Using Automation To Enhance Customer Relations In The Insurance Industry
Since the beginning, it is fair to say that the insurance sector is one of the most document-intensive industries, with case files, claims, and accounts payable relying on significant amounts of documentation in a variety of formats.
And when digitization arrived, the data in those files can be present in either a structured or unstructured format.
Digital tokens and e-documents also form part of the file chain, as do an increasing number of mobile images such as notes, scans, and images from iOS and Android devices.
In the modern era, success or failure in the sector is determined more and more by an organization’s ability to respond to customer demand and an expectation of simple, fast services, delivered with a minimum of fuss.
In essence, a service model that is ‘frictionless’ — reduced paperwork, less time spent on phones, in queues, filling out forms.
The emergence of insurtech technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT), digital transformation in the insurance industry has gained pace — which to some extent relates directly to customer expectation for a faster, more convenient service.
In many ways, the digitization of documents speeds up claims processing and other areas of the business — but this chain of digital files also requires structure, and it relies upon the ability of staff to access what they need in a timely fashion, and the system must have the capability to present that information to the people who need it, in a format that they can read wherever they are.
That applies to images that appear in the system as both structured data as well as those that are unstructured — such as X-rays and medical images.
This is where a content services solution comes into play, supported at the core by an enterprise content management (ECM) platform.
On top of that, robotic process automation (RPA) enables many layers of manual processing to be removed, which streamlines the business, reduces the time it takes to action documentation including claims processing, and limits manual keystroke errors.
In a sense, RPA can be viewed as a way of optimizing the experience that employees and end-users have when interacting with an organization’s information, by accelerating digital processes through the automation of manual, rule-based, and repetitive tasks where human touch does not add business value.
An advanced RPA tool learns by recording how human users perform the process and then leverages a digital user (robot) to perform the process going forward.
Essentially, this removes a lot of repetitive and ‘boring’ work, leaving employees free to focus on higher-level tasks.
Insurers are using technologies like RPA to improve transactions, as well as processes like regulatory reporting, claims processing and document verification.
As well as removing these workloads from human staff, ‘bots’ can perform the same tasks faster, which increases efficiency, and empowers the organization to fulfill customer-facing tasks such as claims processing in a reduced timeframe.
Bots are also more accurate than humans.
Studies have proven that the human mind can endure around twenty minutes of a repetitive task that lacks stimulus before it loses focus.
That lack of focus leads to the risk of error, which ties directly back to the customer experience once again.
A higher accuracy rate for necessary but ‘boring’ tasks will reduce the amount of re-keying that the organization requires, will increase customer satisfaction by reducing the risk of errors, and speed up the time taken to process a claim.
Removing human intervention from tasks that require access to sensitive data will also reduce the risk of that data falling into the wrong hands or being tampered with.
This plays into the organization’s risk and compliance obligations and enables defensible audit trails and chains of custody.
A Content Services solution also allows for the safe stewardship of that data, with automated end-of-life procedures, access control for documents and a traceable record of who has accessed data.
This ties back to the theme of improving customer experience, and ultimately the trust that the consumer market has for the organization.
Data loss or malicious tampering of data has decidedly negative connotations for the company, eroding consumer trust.
Likewise, a reputation for slow and error-prone transactions will also result in negative sentiment, and a reputation it can take years to recover from.
Looking again at the reduction of human hours spent on repetitive tasks, it is worth considering how that investment in technology is going to affect the people who now have more time on their hands.
When employees move from repetitive tasks to more exciting, knowledge-based work, they generally have the time and information to expand business relationships, focus more direct attention on customer needs, and interact with one another on a higher level — which all adds intrinsic value to the organization.
It also allows insurance professionals to easily interact with information and systems from the field, which in turn will increase the accuracy of that information and enhance how it is used.
Again, this will ultimately result in better service.
Content services are vitally important to the insurance sector and provide a service which is constantly evolving and adding new features.
RPA is one piece of the puzzle and combined with an effective Content Services solution, it will add value right across an organization, ultimately improving the all-important user experience and therefore enhancing positive sentiment.