Customer expectations from businesses, across industries, have changed significantly in the last few years. The insurance industry is no different. Earlier, customer engagement in life insurance entailed communicating with customers to remind them about premium payments and providing prompt claim settlements. But now, policy holders’ expectations have changed dramatically. Customers today are used to the seamless experience provided by the likes of Amazon and Starbucks, and expect a similar experience from their insurers. Insurers, in turn, are finding different ways to connect constantly with their customers, to build trust and deliver a differentiated experience that can elicit loyalty.
The entire life insurance business pivots around the customer. In such a customer-centric sector, building customer engagement solutions should be the prime focus of the life insurer. New-age technologies are becoming a major enabler for achieving this, helping insurers devise innovative customer engagement solutions. Let’s look at a few examples.
Increasing customer awareness through Augmented & Virtual Reality
An innovative customer engagement in Life Insurance is the application of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). AR/VR technologies have the potential to change the way life insurance services are promoted to prospective customers. A leading Canada-based company that offers retirement plans decided to revamp their process of customers choosing a convenient retirement benefit plan into a fun and exciting activity, using AR. They created a mobile AR app that provides video explanations of people’s retirement goals and plans when users choose specific options.
Ease of experience and non-invasive underwriting through Facial Analytics
Another innovation in customer engagement is the use of Facial Analytics. The advanced analytics technology leverages Big Data and image processing tools to analyze a person`s image for accurate decision making in life insurance – without the need for a medical examination. A prominent U.S.-based Science and Technology company has developed tools that claim to predict an individual’s life expectancy using the latter’s selfie. A leading American life insurer has partnered with this company and launched an easy and engaging way for prospect buyers to get a quote where they simply submit a selfie.
Personalized 24 x 7 support through voice bots
Another innovation is the use of voice bots that is quickly replacing the existing text-based chat bots. Soon, texting will become a memory of the distant past as voice bots provide human like emotional and personalized interaction experiences. Many voice-activated digital assistants are already available on desktop computers and browsers. A US insurance major has launched a mobile app with interactive voice assistant technology that can answer common insurance-related questions. ‘Kate’ is this virtual assistant who can converse with users through text or voice recognition.
Technology can only enable and complement human servicing, and can never replace the human element in customer engagement. However, we believe the early adoption of cutting-edge technologies by insurers to reimagine their customer engagement strategies will definitely help them boost customer loyalty and grow more profitably.