Blog/Customer Experience/The top 3 ways to improve your insurance customer experience

Startups might have the luxury of following the now infamous credo of “moving fast and breaking things,” but insurance companies do not. Their entire business is centered around stability and being the ones who are there if things go wrong, or when things break. 

In this increasingly digital world, however, insurers’ customers expect startup-level speed and flexibility from their insurance providers. Customers are used to being able to chat live on a website with a support representative, segue that conversation into a call, and follow up via automated survey to log how their experience was. 

But, the tools insurance companies have traditionally relied on to run their business either don’t offer those communication capabilities or require an extensive overhaul to support those offerings. 

What follows are the top three ways Airkit can help improve your customer experience. 

The state of CX in insurance 

According to IBM, “For many decades, insurance customers viewed insurance as a commodity product they had to purchase based on what was available. But over the past decade, the market has become saturated with more insurance products and different options, creating a more sophisticated buyer with a large range in needs and wants.” To meet these needs, insurers are being forced to expand digitally, provide services faster, and shift to a customer-centric mode of operating. 

This dilemma leaves insurance companies balancing two competing costs. On one hand, there’s the cost of reinventing their customer service infrastructure. On the other hand, there’s the cost of not reinventing their customer service infrastructure to rise to the level of excellence their customers expect. 

According to Forrester research in the past few years, the customer experience health insurers provide is among the lowest-ranked, placing 15th out of 19 industries, and in a recent IBM report, 42% of customers stated they do not fully trust their insurer. It’s clear that ignoring CX is not an option, but how can insurers improve customer satisfaction without scaling with headcount or breaking the bank? 

The answer is Airkit. Airkit is a Digital Customer Experience Automation platform designed to help insurance companies balance out both sides of the equation, delivering a cost-effective, seamless way to improve their customer experience and drive up CSAT.

Improving customer service using digital self-service tools

Digital self-service journeys are an essential part of improving insurance CX. They empower customers to complete forms or file requests on their own time, all without having to print out PDFs or wait until an insurance company’s contact center is open. 

For insurers, digital self-service journeys allow them to collect data in a more scalable way, without having to assign staff to manually enter data written down on paper forms. These processes also deflect traffic away from contact centers, cutting down on call center operational costs and customer hold times.

From modernizing customer service infrastructure to digitizing formerly analog processes like completing SOH forms and tying formerly siloed channels of communication together to deliver a more cohesive customer experience, Airkit can help insurance providers delight their customers at scale.

Airkit for the insurance industry 

Oliver Börner, Principal Business Solutions Manager for Global Customer Intelligence at SAS, estimates that over 90% of a traditional insurer’s customer communications are sales-focused while 1 in 10 is service-focused. 

There’s clearly an imbalance there that needs to be corrected. A customer’s journey continues far after they’ve purchased insurance. If anything, it’s defined by their experience using that insurance when they file claims, opt for a new plan, or expand their coverage. 

Here are three key areas where Airkit can help streamline that customer journey: 

  1. Digitizing customer onboarding and enrollment 

You need to be available at all hours to welcome new customers and ensure they’re properly onboarded. But, staffing a team of contact center agents around the clock might not be the most scalable approach to solving that problem. 

Airkit’s suite of digital onboarding and enrollment tools gives your customers the power to schedule meetings with sales staff on their own time with a few clicks on your website. After a customer books an appointment, you can send them appointment reminders via SMS or email. This not only increases your connect rates but it also saves you and your customers valuable time. 

  1. Policy origination with omnichannel service 

Make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you on any channel, from any device. When you eliminate the common barriers to reaching your company, like sifting through a phone tree or poring through pages of a website to find the right email contact, you’re more likely to increase form completion rates and boost CSAT. 

Airkit’s platform is omnichannel right out of the box. Simply integrate the channels you use today, as well as the backend services like Heap, Salesforce, or Zendesk that you rely on to log customer records, and you’re off to the races. 

  1. Automating the claims process 

When customers need help, they don’t want to wait. In the case of something like a car accident, or natural disaster that causes property damage, the faster a customer can start an FNOL claim, the more accurate the information they provide will be. 

Instead of waiting to be mailed forms to file, enable customers to start a claim using digital channels like a web-based FNOL form. If a customer dials into your contact center after-hours, you can give them the option to be texted a link to that web-based FNOL flow and start a claim right away. This cuts down on claim processing times and saves insurance agents from having to manually enter information mailed in on a paper FNOL form.

claim automation

How MetLife enhanced their customer experience

Using Airkit, leading insurance providers like MetLife are able to embrace a digital-first CX agenda. Here’s their story. 

In line with its commitment to continually enhance its products and services and simplify the application process, MetLife was looking for new ways to introduce additional online statement of health (SOH) options to employers to help individuals get considered for the coverage they needed for their families. 

To ensure MetLife was able to quickly develop and deploy new digitized SOH options, it conducted a request for proposal (RFP) process in May of 2020 and selected Airkit. Since implementation of the digitized SOH process in October 2020, MetLife has seen the following results in market:

  • Four out of five applicants were satisfied or highly satisfied with MetLife’s SOH experience.
  • The digitization also improved completion results, which were up to 50 percent higher than the previous paper SOH processes.
  • There was also a clear preference for the digital option among employees, with nearly 99 percent of SOH submissions completed online instead of paper. 

Overall, the implementation of the digital experience not only improved the customer experience but also helped MetLife work in an agile way that allows the insurer to iterate its solution based on customer feedback quickly and efficiently. The digital SOH solution is now being scaled to more partners and employers and for a broader range of SOH form variations.

Continuing to improve the insurance customer experience

MetLife is not alone in seeing great results by digitizing CX processes with Airkit. Insurers like Principal and other Fortune 500 brands are reducing cost to serve while simultaneously improving customer satisfaction. The switch to a digital-first CX strategy may seem daunting for companies the size and scale of the average insurance institution, but tools like Airkit make that first step towards better CX much easier. 

7 min read