Digitalization is turning the insurance industry upside down and the new digital insurtechs are revolutionizing the industry with innovative technological solutions. Customer-centric thinking and acting, as well as the #automation of customer service, are key factors to stand out from the competition.
The new possibilities and changes of digitalization pose significant challenges, especially for conventional insurance companies. Besides, they are increasingly put under pressure by the modern “insurtechs” (short for insurance technology). Insurtechs’ customers are already used to quick digital customer service. Traditional insurance companies will not only have to spend more resources on digitization, but they will also have to automate customer service. These new insurtech companies are already using the latest artificial intelligence technologies. With the right adjustments in customer service, insurance companies can also take a significant step into the digital age and recapture their position in the market. In this article, we show how to implement automated responses to customer questions and what the “old” can learn from the “young”.
What do insurtech companies do?
In the first quarter of 2019, investments worldwide already exceeded 1.4 billion US dollars, and the German insurtech market continues to receive more and more investments. In the beginning, these mainly young companies were not relevant competitors, but this is changing rapidly. New technologies such as Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence digitalize customer experiences completely. Customers can get an insurance policy online with just a few clicks. These insurances are also run online and without any paperwork.
The American company Lemonade is the pioneer of insurtechs. It has already received an investment of €180 million. Lemonade is transforming the insurance industry with a completely new business model and intends to conquer the European market soon.
Insurtech industry in Germany
Germany has the second-largest insurtech market in the world and is just behind the USA. Berlin, in particular, is considered a technology metropolis. Remarkably, almost no international insurtechs companies are active in Germany. This is often due to the fact that the market operates differently in each country. In Germany, for example, comparison portals such as Check24 play a major role in the sale of insurance coverage products.
New challenges for customer services
Traditional companies are under pressure to act. Some of them also relied on alliances and cooperations with technology start-ups. Nevertheless, both “old” and “young” insurance companies face some challenges when it comes to customer service. After all, it is still partially unclear which questions customers might have about these new digital business models. In order not to abandon customers to the new business models, it is also essential to digitalize customer service and automate service processes. Two pioneers on the German insurtech market have already automated their service using the latest technology and have been awarded top marks for their customer service.
The insurtech companies Friendsurance and simplesurance are pioneers in customer service
These two successful German insurtech companies rely on OMQ’s intelligent customer service software. In this digital age, young customers particularly expect a service that is always available, and that also provides fast and individual solutions to their problems. Moreover, customers are becoming increasingly willing to publish a complaint on their social networks.
Olaf Seliger, Head of Customer Support at Friendsurance, reports that the focus of OMQ is on answering complex and individual customer questions. Friendsurance can answer these questions much faster because common questions are answered automatically.
Simplesurance (schutzklick.de) also reports great successes. With OMQ Help and OMQ Contact solutions, up to 76% of customer service questions are answered on the website even before they are sent. The high service quality increases customer satisfaction, and financial savings represent a significant economic advantage.
OMQ is a central and AI-based system that automatically answers customer questions in real-time. This is realized through a comprehensive system that is integrated into all communication channels. Up to 80% of customer questions are handled by a chatbot, a contact form, a dynamic FAQ, and a supporting ticket system. Each product is connected to a different point of contact. OMQ Contact, for example, is integrated into the contact form. As soon as a customer types in a question, it is answered in real-time on the website. Since customers do not submit their questions, the service is lightened, and the number of customer questions to be answered is significantly reduced.
Artificial intelligence understands the customer’s wishes and can provide a suitable answer in spite of the different expressions used. The AI works immediately “out of the box” and gets better with every request so that more and more requests can be answered automatically over time.
Correctly design help and contact pages
Our goal is to help companies to automate their customer service and increase customer satisfaction. This means improving customer service on the website and providing as much information as possible to the customer. In addition, we help customer service staff with automated responses to customer questions in just a few clicks.
To provide customers with good customer service on the website, a few changes are often enough. We will show you which details should be taken into account and therefore we have compiled some practical examples and tips. In addition, we want to show you how you can use OMQ to automate your processes and improve your customer service.
