What the future of digital claims looks like
What is driving your digital claims transformation program: COVID? Competetion? Or cost? Whatever the answer, we risk leaving the customer out of the equation in the rush to digitize and automate insurance processes.
This is the warning that resonates from a recent research report by IT analyst Forrester, which found that consumers do not trust digital ‘black box’ claims processes and much prefer talking to a human being. . You heard that right.
Throw technology to the problem
This has implications for insurers who have invested heavily in digitizing claims processes in order to lower the cost of call centers and replace manual processes with automated ones. This was the dominant advice to insurers of large consulting and technology companies who argued that further digitization leads to improved efficiency and better customer service.
It’s also food for thought for organizations that are quickly introducing piecemeal tech features to solve a problem, such as chatbots, online customer self-service, and photo apps, but from a technological standpoint. rather than human.
While these additional services can certainly improve the efficiency of the claims handling process, it is essential that you give your customer service agents, adjusters and claims managers what they need to provide the human touch.
Maybe it’s time to take a more user-centric approach, reinvent the customer journey, and find out what customers want.
Give a hand
While insurers have been busy adding self-service functionality for things like first notice of loss, adjustment process and payment, Forrester found that 56% of respondents prefer working with one person rather than using digital self-service tools.
Customers may very well file a claim online using self-service, immediately followed up with a phone call to confirm that the process worked. This undermines the value of digital enhancements, which aim to ease the load on complaints and contact center resources, says Forrester. And it also means that the features don’t necessarily save the business money, but double the points of contact with customers.
Even the most tech-savvy customers are calling to follow up. Mainly because they want someone to explain what’s going on behind the scenes regarding the insurer’s decision-making and process, said Ellen Carney, senior analyst at Forrester, who co-wrote the report.
The human touch
Seekers crave human contact, Forrester notes, and that should inspire rethinking.
This is not an argument against automating the claims process or AI features that speed up claims assessment, such as natural language document filtering and virtual assistants, or data analytics that improves risk, fraud and post-claims reviews.
However, the types of abilities that you may need to prioritize your investment in are those that empower your employees to be more effective in providing an empathetic experience and being more human. This may be where you gain efficiency, speed up your processes, and build trust and long-term profitable relationships.
A user-centric approach
The end-to-end complaints process is larger and more complex than the part the customer sees. This is one of the main reasons why customers choose to call the insurer as well as communicate online. However, it is not enough to streamline and automate these internal processes. Insurers need to take a user-centric approach and prioritize and identify areas that require investment.
The goal may be to bring greater transparency to opaque internal systems or to dramatically improve and humanize those elements of the complaints process that matter to the customer. You can then build the other parts of your departments around the IT response in a way that supports and improves the whole process.
For many insurers, the E2E process takes place across multiple systems, with no single point where they can add value to interactions with customers. Thus, to improve and free up staff to focus on the “golden moments” of the process, it will require significant investment in systems and processes in multiple areas.
There is an alternative, however, and that is to design the E2E process to be user-centric and align your business to respond quickly to changing customer needs.
1. Move fast, fix things
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos Talk about a day 1 philosophy that the organization should always have an entrepreneurial and start-up mindset. This allows him to make high quality, high speed decisions. It also offers the flexibility to avoid a single decision-making process and the ability to pivot quickly.
“You have to be good at recognizing and correcting bad decisions quickly. If you’re good at correcting the course, getting it wrong can be cheaper than you think, while being slow is definitely going to be expensive, ”Bezos advises.
2. Incorporate design thinking
A more human-centered, responsive and personalized approach might involve integrating Design Thinking from the start, where you start by empathizing with the user and researching their needs; then define their needs and problems, create ideas, prototype your solutions and finally try them out. This could mean the difference between presenting your customers with an opaque complaints system and a more interactive, transparent and customer-centric system.
3. Take an agile approach
It could also involve incorporating flexibility from the start of a technological change program. Defining a new process up front and then trying to integrate it into day-to-day operations rarely works, and customer needs are constantly changing. What works today may change in a year. Your approach needs to be able to respond to future changes, and for that you need an approach with nimble thinking at its heart. It is as much about a mindset and an approach as it is about development techniques and technologies.
Technology must always be a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. Let’s humanize the insurance claims process and bring the industry to a new level of customer focus.