WhatsApp your Insurer – The Future of Customer Service

Whilst other industries have taken tech adoption in their stride, the insurance sector has not been as fast off the mark.

Traditional approaches remain the name of the game as existing processes already make a functional machine. If processes aren’t technically broken, should we bother trying to fix them?

The complexities of the global insurance sector licence its slow technological development. Opportunities to transform technologically have presented themselves but seldom been left on the shelf, failing to change such a rigid industry. Nowadays, circumstances have forced industry insiders to adjust their approach, with the pandemic requiring a dramatic shift in the sector’s operation.

Covid-19 has seen us enter unchartered territory, with unconfirmed revenue streams and an even more uncertain future. Customer service departments have been filled to breaking point with claims for travel, health, and car insurance to name a few, making it hellish to manage.

70% of all customer interactions will involve technologies in 2022, so Gartner predicts, including mobile messaging, chatbots, and machine learning. With such a surge in digitisation predicted to lie ahead, how is it that insurance and social media sound so incongruous when paired together?

Ensuring fluid customer experiences

When selecting an insurance policy, customers want speed, simplicity, and needs met with the smallest headache possible. Customer engagement nowadays must go beyond the segmentation of simple demographics and harness the interests and purchase history of the individual to tailor communications and recommendations.

Digital is transforming the customer experience across sectors such as sport, fashion and travel, meanwhile, the insurance industry has not hit its peak. Digitalisation and innovation have presented themselves in the wake of the global pandemic. However, this has highlighted difficult-to-navigate websites, error-laden forms, delayed emails and as a result, inundated call centres.

As the landscape has shifted with information obtained online and insurance policies completed digitally, communicating effectively with customers is key to meeting post-pandemic needs. It is a risk that can cause reputational damage to insurers if policies change and customers are in the dark until days later.

Traditional insurance players with legacy-driven websites will fall behind without the right technology to meet customer needs – so why is social commerce significantly underestimated in the insurance industry?

The state of affairs for insurance

Europe has been slow to adopt social media as a core business tool. We’ve seen success in Asia, Africa and South America, which has now engaged a curiosity with European counterparts.

From sourcing quotes to submitting essential policy data and complaint management, the opportunities for insurers to maximise their service delivery is significant. It’s time to reposition technology as a vital asset for the insurance industry as we look to strategies for 2022.

In a modern insurance landscape, building an attachment with customers is the difference between sustaining loyalty, improving performance and losing a customer to a competitor. With the pandemic driving a hugely competitive market, insurers must harness the capabilities of technology to enrich the value delivered to customers and improve bottom lines.

Stay ahead of the rest

Instant messaging, such as WhatsApp, is a tool insurers can use to make it make sense to their customers, whether that’s through educating consumers about what is on offer and reducing their premium, or helping those hesitant with reminders of the benefits, incentives and discounts. With documentation exchanged in one place, both parties no longer have to deep dive into a sea of emails to get the information they want. WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption to protect customer privacy and adhere to GDPR.

Insurers can reach out to open an instant and real-time dialogue through WhatsApp. WhatsApp can enable insurers to send a quick message about policies rather than using precious customer service resources needed for more immediate requests. The informal tone means messages feel authentic and less overtly commercial.

Insurers are not using these chatbot channels enough. Millennials are maturing, and insurers are not active where this demographic spends most of its time. Customer wants can turn into transactions through direct communication and data insights available. Over the past two years, instant messaging has developed to enrich this further. Given circumstances are constantly evolving, having an easy way to contact and update providers is essential.

A promising digital future

The world is constantly changing, and so with it the behaviour of consumers. Businesses must stay flexible and be reactive to developing customer needs at a moment’s notice. With more and more options for commerce, the attention economy warrants new lifeblood and innovative services. Maintaining a consistent customer experience through omnichannel strategies will be one of the main drivers of competition in the insurance industry in 2022 and beyond.

Social Commerce is the missing component for success. Whilst in-person visits remain limited, that does not mean business operations need to come to a standstill. Frictionless and effortless customer experiences are more important than ever as the insurance landscape continues to assert its complexities.

No longer can the insurance industry’s social presence lay dormant; digital eruption is imminent.

About the Author

Cris Villar is VP of Customer Success & Co-Founder at Landbot. Landbot is a platform that helps companies to create conversational experiences. Boost customer engagement with human conversations, at scale.

Featured image: ©Nicole Lienemann