3 Steps to Improve the Insurance Claims Experience
The Insurance Claims Experience
Most of the time customers are going through the claim process after some kind of accident or emergency, whether it is personal, at their place of work, or affecting their entire community. Customers start the insurance claim process with anxiety and fear of the unknown. The insurance claims experience can add additional stress to a harrowing occurrence, or it can be something that eases a customer’s anxiety to better allow them to work through damage to their vehicle, property, or injury to themselves or an employee.
During significant weather events, ranging from heavy rain to hurricanes, call centers can be heavily impacted, and people end up spending what can feel like hours on hold. Customer frustration and phone system overloads create an insurance claims experience that begins negatively and builds upon the high emotional cost of a loss. If there are pauses downstream in assigning and acknowledging a new claim, the experience continues the downhill path which influences the entire experience.
After the first notice of loss (FNOL) or injury and the claim intake process, the claim assessment and management stages can add more stress as customers and claims adjusters must be in contact with each other and also coordinate obtaining documentation and information from multiple parties. The process is rarely smooth and often time consuming and confusing. The reality is that no one understands the claims process except a claims professional.
This process can, and often does, lead to customer dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction with the claims process then leads to customers moving to a different insurance company as they search for a better experience. In fact, according to a recent study, over 85% of people who felt frustrated during the claims process planned on switching carriers.
Improving the Insurance Claims Experience
In order to sustain customer loyalty and use their time and resources efficiently, insurers must improve the entire insurance claim journey. Currently, the FNOL step, when the claim journey begins, is the most developed within the claims process. However, when the customer proceeds to the next step, the experience degenerates and leaves the customer with a negative view of the overall process and their insurance company.
3 Steps to Improve the Insurance Claims Experience
In order to strengthen the process and improve the claims experience, insurance companies need to take three actions: communicate, personalize, and streamline. All three can be used to varying degrees throughout the claims process in conjunction with an effective and easy-to-develop Customer Experience Automation™ solution.
Open Clear Lines of Communication
Miscommunication and lack of information from a carrier result in disgruntled customers who are more likely to switch carriers when their policy expires. “As an insurer, it is vital to reassure your policyholders and let them know you are here for them,” particularly during an emergency. The ultimate goal for communicating with your customers is one that creates a dialogue between the customer and the carrier on the customer’s terms. It is a conversation that provides transparency to the full claim journey. And using AI anticipates a customer’s questions to provide the right answers.
- Be proactive. Beginning at the FNOL and moving forward, provide information to keep the customer engaged and aware. Be sure every interaction includes what happens next and when. Your company can automatically issue a notification at each step of the claim process informing the customer about their claim status or requesting missing documents, thereby eliminating the need for them to call. The best question is the one answered before it’s asked.
- Offer customers choices. Depending on how comfortable your customer is with technology, your company could offer them claim process automation, while also providing the option to interact with an employee; whether that is with a call center service representative to report a loss or with a claims adjuster to ask questions or share information. By giving the customer the choice of channel to interact, you grant them the ability to customize their insurance claims experience.
- Bring different members of the process together to collaborate. Automation opens the process so that every key stakeholder is able to add their particular, necessary content; whether it’s an appraiser, a body shop, a contractor, or a medical professional. Providing access to the claim process also gives customers transparency on the progress to either help retrieve needed information or answer questions without calls needing to be made.
- Allow claims adjusters to give more attention to larger loss claims processing. In times of crisis or emergency, different situations require different responses. By creating an automated claim process experience, the basics can be covered with predictable, straightforward processes, and employees can focus their hands-on attention on the more complex claims that can have a more emotional toll on customers and require individualized analysis and unique decisions.
Create a Personalized Customer Experience
Customers in the digital age of online shopping, free delivery, and customized marketing are used to highly personalized customer experiences. This expectation has carried over into the insurance arena where customers expect a user experience that prompts them for information, simplifies the delivery of documentation, and shows them the real-time status of their insurance claim.
Automating your insurance claims process creates a positive claims experience that increases responsiveness to customer inquiries, offers choices throughout the process, and delivers up-to-date access for document resources and claim status.
