Insurance companies need to digitally transform – and it’s about more than eliminating paperwork

Insurance

It’s fair to say that insurance doesn’t have the most tech-forward reputation.

It’s not that insurers want to be behind the curve, or that they’re unequipped to catch up. Indeed, many have the budget and the will to digitally transform effectively.

But even the best efforts of tech-forward insurance leaders can be blocked by a hoard of legacy data, operational inefficiencies, and a lack of momentum due to shifting priorities.

But the biggest obstacle faced by insurance companies is an approach to digital transformation that prioritizes streamlining processes over improving customer experience – and winds up doing damage to both.

The alienating effect of digital transformation done wrong

Let’s talk forms. In many insurance companies, the ‘digital transformation’ of forms means converting them from paper into static PDFs. The goal here is operational efficiency – but in practice, that’s usually not how things work out.

First, when customers are left to fill out their own forms electronically via PDF, they’re liable to make mistakes – and these mistakes tend not to be spotted until those forms have been received and started being processed.

Those forms then have to be sent back to the customer to revise, lengthening the whole process – and making room for more manual errors on their side. (And to compound this risk of error and delay, when customers need to update their forms, they sometimes need to fill out another form first.)

All of this means insurance companies still spend time pushing around papers (albeit digital ones), resulting in added burden to customers – as well as brokers that must also wrangle those processes that haven’t yet been efficiently digitized by insurers.

This kind of digital transformation leaves the customer (and broker) stranded, and creates more work for employees. Yet for too long, it’s been the default transformation mode for insurance companies. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

The digital (and digital CX) transformation imperative

In 2022, the pressure for insurance companies to transform is very much on, as the market becomes increasingly flooded with digital-native challengers. 

Some of these challengers are start-ups with the agility to innovate at lightning speed. Others are Tech behemoths with extensive digital expertise and resources to burn: companies like Tesla (who’ve launched their own risk carrier), Amazon (who’ve added an insurance product for sellers and online shops), and Google’s sister company Verily (who’ve partnered with Swiss Re to launch a health-insurance subsidiary).

The current state of CX for most insurance incumbents leaves much to be desired. Taking that into account, as well as the need for insurance companies to transform digitally, how do you introduce great CX…and maintain it throughout these changes? 

There are ways you can use your CX to bridge gaps in your digital experience, while showing customers that you’re making active improvements with empathy top-of-mind.

And it’s all about creating more human connections.

The digital transformation paradox

There’s a paradox inherent to digital transformation that insurance companies need to be aware – and wary – of.

Companies want to progress digitally to improve their CX – but their customers still want the option to connect with those companies on a human-to-human level.

When customers need personal guidance, an FAQ or automated response won’t cut it. Let’s face it: nobody loves a chatbot. And that’s especially true of those emotionally fraught moments which can bring customers to an insurer’s website or app looking for answers.

At these moments, the results of a digital transformation initiative could force customers in crisis into a faceless, solitary process of searching online for answers. And that’s not great CX.

Technology shouldn’t create a barrier between your business and its customers. It should enable your customers to help themselves when they want to – but also enable them to connect with your agents when they need to.

And they’ll certainly need that consistent connection as your company goes through the process of digitally transforming. As these digital transformation efforts begin, the tech that people interact with – their experience with your websites, apps, and portals – will change the most. 

As new user experiences are launched, customers who are used to the old way – as tricky as it may be – will have to re-learn a new way, with a new UI. This could further exacerbate their frustrations, and push them away before you’ve even had a chance to show them the benefit of all this transformation.  

So you need to connect. And when it comes to connecting your customers to your professionals, Glance’s solutions are exactly what’s called for.

The truly transformative power of Guided Customer Experiences

With Glance’s solutions, your customers (and brokers) can connect with your professionals when they need it most – and collaborate, securely, in real-time.

Your customers don’t have to download or install anything – they just click a button on your website or app and within 5 seconds they’ll be experiencing (and often being wowed by) what we call the Guided Customer Experience. 

We have four Guided CX solutions. Here – in brief – is how they work, and how they specifically help insurance companies deliver great CX.

  • Glance Cobrowse enables your agents to instantly see what a customer is seeing in their browser (apart from confidential information – see below). This means they can quickly identify any obstacles the customer is facing. The agent can then highlight elements on the customer’s screen to help guide them towards a resolution – and can speed things up even more by taking control (with the customer’s permission) of their browser for them. Cobrowsing helps accelerate and simplify all sorts of online processes, including online claims and policy management, form-fill, choosing a policy, exploring policy details, and more.
  • Glance Screen Share lets your agents show their screen to the customer (again, masking any sensitive information), enabling them to frictionlessly present proposals and policy options to help close more sales.
  • Mobile App Share brings Glance Cobrowse to your app, allowing your customers to easily access in-app cobrowse and video chat support, helping to ensure they’re able to use your app effectively and aren’t driven to abandon transactions in frustration.
  • Glance Video brings real-time video chats between your customers and agents into your website or app CX. Customers get to see your agents’ faces and can opt to let the agent see theirs. Video has a magical effect on customer interactions, creating emotional bonds and diffusing tension within seconds.

And all this happens completely securely. (Your legal and security teams will love us.)

Sensitive and confidential data elements on your customer’s screen (like passwords and social security numbers) are automatically masked from your agent’s view, so they never see anything they’re not supposed to.

In fact, this information is redacted before the page contents are shared with the agent, which means sensitive data is never transmitted, and never touches our servers or your company’s servers.

Humanize and digitize

Glance’s Guided CX can help shepherd your customers through your company’s digital transformation, better enabling your professionals to help them use your evolving website, app and portals. 

It can ensure that, when customers need real, live human help they can reach out and get it – more efficiently than they would have thought possible.

And it will help you nurture the sort of personal, emotional connections between your business and its customers all too often left behind in the rush to digitize. 

Want to learn more about what Guided CX looks and feels like? Check it out here.