Melanie Hoppen |

Chatbots in customer communication


Today, many insurance customers are looking for new ways to interact digitally with their insurance companies. This is especially true in the case of the "digital" generation, the so-called Millennials, want companies to offer easy and quick communication via digital channels. They find it annoying to follow lengthy telephone prompts before they finally reach a customer service employee who can answer their questions. Instead, they increasingly prefer a form of communication that includes live chats or messenger services. A well-designed chatbot can help insurance companies to provide a more personalized experience for their customers. Chatbots can efficiently handle millions of one-to-one conversations with their customers while building a bridge between insurance companies and consumers.

What are chatbots?

Chatbots are programs that are controlled by artificial intelligence (AI). They use natural language processing to reflect human conversations. These features make insurance customers feel like they're interacting with a real person who is smart enough to answer their questions about insurance. Chatbots do this so well that people often no longer recognize whether they're talking to a human or a robot.

But what happens if a bot is unable to handle a request? A customer service employee takes over the conversation exactly where the bot stopped. This is now so effective that the customer doesn't even notice. While a chatbot cannot handle all customer requests, it can be used for standard requests, which typically make up the majority of customer service requests.

 Small robot figures
Chatbots improve customer experience

Chatbots are fast and efficient, and customers can interact with them the way they prefer to communicate – via the mobile device they carry in their pocket. And unlike people, chatbots can help more than one customer at a time and are available around the clock. A well-designed chatbot with a personality that conveys the image of the brand can therefore enable insurance companies to significantly improve customer experience by providing an easy way for users to get the information they need.


Chatbots are replacing apps

According to the market research company Gartner, 20 percent of all companies will discontinue their mobile apps by 2019. In contrast, Gartner predicts that by 2020, AI bots will handle 85 percent of all customer service interactions. For many insurance companies, the use of apps already represents a huge leap forward in the direction of digital customer communication. But many users are tired of downloading and installing so many apps and dealing with the different user interfaces. It is now estimated that out of 10 apps downloaded by consumers, seven are uninstalled after only two weeks without ever being used. This is the main reason why insurance companies should choose to develop chatbots, because they allow users to interact with services without having to download and install an app and get used to a new interface. Another advantage over using apps is that chatbots are much easier to implement. There is a wide range of templates, simple tools and ready-to-use software available. The providers of messaging services such as Google, Facebook or Microsoft also offer support for chatbots. A chatbot facilitates communication and enables insurance companies to organize sales, claims and customer service directly through a messaging application that supports millions of regular users and billions of messages every day.


Chatbots use existing data

Insurance companies are sitting on a wealth of data – the basis of successfully applied artificial intelligence. And AI technologies such as machine learning have the ability to take advantage of this data. AI can view data in different ways. It can rate or classify information, make recommendations and associate something with a numerical value. It can also group similar things together and detect anomalies. For example, in claims processing, machine learning algorithms can identify both simple solutions for automatic processing and complex requirements that require more human intervention by checking data from past claims. By identifying commonalities in past cases, AI can identify which new claims reports could follow a similar course and can thus recommend preventive measures.


In conclusion

Chatbots can be very useful for insurance companies because they help promote effective customer management, explain complex products, improve operations and sales, and provide fast and contextual access to information. Chatbots relieve employees from having to handle standard requests, enabling them to be deployed more effectively for more complex tasks.



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