“Insurance is a very logical industry. It’s risk-based, analytical and built on detailed processes and procedures. But it’s important that that analytical mindset is complemented with an understanding of the customer’s emotional journey,” Feist said.
Cogito’s AI software analyzes phone conversations and provides real-time training and guidance for call center agents. The goal is to increase empathy and create stronger connections during these customer interactions. The technology company counts individual tax insurers such as Metlife among its clients.
How satisfied are customers with their insurers?
Insurers are under Pressure to improve customer experience. Tech giants like Amazon, Apple and Google have leveraged data analytics and sophisticated tools to set an incredibly high bar for customer experience.
The latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is posted Customer satisfaction for property and casualty insurance 78 out of 100 this year, unchanged from 2021. Only 77% of customers are satisfied with the speed of claim processing and completion. Call center satisfaction was 80%, compared to 88% satisfaction with the insurer’s mobile apps and 82% satisfaction with websites. A survey was conducted among 12,841 people.
A separate study by JD Power shows Overall customer satisfaction with insurers’ digital claims process has declined For the second year in a row. Confusing interfaces, infrequent updates and frustrating workflows force many customers to seek out an agent over the phone, the survey found.
It is clear that there is still room for growth in the industry in terms of pleasing customers. The multiple communication channels – digital, in-person or telephone – companies must juggle, further complicating the task.
For the party, AI technology is a powerful tool to improve insurance customer service. AI streamlines claims and underwriting processes, delivering faster results to customers. But the emotional journey should be central to a company’s strategy for increasing customer retention and loyalty.
“You can deploy technologies [to improve customer experience]. But the most important thing is to remember that insurance is a human business and emotional connection with customers is one of the most powerful levers for long-term business,” Feist said.
How can the insurance industry support the customer’s emotional journey?
Developing an emotional connection with customers is key for insurance companies to build long-term relationships and build a loyal base. One surefire way to do that is to empathize with customers when they seek support.
The telephone is one of the most direct channels for insurers to communicate with customers, which means showing empathy and emotional intelligence in these conversations is critical. But speaking to support or claims agents over the phone may not be the top priority for most people.
A survey conducted by OnePoll this year humorously illustrates the fear people associate with the customer service process. It asked 2,000 Americans what to do instead of calling customer support. 30 percent of respondents said they would like to do their taxes, 24% would shave their heads, and 22% would spend a night in jail.
“Customers should make phone calls with insurance companies. It’s not something they usually do,” Feist said. “To them, every interaction is a big deal, and often very emotional. So, a very bad experience can have lasting negative effects. But a positive experience and a strong emotional connection can retain customers and create opportunities for cross-selling and upselling when the initial service experience is positive.” .
Supporting the emotional journey of customers is both a challenge and an opportunity for the insurance industry. But the good news is that AI and other technologies are available to augment the human side of the process.
“We have technologies today that can support any type of customer communication medium,” Feist said. “There is a need to deploy technologies that ensure a consistent, positive experience for customers during these complex interactions.”