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Get Ready for Chatbots - Part 2


How Can Insurers Benefit from Chatbots?

In the first part of our article series we have discussed the reasons why chatbots are one of most discussed tech trends today. In the following we will dive deeper into this topic and explain how chatbots can be used by insurers to fundamentally reshape and improve their customer interaction.

Improved Customer Interaction

For the majority of customers today, the current channels offered by insurers are not attractive enough. By using chatbots, insurers can meet this challenge and set themselves apart from their competitors.

Chatbots are much more intuitive to use than customer portals or mobile apps as you do not have to search for the right webpage or go through complex menus to make your request. Instead, you can just start chatting with your insurer’s chatbot and it will automatically guide you through the correct process – just like as if you were talking with an insurance broker or customer service employee, but with 24/7 availability and zero waiting time.

Moreover, almost all of us already have installed at least one messaging app on our phones with which we can interact with chatbots, so we do not have the hassle of having to install additional insurance apps. Furthermore, we perceive interactions initiated by the insurer via chat to be far less intrusive than those initiated via phone.

Finally, what’s unique about chatbots is that they can serve as a single point of contact. This means that customers can access all their insurer’s available services as well as external services via a single messaging app.

Figure 1: Architecture of a chatbot solution

Here’s an example: Tim has purchased a home insurance and has added his insurer’s chatbot to his contacts in Facebook Messenger. On a warm summer’s evening, a severe thunderstorm suddenly breaks out. Since the chatbot is connected to a weather service via an API, it proactively sends Tim a weather alert in good time.

After the storm has passed, Tim notices that despite his precautions, one of his apartment’s windows has been damaged. He immediately sends a message to his insurer via chat stating he wants to file a claim and is asked by the chatbot to send a photo of the broken window.

The chatbot then confirms the damage using an image recognition service and informs Tim within seconds that his claim has been approved. Additionally, Tim receives the contact details of a nearby window repair service. Tim did not have to exit the messaging app even once during the entire process.

Cost Savings, Increased Efficiency, Scalability, and Low Entry Barriers

With the help of chatbots, the majority of customer interactions can be automated, resulting in a significant reduction of labor costs and processing time of customer requests. Additionally, chatbots are much easier to scale as a single chatbot can communicate with thousands of customers on different messaging platforms at the same time.

Furthermore, it is possible to build powerful chatbots with relatively low cost and time investment due to the large number of available chatbot development platforms. By using pre-trained AI models from providers such as Microsoft, IBM, Google, Amazon or Facebook, it is possible to significantly reduce the amount of effort required to train a chatbot.

Additionally, existing customer interaction processes do not necessarily have to be changed for chatbots but rather can be adapted one-to-one. Last but not least, the processes do not need to be automated all at once. Instead, the processes can be gradually replaced by chatbots one by one – an approach which we will describe in the fifth part of our article series.

As you can see, chatbots offer many benefits that insurers can leverage. Currently, a large number of insurance companies are already experimenting with natural language interfaces. With the current speed at which chatbots are advancing, we expect the majority of insurers to use them to engage with customers in the next few years.

In the next part of our article series we will introduce the technology upon which modern chatbots are based and explain the connection between natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

You might also be interested in the following article:

Are you curious about trying out our prototypes? Would you like to talk more about chatbots? You can reach us directly, using the contact details below.

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