The COVID-19 pandemic has created widespread disruption throughout the UK insurance industry, with many insurers experiencing a significant increase in inbound enquiries throughout the early phase of the crisis, particularly in areas such as motor or travel insurance. However, despite the challenges it has created, COVID-19 has also inadvertently accelerated a new era of innovation for the industry by incentivising organisations to digitally transform and adapt to the changing state of affairs.
Remote working is a challenging prospect in insurance, with many insurers reluctant to implement a teleworking strategy because of concerns about technological inefficiencies, and a resultant inability to deal with spikes of customer enquiries. As COVID-19 made remote working a necessity for many, some insurers chose to implement cloud communications technology in order to meet these requirements, which has given them access to a robust set of tools which can be utilised to create a scalable, digitally-led experience.
A key example of these tools is the cloud-based contact centre, offering a truly omnichannel experience by delivering a unified view of customer interaction through a single pane. Because cloud contact centres can receive calls through a VoIP softphone application, it is managed within the same software environment as other key channels such as web-based live chat. Using this single interface for different channels will give the agent a more holistic view of the customer’s interaction history, helping them to be better prepared when dealing with claims, while having the freedom to work from a remote location. When used effectively, the insight captured within the contact centre is an enabler for driving product and service improvements, whilst enhancing the customer experience.
The adoption of cloud-based technology has also helped to improve the quality of interaction between customers and agents. Shifting traditional, routine voice transactions to digital first, where possible, can deliver a demonstrable ROI in reducing cost-to-serve and increasing first contact resolution. AI contact centre solutions such as Mitel and Google Cloud’s contact centre AI offer a toolset of advantageous features, such as agent assist, empowering agents with live support during customer calls. By transcribing calls and examining intent, Agent assist will provide actionable insight to help resolve the customer enquiry. Not only does this reduce cost-to-serve, but improves the overall day-to-day experience of the agent, who is better equipped to serve customers effectively.
A challenge faced by a number of insurers where home or remote working has been imposed by COVID-19 restrictions is in securing traditional payment solutions to ensure PCI-DSS compliance, mitigating risks associated with data breaches and ensuring a seamless customer experience. By integrating their unified contact centre with an omnichannel, PCI DSS compliant payment solution, insurers can take compliant payment over any medium, including voice, webchat, and social media, while still allowing the employee to work remotely. This gives the customer the ability to finish their transaction without leaving their channel of choice, resulting in a higher conversion rate and a more seamless experience for both parties.
The insurance sector has historically proven itself to be an early adopter of emerging technologies, and with COVID-19 resulting in a significant acceleration in digital transformation efforts, the time to act is now. By implementing a future-proof technology strategy with the cloud at the centre, insurers can build up a set of operational advantages that the competition will struggle to match.
To understand how Olive could help your business drive growth, operational agility, and deliver simply brilliant customer experiences through cloud communications, chat to us today. We're proud to be helping businesses create and implement future-proof road maps in preparation for a new way of working with our bespoke virtual 'Art of the Possible' workshops.