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March 28, 2018

Raising the Bar on User Experience

Summary:

Platforms with natural language processing and deep learning algorithms open the doors to the next generation of virtual assistants.

Photo Courtesy of Pexels

Industries all over the world have faced a digital renaissance. Companies like Amazon and Uber have grabbed the markets with amazing user interfaces (UI) and bespoke user experiences (UX), pushing them to the top of their game.

Now imagine a world where insurance is effortless, something that tirelessly works in the background while you enjoy your everyday life. A world where insurance is easy, but, most importantly, a world where insurance is not intimidating. How do we ensure that?

Insurance, say hello to Advanced User Experience!

Is Now the Right Time?

Until now, the actual user has not been given the required importance in digital strategy planning. But responsive design has flourished over the past few years, giving birth to a new era of device friendliness. The web, as a whole, has experienced a shift in consciousness. Online services have become easier to use, apps have become more intuitive to navigate and products have been even more delightful and engaging to interact with (because this isn’t an episode of “Black Mirror”).

While a visually attractive user interface might be important, customers would rather get the right information delivered to them at the right time and through the right channel – whether they are researching, purchasing or servicing. Some work has been done by many insurers on customer journeys and persona mapping, but the true marriage of big data, deep learning technologies and behavioral analytics for a “here and now” experience has not been successfully achieved by most.

The influence of the retail industry is on every user – customer, home office staff and the field force. Users expect a “data-driven,” “contextual” and “simple” experience at the right time, at the right place and through the right medium. Insurers are realizing that true digital transformation not only takes into account the end customer experience but also requires an inclusive strategy for talent attraction and retention.

See also: 4 Ways to Improve Agent Experience  

In most of the current environments, the field force often struggles to find the right data in CRM and other systems of record, let alone use it quickly and effortlessly. Meanwhile, insurers are burdened with business silos, disparate technologies, form-driven user interfaces and limited analytics that keep their user experience in the dark ages. Keeping the lights on still takes priority, time and resources, hindering insurers’ ability to strategize and optimally implement transformative technologies to support business growth and sustain their competitive edge. Therefore, the need for digital transformation driven by design thinking is at an all-time high!

Let the Transformation Begin!

According to Gartner, artificial intelligence will be a mainstream customer experience investment in the next couple of years. 47% of organizations will use chatbots for customer care, and 40% will deploy virtual assistants.

Basic chatbots are a thing of the past. Can they sense the user sentiment in real time? No. Are they smart enough to understand complex insurance and wealth management terms contextual to the user? No. Are they capable of interjecting a home office staff in the process when necessary, while keeping the customer engaged in conversation? No. Are they capable of understanding drop patterns and immediately engage retention strategies? No.

Conversational platforms with natural language processing and deep learning algorithms are opening the doors to the next generation of virtual assistants. Domain-trained chatbots (type, click or voice), with intrinsic abilities to analyze customer sentiments in real time while funneling intelligence about the customer’s holistic portfolio and suitability make way for the new age customer experience. This is current conversational technology at its best, because it’s intuitive and empathetic.

In the next three to five years, interactive and immersive technologies (mixed reality) embedded into business operations will be a disruptive norm. Other forms of virtual assistants such as robotic process automation (RPA) have proven to reduce operating costs, enabling key resources to focus on complex scenarios and providing a way to scale without additional cost. When implemented with the right supporting technologies, RPA exceeds expectations by accurately deciphering structured and unstructured information contextually.

Let advanced technologies do all the heavy lifting. The end result?

We find ourselves with insurance that’s less intimidating, and more accessible – as we steer to a brighter future. A future where filing a claim doesn’t take longer than a voice request or a single click and agents have deep insights to better manage and grow their books of business. A future where user experience is all about the finer details, where exploring the virtual canvas is the norm and where simple day-to-day experiences inspire, engage and excite users in new and unexplored ways.

See also: Why Customer Experience Is Key  

What Next?

It becomes important for us to stay ahead of this digital transformation wave, because staying put is no longer an option!

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About the Author

Laila Beane is chief marketing officer and head of consulting at Intellect SEEC. She is an insurtech evangelist and a highly accomplished leader with more than 20 years of experience.

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