How Insurance Companies Can Become Better at Using AI
Insurers Can Use AI to Improve Customer Experience, Develop New Products and Optimize Sales and Marketing Strategies
The insurance industry is ripe for disruption through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). Insurers that are able to integrate AI into every part of their business—from business process optimization to delivering reimagined products, services, and experiences to customers—can move into the achiever category to realize greater value.
Carriers looking to gain momentum with their AI investments can find opportunities in the front office and build out their next phase of growth. Our study explored three key front office use cases that I’ll be diving into in this post: customer experience, product and service development, and sales and marketing.
Customer Experience Intelligence and Journey Automation
When it comes to customer experience optimization, insurers are beginning to make progress compared to other industries—yet they are still in the early stages of AI activation.
Many insurers have invested in developing a single view of the customer and have been able to understand what products customers own, if they have recently made a claim or whether they have received a quote for another product.
While some insurers are starting to gain a better understanding of the interactions they have with a given customer, most insurers struggle to connect the customer journey across multiple channels and touchpoints. Far fewer are able to use those insights to understand the breakpoints in that experience and address them systematically.
Though many insurers have invested in customer relationship management (CRM) platforms to share customer insights across the enterprise, few have layered in AI to use those insights to orchestrate highly personalized customer experiences that span marketing, sales, service, and claims. Leading CRM vendors are integrating AI capabilities into their platforms, making it easier to embed out-of-the-box AI models into any workflow. Choosing such technology is a major opportunity to create omnichannel experiences and build a truly holistic view of each customer.
When it comes to automating parts of the customer journey, conversational AI remains a largely untapped opportunity for the insurance industry as a whole. Those that are creating self-contained conversational experiences that satisfy customers’ needs—rather than simply answering FAQs or pointing customers to where they can get help—are generating higher levels of satisfaction with significant customer service cost savings and reduced reliance on a challenging labor market.
New Product and Service Development
Recently, Accenture found that 88% of executives think their customers’ needs are changing faster than their businesses can keep up with. Factors like climate change and economic uncertainty are forcing customers to adapt to circumstances that are out of their control, moving through territory as they try to make the decisions that are best for them. Our research revealed a need for companies to shift from focusing on customer as consumer to developing a nuanced understanding of the customer as a multifaceted human being with complex and often contradictory desires.
This shift from customer-centricity to an approach we’ve coined “life-centricity” is especially relevant for carriers as they develop products. AI can help carriers widen their understanding of customer behavior and move outside of cookie-cutter customer profiles with data insights. It can help them build offerings that can be tailored to the needs and habits of customers as they move through their life, seamlessly recommending or upgrading individuals’ products to respond to events like the purchase of a new home or providing coverage as climate change reshapes natural disaster risk.
There are plenty of opportunities for insurers to create new products and services that use AI to realize more value and deliver enhanced experiences. We’re already seeing many carriers implementing AI in their auto insurance products to assess driver behavior and offer pay-as-you-drive policies.
As IoT and wearable technology improves, carriers will be able to use AI to gain an even deeper understanding of customer behaviors, meeting their needs and predicting what their needs might be in the future.
Insurers that are looking to gain momentum with their AI investments should focus on the front office, where there are significant opportunities to improve customer experience, develop new products and services, and optimize sales and marketing activities. By leveraging AI to power total enterprise reinvention, carriers can move into the Achiever category and realize greater value.
When it comes to customer experience, insurers should focus on building a single view of the customer, integrating AI capabilities into their CRM platforms, and creating conversational AI experiences that satisfy customers’ needs. For product and service development, insurers should shift from customer-centricity to life-centricity, using AI to widen their understanding of customer behavior and build offerings that can be tailored to customers’ needs and habits. Finally, for sales and marketing optimization, carriers should leverage AI to personalize customer interactions, optimize marketing spend, and identify potential cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
While implementing AI can be a daunting task, carriers that are able to successfully integrate AI into their front office operations will be well-positioned to achieve long-term success in a rapidly evolving industry.