Disadvantages of a customer support email address
Many companies place a visible customer support email address on their website. The disadvantage of this channel is that customer questions arrive unsorted in the helpdesk system of each customer service division. These must first be sorted and answered manually by the customer service staff. Customers must also wait a while to receive an answer. Customers are increasingly looking for an immediate solution to their problem. Since customers must be able to contact the company, we consider contact forms a good alternative to email addresses.
Advantages of a contact form
A contact form should not be hidden, but always easy to find for the customer. The advantage of a contact form is that customers can enter their questions quickly and easily. The contact page can also be used to provide a link to the FAQ page so that customers can get information in advance.
Customer service can also control the required data in advance. The following points can be defined, for example:
• Input of the item number as a mandatory field • Set subject lines as a dropdown menu • Requested type of service
Instant response on the contact page with OMQ Contact
To use contact forms even better, we answer the typed customer questions immediately on the website. OMQ Contact is simply integrated into the contact form and analyzes the entered question. Even before the customer submits the question, suitable answers are displayed next to the form.
When designing the contact form, we advise you to put the input field first. The fields requesting private information should only appear below the form. This prevents customers from being frustrated when they have to enter all their personal data, but receive an automatic response from Artificial Intelligence when they enter it in the contact field.
Contact page of simplesurance (schutzklick.de)
In the contact form of simplesurance the contact form appears at the top of the page. The form looks very well-arranged, and as soon as customers type their questions into the input field, three possible questions appear with matching answers. OMQ Contact can be easily integrated within a few minutes with the help of a code snippet.
Disadvantages of a service hotline
With the provision of a service hotline, insurance companies want to offer their customers fast and immediate customer service. The idea, of course, is that every customer can immediately speak to a service agent if they have a question. The service hotline option is often present at the top of the website. However, if there is an unusually high volume of calls, the staff cannot accept and answer all of them promptly at peak times. These bottlenecks are exacerbated by the shortage of staff in customer service departments. The result is that customers are left alone in the queue for a very long time. In the end, the so-called “immediate service” is precisely the opposite, and in the worst scenario, the frustrated customers may even change their insurance provider. Since the telephone service is also the most expensive and most complex service channel, it should be used as less as possible. To reduce the burden on the service hotline, as much information as possible should be available to the customer on the website.
Advantages of help page and FAQ’s
To ensure that the customer does not pick up the phone first, the correct design and placement of a help/FAQ page is of great importance. If the answering mechanisms are already automated on the website, a majority of customers may find a suitable answer in advance. Customers who have a specific question and cannot find what they are looking for on the help page can still use the telephone service. Since the process was made easier by answering common questions on the website, there is more capacity available to help customers with specific problems.
It is always important to make sure that the customer does not have to spend a long time looking for the help area, but finds it quickly. To help your customers find the right information, the topics should be arranged and displayed in clear categories. Customers do not want to scroll through help pages or FAQ’s for a long time, but want to get an overview immediately.
Auto-search help page with OMQ Help
We are happy to help you transform your FAQ page into an auto-search help page. We have developed OMQ Help to guide customers to the right self-service solution. Our intelligent knowledge database reacts to changes in customer behavior and displays entries according to the current frequency of specific questions.
Help page of Friendsurance
OMQ Help operates on Friendsurance’s help page. The search bar with auto-completion takes the customer to the correct solution. For a better understanding, various topics and their top 3 questions, which are currently the most frequently asked, are displayed below.
100% automation with the OMQ Chatbot and Automator
Our goal is to provide 100% customer service automation. A proper design of the help and contact pages is therefore the first step. In addition to answering common questions, OMQ technology is also able to perform interactive processes such as address changes or cancellations fully automatically. The OMQ Automater requests the necessary data from the customer and forwards it to the company’s backend server. There is no need for any manual processing.
Chatbots and messengers are the channels that are increasingly used by young customers. Therefore, we have developed the OMQ Chatbot, which, like all other OMQ products, uses the knowledge from the same knowledge database. The chatbot can be used immediately without any training, and it also learns about the questions and feedback sent to all OMQ products.
We are happy to help you automate your customer service. We want to work together to help insurance companies with digitalization and to provide customers with the perfect service. Contact us and we will arrange a demo with our consulting team.