Chatbots' role in insurance service

Insurers are under increasing pressure to deliver a frictionless and simple customer service experience. Conversational technology like chatbots are becoming attractive supplemental channels for insurers as a result.

Chatbots offer a low-touch, 24/7 channel that frees up existing resources for more high-value work while increasing policyholder and agent satisfaction. By providing an additional channel of engagement, chatbots help reach agents and policyholders via their preferred mode of interaction. Insurers should not approach chatbots as simply a low-cost alternative to human contact, instead the goal should be to broaden access and service options for everyone.

Yet chatbots are not without their limitations and implementing them is something of a balancing act. A successful approach to chatbots will need to be a hybrid blend of human and automated capabilities. Determining when people want to be in touch with a human and when they expect rapid, automated service is integral to implementation strategy.

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A sticker of the Flock logo is displayed on an employee's laptop computer as she works at the company's office in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Flock, a cloud-based team collaboration service that has attracted 25,000 enterprise users and customers, is pitched as a way to share ideas in real time while doing away with communication hierarchies, at a cheaper price than rival services. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Current use cases reflect this hybridized approach; claims FNOL, inquiries, support, and policy applications are common areas of application. Many solutions also incorporate AI and natural language processing (NLP) to understand incoming requests.

As chatbot technology continues to mature, both tech giants and startups are trying to gain a foothold in the space. Some prominent vendors include Elafris, Hi Marley, LeO, Spixii and others including Avaamo, Glib.ai, IBM Watson, Interactions, Pypestream, Rozie AI, Sentimer, SmallTalk.Agency, and [x]cube LABS.

More detailed information on solution providers, chatbot use cases, and managing potential customer concerns is available in Novarica’s latest report, Chatbots in Insurance: Overview and Prominent Providers.

This blog entry has been reprinted with permission from Novarica.

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