The insurance industry in the pre-pandemic era, albeit not the most tech-savvy, did strategically employ tech capabilities to aid incremental innovation. Post the pandemic, the industry has been forced to embrace change to cope with the new environment. Policyholders now expect their insurance companies to be accessible remotely, provide instant responses, and resolve queries faster. 

As insurance companies refocus their investments and deploy new technology to revamp their customer service models, we take a look at how setting up a center of excellence (CoE) for customer service will help companies strategically tackle new challenges and provide superior and consistent customer experiences. 

Customer Service: The backbone of the insurance industry

Customers interacting with insurance companies come with high expectations. They are looking for reliable and trustworthy experts to guide them through investment decisions that will help secure their future. And therefore, delivering a positive customer experience transcends beyond making services accessible in a timely manner; it is about creating meaningful relationships and trust that leads to customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Insurers must constantly evaluate their customer service efforts to keep up with the times. Customers today want visual interactions and personalized services. They want to be listened to, not just heard. Inquiries in the insurance industry are often issue-driven, and therefore listening and lending an empathic ear is key. 

Typically customers reach out to insurers to seek out an insurance plan, request a change in the policy, or when they make a claim. Customer service agents, therefore, are mostly involved in - 

Underwriting Procedure: It includes all the steps from the initial application process to the wait time to receive a quote to the overall customer's underwriting experience. Long wait times or unresolved queries here can prove to be detrimental to the brand.

Policy Servicing: Clients expect service agents to anticipate their individual needs and recommend personalized plans based on the information they have already shared. Generic plans and recommendations here will prove to be a deal-breaker. 

Claim Settlement: Claim processing is one of the most crucial services insurance companies provide. Claims have to be processed thoroughly post due investigation. Any mishap or carelessness could attract legal issues. 

It is critical for insurance companies to provide positive service during each of these touchpoints to ensure an overall satisfactory or delightful brand experience. 

Customer Service Excellence: To balance the human and technology touch

A center of excellence is a setup that is dedicated to strategizing, streamlining, and executing best practices in the given field. A CoE will have leading-edge knowledge and competency in that area to drive set goals. Any CoE is driven by five critical components: standardization, leveraging assets, measuring performance, guidance and governance, and subject matter experts. These components establish checks and balances to ensure consistent, superior performance. 

A CoE in customer service will establish guiding principles under each of these components to ultimately elevate brand experiences by transforming customer service. The CoE can help streamline three important customer touchpoints in the insurance industry.

Drive proactive consultation

Traditionally communication between insurers and policyholders is issue-driven. Customer communication only begins when the need arises instead of creating demand. Research by E&Y revealed that 44% of customers have had no interactions with their insurers in the last 18 months. 

A CoE can drive proactive communication by enabling the team with resources and tools to take ownership by making their customers aware of comprehensive risks. This way, consultation phases will no longer remain one-way streets but a dynamic conversation tailored to individual needs. 

Personalize purchase decision

Clients today can purchase a policy via an insurance agent/broker, insurance company website, aggregator websites, etc. Therefore, regardless of the choice of channel, it is important for companies to meet customers with a channel-agnostic personalized approach. 

A CoE can equip agents with up-to-date information about customers. As a result, agents can personalize each interaction with the customer based on their needs instead of going through standard sales pitches to increase conversion rates and build meaningful relationships. 

Enhance support service

Customers want support to be fast, easy, and tailored to their requests. Long wait times, generic IVR responses no longer help customers with their queries. At the same time, customers don’t want to go fully digital and only interact with bots (who often can’t process complex queries). A CoE can help customer service teams provide personalized responses that do not come across as robotic while optimizing the use of technology to drive efficiency. 

With important customer touchpoints covered. Here are four ways a CoE for customer service can transform the overall customer experience in the insurance industry. 

Transform CX in insurance with the power of technology

Tip #1: Leverage the infinite possibilities of data

Improving CX in insurance largely depends on access to the right data. Digitizing operations and implementing tech capabilities in the backend can help collect crucial data. Insurers can use this to create personalized insurance policies and experiences to provide convenient service and build trust. 

For instance, CoEs can use Xaqt, a multi-experience AI platform, to gather data across channels and provide actionable insights for swift action. In addition, AI chatbots can help collect data from customers through pre-filled questionnaires and multiple-choice responses. Most often, customers willingly share more information if it is easy and convenient. 

Xaqt can mine this information to generate rich insights and analyze customer behavior and patterns. This data can also be used to access agent performance. For example, calls can be recorded and analyzed for sentiment, accuracy, tone, etc. 

Tip #2: Infuse AI in customer service

AI is no longer a sophisticated, expensive advanced technology. The use of AI has seeped into our daily lives more than ever, and companies can now use AI to optimize the customer experience. Xaqt’s IVAn, an AI-powered assistant, delivers intelligent and dynamic experiences across all digital channels in any industry. 

IVAn is a bot-based service that can transform CX by listening and responding to customer questions accurately. The bot scouts through existing resources like knowledge bases in seconds to provide instant and accurate information. This helps free the insurer's time to handle more nuanced tasks. 

Tip #3: Provide seamless multichannel customer support

Today’s customers can contact companies via multiple channels. Having full visibility of these touchpoints can help insurers personalize support and drive contextual conversations. For example, an agent on the phone with a customer can view that the same customer has already filled out a form on their website request; the agent can then proceed to respond instantly to that request online while still being available for personalized support over the phone simultaneously. 

Xaqt’s multichannel platform helps agents with full visibility across channels like phone, chat, SMS, etc. Xaqt’s AI Agents can seamlessly collaborate on providing solutions instantly and personalizing information based on past interactions. 

A CoE for customer service can help your insurance company provide positive experiences to customers by merging technology with the much-needed human touch. AI-enabled platforms like Xaqt can help you do just that by enabling your insurers with all the information they need and freeing them up to provide more nuanced support rooted in empathy. 

If you are interested in deploying intelligent and impactful customer service, request a demo to see how Xaqt can help you deliver powerful customer experiences.