Process chaos can soon lead to inconsistencies in interacting with customers. If several employees are new and haven’t had the benefit of in-person training on the complex processes involved with client interactions, there can be big trouble. If there is inconsistency in how a process is carried out — for example, if two different agents are paying claims or writing policies differently — the customer senses that they’re getting a different experience each time. If variation happens, customers could get upset and be disappointed. That all is without even touching on regulatory issues.
Similarly, if, through a loss of process consistency, an agent misses key moments that matter with the customers — whether from loss, an event, or a life change — this can lead to a loss of client trust and loyalty.
The weak chain in the link in the current environment is when a company relies on manual processes, and even more personally, on the outcome of the customer interaction. This is possibly the biggest value driver in the insurance world, considering the all-important relationships agents have with their clients. It’s also where the greatest risk happens — when the consistency is missing customers may have a poor experience, let’s say because of a new person or trainee who hasn’t learned the process.
Barring regulatory errors, which is a whole other issue, the biggest risk of process chaos is losing clients. If clients aren’t feeling the consistency they’re used to from the person-to-person and process-to-process interactions, it doesn’t take too much before that inconsistency can create dissatisfaction. From there, it’s a small step to dissatisfaction with the company. In such a competitive industry, without those key process touchpoints and meeting consumer expectations, many customers will go looking for other options if they’re not happy.
How insurers can address process chaos
To avoid this downward spiral, insurers should first address the onboarding of new employees and make sure that their training is carried out as consistently and clearly as possible.
Ensure that standardized processes, consistent operating procedures, and training models that stress consistency is carried out. Many remote support tools can help drive that consistency. There’s online collaboration, technology, and software that can come close to creating the feeling of being near a coworker, as opposed to leaving the trainee to learn from a manual on their own. There are also business process management tools that ensure processes have been accurately documented, are updated consistently, and represent a single source of truth for how work should be completed. Having invested in these technology tools, the best thing insurers can do is to understand how to use them effectively.
Another way to drive consistency is to invest in automation tools. By automating some of the processes, a company can ensure a consistent experience every time they interact with the client. Companies that have moved forward with automation have a leg up on everyone else.
Some insurtechs, over the last few months, have accelerated their seamless, touchless, automated, and highly personalized offerings. These companies have moved forward faster on technology and automation and are cashing in on consistency with their clients — not missing those moments that matter, communicating clear processes, and making it easy.
Invest now, or forever hold your peace
Insurers need to learn from new approaches like collaborative online sessions that allow lasting connections with colleagues and peers or provide a reasonable platform for training. There are new ways, new systems, new technologies, and new software that can drive and improve process consistency. But to get the benefit of them, you have to invest in them. If companies are not investing in technology, automation, and collaboration with employees — especially the new employees — companies risk getting further and further behind the pack.
Companies that haven’t moved forward with technology and automation must make sure they’ve standardized their processes. Companies also need to spend extra time and effort in onboarding and training new employees to drive consistent processes from the beginning by quite frankly, investing in it, and not assuming that it’s going to work the same way it has in the past.
Inmediate is an insurtech startup from Singapore that is using the latest technology such as Artificial intelligence, Distributed Ledger, and NLP, making insurance processing and underwriting fast, cheap, and flexible. That gives for better processes, lower costs, improved time to market, and new revenue opportunities.