How The Insurance Industry Is Boosting Trust Using Artificial Intelligence

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Insurance is no place for transactional relationships. At its center, it’s about developing trust and demonstrating you understand your customers. Artificial intelligence (AI) is assisting insurers to do just that, at a scale that’s never been possible before.

We all know the cost of acquiring a customer versus the cost of retaining a customer — no one wants to lose customers and have to replace them. For the insurance industry, retention comes down to trust. Historically, a trusted customer-insurer relationship is created from a great claim experience, but this paradigm is changing.

There is a groundswell of disruption happening across the business world. Thanks to the increasingly digital, instant and personalized world we live in, customers now expect a different experience than they once did. They expect their insurer to demonstrate how well you know them, in every single interaction — whether it be via the call center, email or in person. The customer experience has to be personalized and journey-based. It’s no longer applicable to treat every customer the same or even in broad segments.

Those insurers who fail to act and assess to meet the expectations of this new breed of customer, risk losing them to a competitor who does. Unwavering loyalty is a thing of the past. Customers are now only one bad experience away from moving their business elsewhere. Two-thirds of customers say they’re likely to switch brands if they’re treated like a number instead of an individual, and 50% feel the same if the company doesn’t anticipate their needs.

Artificial intelligence is the answer to supercharging human ability and providing these bespoke experiences that our customers are demanding. Positively, insurance is especially likely to gain from AI, due to the wealth of customer data at your fingertips. This data feeds the AI engine, and the more quality data it can get, the more intelligent the technology becomes and the better the outcome.

While AI has been around for a long time, it hasn’t been until now that the technology has advanced to a point that can benefit businesses of all sizes and budgets. Improvements in computing power, the arrival of big data and advances in machine learning have all contributed to the rise of AI.

Artificial intelligence usually works by studying customer data, finding patterns and developing deep insights into individual customers — at a rate not humanly possible. This understanding can then be used to engage clients, help shape new products, and predict what offers or solutions are going to resonate best with an individual. All of this can deepen client relationships and improve loyalty.

Another advantage is using artificial intelligence to eliminate mundane admin tasks. We’re already seeing AI being employed in the first stage of the motor vehicle claims assessment process, analyzing photos of vehicle damage to determine whether it’s a write-off or not.

The benefits of automating this step are two-fold. Not only does the technology amplify productivity, enabling employees to add value to the customer relationship instead, but it also allows the payout or repair to happen much faster, improving the overall customer experience.

The first step in unlocking the benefits of artificial intelligence is getting your customer data into one layer within your organization. AI can only become intelligent, accurate and useful if it’s given a complete and extensive set of data to generate learnings from. It can’t work its magic if data is siloed between departments and in disparate IT systems.

Secondly, it is significant to have a clear, strategic view on what you want artificial intelligence to achieve for your organization — to determine what part of the customer experience could most benefit from that level of insight or automation.

Artificial intelligence is here, and it can completely redefine the insurance function. Savvy insurers are on-board, quietly implementing AI and building a competitive advantage in the process — it’s important others don’t fall behind.

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