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4 Call Center Imperatives for Insurers

Customer expectations for a consistent, interactive and real-time experience across all channels, including the call center, are rising. What must insurers do to meet these expectations?
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Capture and Use Info to Grow the Customer Base

Insurers’ emphasis right now is on maintaining continuity of customer dialogue as he or she switches from one channel to another. The technological basis for this is improvements in VoIP, the emergence of Unified Communications and Collaboration and Session Initiation Protocol, and better customer history records. Allowing a session to remain active as the customer switches from mobile or web to the conversation with the service representative improves satisfaction and hastens resolution. The design challenge is simplifying the history to the relevant parts to support the conversation.

Insurers have been extremely protective of customers’ privacy and their record in this area has been good. Accenture research indicates that the majority of consumers now expect insurers to use all information they have provided to serve them better or place them in the right products. Capturing and using this information is a large opportunity of insurers to satisfy, retain and grow the customer base.

The question today is more about automation that outsourcing. Insurers are using automation to help customers answer basic questions, bringing contact center volumes down. Contact complexity, therefore, is increasing. The human-assisted interactions are more critical than ever to differentiate, thus reducing the need to outsource.

Mobility is emerging in two areas for consumer and small business insurance. Customers switch seamlessly from app or mobile web to phone calls; and, savvy carriers are using this context to route to the right representative. P&C insurers, in particular, are moving to integrate claims First Notice of Loss with contact center technologies for a superior experience at this critical “moment of truth.”

— John McNally, Senior Principal, Accenture Distribution & Marketing Services (pictured at right)

Peggy Bresnick Kendler has been a writer for 30 years. She has worked as an editor, publicist and school district technology coordinator. During the past decade, Bresnick Kendler has worked for UBM TechWeb on special financialservices technology-centered ... View Full Bio

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