If a process is sufficiently automated, customers who seek information about their claim can simply look up the process status using their digital device. If documents or data are missing, they can either provide it or work with their claims adjuster to retrieve it. And with a digital solution like Ushur’s Invisible App™, the insurance claim process becomes something that your customers can contribute to and reference. InvisibleApp™ and Ushur’s use of Natural Language Processing (NLP) can offer instant answers to their queries, either through the use of a text message, or an email, or chat applications like WhatsApp.
Companies build their customers’ trust levels when they proffer information, and with an automated claims process, it’s possible to maximize trust and the quality of each customer’s experience by proactively delivering the relevant facts for their particular claim; from FNOL to claim closure. If they have further inquiries, they can choose to use the digital channel they prefer or go back to reach their claims adjuster. Companies who give their customers choices impart a feeling that the customer is part of the process, and their active involvement increases their satisfaction with their insurance claim experience.
Disparities in the amount of information available to participating parties erode trust in these high-touch experiences. Just as claims adjusters have data available to them, the customer should also have a level of information that they can review. This added level of transparency enables customers to ask questions using a responsive system rather than depending solely on the claims adjuster and decreases unnecessary calls that lower wait times for customer queries.
Build an Efficient Claims Process
The current insurance claims experience begins in a straightforward, streamlined fashion at the FNOL. But then the process degrades as it slips into the traditional way of gathering and transmitting information between the customer and the claims adjuster. The customer grows increasingly distanced from the process and unhappy because of the lack of insight while the claims adjuster manages multiple claims and attempts to maintain good will between all the parties involved.
Streamlining the process using automation simply removes the repetitive and predictable tasks and places them in an automated process that can either collect the critical data or retrieve important documents from the customer and other parties directly.
Eliminating redundancies in the process frees the claims adjuster to give their full attention to the customer. The claims process allows your employees to truly shine and be there for your customers and their employees. And customers respond with increased loyalty and satisfaction ratings.
Additionally, automation facilitates faster claim resolution by simplifying the retrieval of information and the collection of data. Automation eliminates the bottleneck when the claims adjuster is the only one who can collect and enter the data into the system. You can have each stakeholder upload their documentation individually. As an example, the body shop estimate would simply be scanned and uploaded directly without need for intervention by the adjuster. As would the medical records or the rental car agency documentation.
Additionally, the machine learning (ML) that drives data processing reveals instances where the process could be improved or where the process is unclear or difficult to understand. Between the customer and the AI-powered Customer Experience Automation™ solution, the insurance claim process is constantly being refined to ensure increased satisfaction and a positive customer experience.
The Insurance Claims Experience Redefined
Customer experience research shows that a positive insurance claims experience directly affects a customer’s attitude about their insurance company. It has been proven that customers whose insurance claims experience exceeds their expectations are more likely to stay with their current insurance company even when taking product pricing into consideration. Opening lines of communication to your customers, creating a personalized customer experience, and building an efficient claims process are achievable goals using automation that incorporate machine learning and AI.
Ushur delivers the Most in Claims Service Automation
Ushur’s AI-powered Customer Experience Automation™ platform puts automation tools in the hands of the users that know your business best. The no-code FlowBuilder makes it easy for business analysts to easily build omni-channel flows to automate the repetitive work that burdens them on a routine basis. Even for users with no coding skills, Ushur can give you fine-grained control on how you engage with customers throughout the claims process.
Ushur enables flexible 2-way customer engagements where the customer is in control of their insurance claim experience from start to finish, regardless of communication channel. The platform empowers customers with multiple ways to connect; from email, to text, to mobile apps, to chatbots that allow customers to engage directly with their insurance company at any time, from anywhere.
Ushur customers have created and deployed new, high value automations in hours. They have seen significant inbound call volume reductions and elevated customer satisfaction scores, including through proactive claim status updates that allow insurers to build great customer experiences when their customers need them the most.
Let Ushur automate your insurance claims processes to improve customer satisfaction. Let smart technology take your insurance organization to the next level.