- Providing fraud detection and security to ease customers' misgivings.
There's a reason many other industries are already using artificial intelligence tools. From attracting and retaining next-generation customers to streamlining efficiencies to increase the customer experience, AI-driven technologies offer a bevy of advantages that will transform the insurance space as we know it. The opportunity is there—all you need to do is harness it.
Sonny Patel is the founder and CEO of Insurmi, the creator of Violet, a proprietary AI-based virtual assistant developed specifically for the insurance industry to enhance customer engagement and support business growth.