Making Insurance More Human

"The goal is not to eliminate people from the process but rather to help clients feel that their specific needs are being met, no matter which channel they’re using."

One of the concepts discussed recently at Pegaworld 2016 is that customer sales and service can be made more “human” through digital tools and capabilities that provide improved context. Indeed, a paradox of technology.

But what makes an interaction more human? Empathy and understanding. Whether agents, call center reps, or claims adjusters, people have the ability to understand the context of an issue and help in a way that not only solves the client’s need but makes the client feel heard and supported.

With the drive to standardize processes over decades, the rollout of multiple systems, and the growth of IT silos, it’s become harder for representatives and employees to respond in a human manner and provide the best possible service. Add in outdated legacy systems, and, far from being empowered, these representatives are forced to find ways to work around existing systems.

So how do we improve? From what we’ve seen at Pegaworld, there are three distinct ways that insurers can take back interactions and make them more human while improving quality and decreasing processing expenses.

  • Context Through Analytics

    By leveraging information available on participants in any transaction – which includes both internal and external resources – insurers can use analytics to gauge the satisfaction and room for changing the dialogue with insureds, applicants, claimants, and brokers.

    Today, this type of analysis is done by agents, call center reps, and adjusters when they interact with clients and claimants. However, this on-the-spot analysis is only as good as the experience and the level of attention brought to the table by the person interacting with the client.

    With predictive and adaptive analytics, insurers can utilize this knowledge and best practices, enabling systems to guide users and make online recommendations as to what the “next best action” should be. This enable all users to start at a very high level of functionality and create systems that are more “human” in the response to the needs of the customer.

  • Consolidating Processing

    One of the major limitations that most agents, customer service reps, and adjusters face is the challenge of working across multiple back-end systems while simultaneously trying to interact with the end-client or claimant. They must split their attention listening to the client, looking for the right system, and capturing the right information.

    By installing a front office system that manages all of the interactions with the back office systems, insurers can insulate their front line people from having to deal with the complexity of the back office core systems. This frees up users to focus on what really matters to the insurer – the customer.

    Aegon's Pegaworld Session was a perfect example of this. Working across 17 different backend systems which made it very hard (and frustrating) for Aegon’s CSRs to provide excellent customer service. Leveraging Pega’s Customer Service for Insurance, they were able to provide CSRs with a single unified desktop that managed the data and workflow processes with the backend systems. The result was a huge increase to net promoter score, increased efficiency, and a higher level of employee satisfaction.

  • Automate Repetitive Processes

    With many insurers, the amount of redundant data entry and human-enabled system processes can be significant. So when users, especially customer-facing users, must do non-value-added tasks such as repetitive data entry, toggling between multiple systems, and manually launching processes, it reduces focus on the customer.

    This often results in the customer having to repeat information or wait while the representative completes redundant processes. We’ve all heard the “my system is slow today” excuse that many CSR’s offer to mask this frustrating work process.

    With robotics (both fully automated and human initiated), insurers can cut out this type of distracting processes and enable users to concentrate on the customer, creating a more human environment. With the recent acquisition of Openspan, Pega is bringing to market a combination of analytics, designed to pinpoint where processing can be improved along with market-leading robotics engines to automate processing in complex environments, quickly and successfully.

Empowering people

The goal is not to eliminate people from the process but rather to help clients feel that their specific needs are being met, no matter which channel they’re using. Representatives have the tools they need to be as effective as possible, supporting and extending their skills and enabling them to focus on the insurer’s most important asset – the customer. Finally, this approach lets insurers learn from their best people and take these best practices and use them within the company’s systems, improving the entire organization.

Today, leading insurers must continually improve their sales and service. With the right technology, they can help their sales and service representatives focus on the customer, making their service more human, more effective, and more efficient. It’s the paradox of technology.

If you happened to miss Pegaworld, I highly recommend reviewing the sessions recorded online: Pegaworld 2016.