We are well entrenched in times of disruption in the insurance industry with economic, societal and technological forces all shifting the playing field considerably, particularly in the customer experience stakes.
The digital world we live in has put considerable power in customers’ hands and this has left them demanding more in the services they expect. But while new technology has enabled more influence from the customer it has also opened up new avenues for insurance providers to adapt and improve their capabilities to engage, discover and decide.
41 percent of customers left insurers that were too slow to react to their changing needs – a number that is likely to grow as more customers become accustomed to faster and multi-channel services in other industries.[i]
53 percent of insurers reported that they were not effectively delivering a personalised experience.[ii]
This alarming trend illustrates the need for insurers to adopt new methods and technologies to enhance the way in which they interact with customers and tailor offerings to meet customers’ needs.
And taping into the power of cognitive computing is critical for insurers to drive these successful business outcomes.
Technologies like IBM Watson are able to analyse and process vast amounts of structured and unstructured data, quickly surface insights and continuously learn from their interactions with humans and data. With natural language processing, humans can ask questions and interact with the system as they would a colleague.
To put it simply, cognitive computing has the potential to radically change the industry.
98% of insurers familiar with cognitive computing believe it will play a disruptive role in the industry, 85% believe it will be critical to the future of their business and, as a result, 96% say they intend to invest in cognitive capabilities.[iii]
If companies don’t get on board with this technology there’s a huge danger that they will quickly become outdated and irrelevant. Without a savvy and innovative approach to achieving better engagement with customers, those companies will be left behind and, in a time a rapid change, that’s something many insurers can ill afford to do.
For example, if I’ve just announced on Facebook that my wife is about to deliver our third baby (she’s not), cognitive systems can interpret this and predict that we will be needing a bigger car. Using my past interaction data, such as the products I have taken, the history and types of claims, and other ‘lookalike’ customers, my insurer would look to Watson. Watson can tailor an offering for car insurance (or even a bundle for car and extended life insurance) which can be served up to me in my preferred channel at my preferred time. This might mean, rather than call me during the working day, interacting with me on social media on my bus trip home and offering those highly personalised products.
Being able to tune the underlying product to a point where the interaction is 1-to-1 with the customer is the goal here, and beyond product predictions it can also empower you to:
- Provide relevant content that improves a purchase decision
- Identify, develop, and reward brand advocates
- Intervene when customers are struggling
- Rescue at-risk customers before they churn
- Identify potential fraud
How is your company gaining a better view of your customers and their needs?
What else can be done to engage with customers?