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Digital Innovation: Tomorrow’s Experiment or Today’s Competitive Edge?

Blog: Kofax - Smart Process automation

The insurance industry is beginning to come to grips with the fact that it must evolve in order to attract and retain today’s tech-savvy and multi-channel buyer. feature-smart-phone-handsAnd it’s showing signs of innovation. With some emerging examples of the exploration of the Internet of Things through telematics, and the use of wearables (e.g., John Hancock’s vitality program). Additionally, digital advancement is being pursued through investments in standalone startups (e.g., AXA Strategic Ventures).

But what does this mean for the madness of today’s insurance operations? Does innovation and digital advancement only come from long-term experiments or strategic ventures in future technology? The answer is that innovation is closer than you might think.

Tactical innovation

Digital innovations applied to current processes can create superior customer experiences that lead to profitable policyholder relationships right now. Here are some smart, tactical innovations that provide your employees and customers with simpler-to-use processes, multichannel communication, fast response times and intuitive self-service. These tools can help you stand out in today’s competitive market right now:

Closing the gap between your customers and your systems

Building an efficient bridge between your core systems and your ability to engage with customers should be a priority. In a world where consumers can research and initiate purchases from any device, at any time, and from anywhere, it becomes a necessity to be able to engage your potential customers through their channel of choice. Be it a traditional agency office, a web site, or through a mobile device, customers don’t like to be kept waiting when they feel they are ready to make a purchase or apply for a policy.

Gimmal1Closing the gaps between your systems of engagement

Do your current engagement methods enable a potential customer to begin an application process in one channel, and then resume it in another? If you’re struggling with this one, you’re not alone. According to a study by Bain & Company , very few insurers have complete omnichannel capabilities. In Property & Casualty, less than half of carriers surveyed could allow a customer to start a transaction in one channel and complete it in another.

While you may feel safe being in the majority, keep in mind that your customers are the same customers benefiting from robust and integrated omnichannel experiences in other industries, such as retail. Have you ever ordered a product via an online portal, and then walked into your nearest store to collect the item? How long do you think the insurance industry will be allowed to have fragmented channels when other industries have shown how easy the end user experience should be?

Knowing your customers like they know themselves

Today’s customer expects to be treated like an individual. Shorter attention spans mean they don’t want to have to provide their individual information over and over again. And the more you can learn about customers as they provide their information, the more you can streamline the information gathering process and at the same time minimize potential fraud.

Information integration technologies can automate the acquisition of key pieces of information, allowing you to augment and validate the information provided by the applicant, thereby minimizing data entry and greatly improving the customer experience. Less data entry by the applicant, and better data quality for you is a win-win.

Empowering your customers through mobile apps

Submitting an insurance claim is clearly not a happy time for insurance customers. The last thing an auto or homeowner wants to do is spend time printing out and mailing paper documents.  However, you know that information and data collection is necessary in order for a claim to be evaluated. Why not allow the customer to engage in the process as early as possible? What better time to collect information than (safely) at the scene of an incident?feature-front-office-automation

By equipping mobile apps with the latest capture technology, claims and their supporting documents, such as police reports, photos, or driver’s licenses, can quickly and easily be collected at their point of origination. Empowering the customer to accurately begin collecting information not only speeds up the process but gives them the peace of mind and reassurance that you’re doing everything you can to help them recover quickly.

Maximizing customer service through process intelligence

Another way you can maximize efficiencies and keep your customers happy is to analyze data obtained through your interactions with them. Data analysis helps you gain insights into customer behavior as well as business performance, and areas in your business that may need improvement.

Enabling fast, fact-based decisions not only mitigates risk but allows you to more confidently deliver consistent and timely customer service.

Weighing risks versus rewards

Failure to adapt and innovate in today’s fast-paced, tech-obsessed, mobile world is risky. Not only can you lose your competitive edge and profits, but attracting and retaining customers can become increasingly difficult. The road to digital innovation is challenging, but the rewards (simpler processes, multichannel communication, fast response times and intuitive self-service) far outweigh the risks. And while there are some big innovations looming on the horizon for the insurance industry, there are incremental innovations that can be leveraged today.

Interested in learning more? Get your free copy of 3 Ways Not to Lose an Insurance Customer now.

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