63 0 Insurance strategies and challenges: using Intelligent automation to enhance customer experience


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Apr 2022

Insurance strategies and challenges: using Intelligent automation to enhance customer experience

Brought to you by:  Blue Prism

Insurance strategies and challenges: using Intelligent automation to enhance customer experience

Many insurance companies have brought in RPA capabilities only to get stuck in a tactical implementation that limits their ability to scale the benefits. Blue Prism is helping more and more insurers to make that leap to embedding intelligent automation in a more strategic and transformational way. Customer experience is a strategic priority for insurance and intelligent automation can play a key role in connecting back and front-end systems and processes to provide an optimal digital journey for every stage of a customer’s policy lifecycle.

Transforming the customer experience can be a particular challenge because it encompasses touch points during the entire lifecycle of a policy, from getting quotes through to renewal or cancellation, and of course claims. Each of these areas has its own pain points both for the customer and for the insurance organization. 

So when we talk to insurance providers about transformation, we say that change starts from within, but must constantly optimise the on the customer experience & outcome.

Driving change in claims CX

If you take claims as an example, there are many back-end processes and systems that are used to move a claim from FNOL through to settlement. At every stage there are opportunities for automation and efficiencies, but a more strategic approach would be to use an intelligent digital workforce to create a seamless back-end ecosystem.

A customer FNOL interaction on the phone with a contact center agent would be transformed if the agent had all the relevant customer data at their fingertips, along with technology that removed the manual data entry elements from the process, instantly connecting the information being give in the call to the back-end system. This could also connect with an app or website form so that the agent can talk the customer through the process of providing photographs or documentation digitally in the moment. 

Any of these actions can trigger automations with the next stage of the claim process, whether that is interacting with the supply chain, booking an adjuster to visit the claimant, or assessing the claim in real time to create a fast settlement turnaround.

In order to see how your back-end processes are impacting front end behaviors and customer experiences, you need to get under the skin of your operations and your processes. Tools such as Blue Prism’s Process Intelligence can help with mapping and analyzing end-to-end claims and policy lifecycles.



Compliance challenges and customer experience

In Asia insurance markets, one product may have different challenges depending on the region where it’s being sold. Implementing automation in these regions therefore varies in difficulty. 

In a recent roundtable, a representative from a leading insurer spoke about the differences in implementing automation in Hong Kong vs Malaysia and Thailand. “Some of it is that we don’t have a unified tech stack across all markets, although we are moving towards that. But we have more nimble, larger teams in Singapore and Hong Kong, whereas for Indonesia and Malaysia it takes longer to get automation done. The other hurdle in those countries is compliance and regulatory issues, whether it’s Sharia insurance or Takaful insurance, or AML regulations. This means we need to handle customer experience carefully to make it as easy as possible for them to provide the ID documents and photographs needed.”

Speeding up transformation to meet current customer expectations

Some insurers are held back by the red tape they encounter to get approvals on technology that would help them meet immediate customer expectations.

According to another roundtable member, “It seems easy when somebody has an idea and generally people say ‘go for it’. But when we start to surface the cost and timeline versus the benefits it becomes more challenging. We have to spend quite a bit of time going through the approval process, especially when the cost investment is high. And then when it becomes clear that it’s not just pertaining to one area of the organization and the cost starts to mount up, it crosses the budget threshold where it needs escalation to higher management and the board of directors. 

“So, by the time you can get an approval a lot of time has passed, and the market has changed or the need has changed. And you need to start the whole process again.”

It’s easier to approach an automation program in phases. Start relatively small, pick simple processes to automate, focus on key metrics and what you want to achieve. But at the same time, keep perspective of what the business outcome should be from the investment. So for example, what’s the cost saving per claim? Then you can think about streamlining more lines of business and as you become better and faster at implementation you can scale: by looking at automating more complex processes; by looking at the end-to-end function from a holistic position and from the customer’s point of view.

When you can make one end-to-end process digital, it’s easier to then consider how processes can be standardized across different departments in the organization. A truly scaled up program would target transforming the entire operating model.

But because you laid out a roadmap to get there from the outset, and worked your way up to it, the approvals process is simpler, and you can provide ROI to senior management at each stage.

Making change happen

With larger, established insurance organizations, the challenges are typically not just in the deployment of the technology but in cultural adoption and trust. There is tension between three components that will make up the future workforce – humans, automation and the Internet of Things. Leadership must be prepared to manage that tension and what we’ve learned through working with insurance customers is that you’ve got to respect the change management process. A digital workforce may be seen as a threat rather than a resource that benefits employees. But we do see that attitude changing in those organizations that make the effort to share information, to educate and create understanding. A successful governance framework and a dedicated change management program is essential.

It’s important that an automation program isn’t driven by opportunism rather than a planned roadmap. Ensure you have a pipeline of opportunities that are linked to your company’s strategic priorities and don’t get swayed by the team with the loudest voice or a favored, more visible business function.

Lastly, think of intelligent automation as a platform not just a tool. It should be considered part of the continuum of your digital and cognitive technologies that support the transformation of your enterprise, not simply as a hammer to hit a nail.

Spokesperson for Blue Prism, Robert Dewar, Vice President Financial Services Asia Pacific

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