A growing number of industries are feeling the pressure to adapt to digital expectations. As a traditionally paper-based industry, insurance is a prime example. Constant exposure to BigTech pioneers means that today’s consumers know what a good customer experience looks like—and they’re seeking it in their financial lives, too.
With many digital-first options out there, customers will punish those providers who do not match their service expectations. Now, four in five customers say they would change their insurance carriers if they fail to offer a user-friendly interface (PwC). As insurers have caught onto the strength of this preference, the emphasis on stand-out customer services has accelerated. For the majority of firms, improving customer experience is now a strategic priority (Forrester).
Nonetheless, today’s patchwork of customer demands isn’t only made of digital fabric. While digital experiences have rapidly become synonymous with progress, the reality of many insurance journeys is not as simple as just self-service, or just remote interactions. A growing customer base favors a “multi-access” method of engagement comprising both online and offline channels.
In a greater capacity than insurers realize, customers want the element of choice. They’re asking for a mix of digital and in-person channels, with the option to use either or both when the situation calls for it. Self-service may be great for certain needs, but insurance customers must always feel that human help is there for them—be it in-branch or via their mobile app.
Multi-access in insurance is the new standard
As far as CX strategists are concerned, “multi-access” experiences should reframe the way the customer journey is understood. In today’s world, customer communication is rarely with a single broker. The concept of multi-access sees the fact that there are multiple touchpoints through which customers engage with their provider at every stage of their journey.
This evolution in customer expectations makes the task of engagement more complex. Observed without the lens of multi-access, one customer behavior may even appear to contradict another. According to McKinsey, among consumers surveyed in Germany, 84% use digital channels to engage with their insurers but 55% said they wouldn’t buy a policy online.
That isn’t to say that digital hesitancy is rife among over half of insurance customers. Rather, it paints a multi-access picture of preferences. A customer might use a website or app to research insurance policies or claims, and then switch channels to complete the task. This multi-access route is most common, with 1 in 2 customers using a combination of in-person, phone, online and chat channels to contact their insurer (McKinsey).
With this number only set to rise in the coming years, investing in hybrid experiences looks to be a strategic move for the customer engagement game. Taking a cross-channel approach to individual interactions will help to create a flexible customer journey that is adapted to the realities of contemporary consumer life.
Bringing in the human touch with hybrid experiences
Human-centered design is at the heart of a hybrid experience. While also giving customers the option of self-service, a hybrid approach should build the human touch into every step of the journey. This could be through a live chat, phone call or video meeting—but the bottom line is that human interaction is accessible from a digital channel. CX platforms, therefore, should be interconnected and user-friendly.
This is well-illustrated by hybrid uses of live chat features. In the self-service realm, chatbots powered by artificial intelligence offer a quick-fix solution for some queries. A customer may well begin the interaction with a chatbot and find their answer—but they may also have a question that is more appropriate for a human agent. In this instance, a chatbot should function as a virtual assistant, performing the task of a concierge before the query is relayed to a qualified agent.
The interplay between the digital and the human is the core power of a hybrid customer experience. Ultimately, both are required for a fulfilling multi-access experience. Groundbreaking use of AI may delight engaged customers in one interaction, but human conversations will be necessary to deepen the insurer-customer relationship in another.
Real use cases in the insurance sector
Unblu’s digital platform is a multi-access solution for insurance CX. Offering an interconnected suite of features such as live chat, voice calls, video meetings and co-browsing tools, Unblu is the digital architecture for seamless hybrid experiences.
By using one, two or all of Unblu’s product features, insurers around the world are creating multi-access customer engagement strategies and boosting future revenues. We’re seeing use cases for every stage of the journey, from some of the leading players in the insurance sector.
Advisory & Sales
In advisory settings, Unblu is helping insurers to meet the demand for multi-access. Leveling up their interactive video offering using Unblu video & co-browsing features, Swiss health insurance company Sanitas has opened up 1-on-1 meetings to prospective clients, too. For those seeking insurance advice, the company introduced an online meeting booking module on their webpage that lets customers pick a time and agent for a consultation.
Such a comprehensive stack comes close to the in-person experience, but also offers a multi-access option for prospective customers. Whether they prefer to research independently, talk to an advisor directly or combine both, customers have options for their initial interactions with Sanitas.
Global Swiss insurance group Helvetia depends on Unblu for the initial stages of the customer journey and sales process. 500 agents are equipped with Unblu, using the full platform to achieve a faster, sleeker customer service that has bolstered the company’s CX reputation.
For Helvetia, a typical multi-access experience powered by Unblu would begin just after the customer has done online research about an insurance product. An agent can then invite the customer to an online meeting via email to make the conversion. In the meeting, co-browsing capabilities make it possible to review documents together, fill in forms, and even sign contracts. Any relevant documentation will be sent to the customer and stored securely for compliance purposes.
Using Unblu’s embedded co-browsing solution, multinational firm AON has also empowered support agents to resolve issues—be it claims or new policies—quickly and accurately. Where technical assistance is needed, an initial message via a chat feature can easily evolve into a video call, supported by co-browsing to give it visual context.
Multi-access insurance is easier with Unblu
Great CX is about meeting customers where they are. Today’s insurance customers are utilizing a range of channels for a range of interactions, pointing to hybrid models as the way forward.
For over 13 years, Unblu has been helping insurers to deliver the in-person experience virtually. Fusing the possibilities of digital and human services, Unblu provides the framework for multi-access insurance experiences that are convenient, seamless, and compliant.