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Intelligent routing: How insurers can boost customer service

Tim Braasch | Partner, Strategy& Germany
July 26, 2021

Although BigTech companies do not (yet) sell insurance, the online behemoths are rapidly changing consumers’ expectations and are therefore affecting insurance firms, too. As western consumers have gotten used to seamless online customer service, they now expect it from firms across the board, regardless of the industry. Insurers must be quick to respond to this “New Consumer Culture” and its high expectations. They could take inspiration from BigTech’s customer journey, which is based on accessibility, efficiency, and convenience.

Today, a typical insurance company views each customer contact – from calling the service center to meeting a representative – as isolated events. With customer touchpoints being spread across different functions, channels, and ownerships, it is easy to lose track of a holistic customer journey and, above all, the client’s need: Resolving one’s issue quickly, ideally upon first contact. As a result, relatively low customer loyalty, partially high service costs and long processing times are widespread across the industry today.

Our approach: Intelligent routing and automation for insurers

To increase efficiencies and put the customer at the center of attention we developed a completely new way of workload distribution. At the heart of our approach lies a central routing engine, that streamlines interactions with the customers across all channels. It uses a virtual queue for optimal workload distribution and route requests to the available resources with the required skills.

Our approach: Intelligent routing and automation for insurers

The benefits of automating and reconfiguring processes within insurance companies are broad. Insurers may use intelligent routing to move requests towards low-cost channels – such as digital self-service where suitable – or to automatically assign the right expert to each specific customer issue. A central routing engine would avoid unnecessary administrative work, prioritize tasks, free up management capabilities, and reduce IT costs, as only one common routing system for all channels is set up. Finally, with our approach customer and agent satisfaction can be increased significantly, e.g., by boosting first-time-right rates while at the same time reducing processing times, redirects or queries.

Ultimately, by adopting intelligent routing and automation processes, insurance companies could increase their productivity by 20-30%. We have been able to help our clients in the industry achieve significant improvements with this approach, including an up to 70% reduction of processing time, or 30 percentage points increases of the net promoter score, which measures customer satisfaction.

Every customer contact counts

It is vital for insurance firms to bear in mind that every customer contact represents an opportunity to create positive, memorable moments with policyholders, claimants, and agents. To successfully win over and retain customers, we strongly recommend looking beyond the competition in the industry. Like Amazon and other winning tech companies, insurers must focus on the full customer journey, providing the kind of positive, efficient experience that will keep policyholders, claimants, and agents happy and loyal.

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Tim Braasch

Tim Braasch

Partner, Strategy& Germany