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The ‘Digital’ Insurance Broker

3 minutes, 24 seconds read

The technological advancements brought forth by insurtech will soon become routine for brokerage offices within the next few years. Digital-first approaches have finally trickled down, turning ripe for adoption for this major distribution channel. However, broker adoption has still not caught pace with their agency counterparts.

According to a 2019 report surveying independent insurance brokers across the US, Canada & the UK, the average for digital technology adoption at an independent brokerage is only around 43%, even though nearly 96% of them (almost universally) use a broker management system for indispensable day-to-day operations. Interestingly, over 80% don’t offer any form of ‘mobile apps’ or ‘self-service portals’ for customers or staff. 

Today’s insurance customers are younger and prefer digital over traditional channels — leaving a lot of unmet gaps in the value chain. The report also identified key areas where adoption is growing — such as capabilities in workflow process management, document management, sales opportunities & prospect tracking, one system-one view visibility into all departments among others. For example, the downside to not outfitting your broker operation with employee mobility tools alone translates to over 30% reduction in staff productivity. 

Today’s insurance customers are younger and prefer digital over traditional channels

Meanwhile, brokers are facing a whole new set of challenges — Insurance is being built for digital and the audience is changing. Gen Z and Millennials will form the core of their target demographic. A fully online brokerage can benefit these potential customers through simple end-to-end policy administration and by fine-tuning the customer journey.

webinar: AI for data-driven Insurers

Join our Webinar — AI for Data-driven Insurers: Challenges, Opportunities & the Way Forward hosted by our CEO, Parag Sharma as he addresses Insurance business leaders and decision-makers on April 14, 2020.

While brokers are not involved in the manufacture of insurance products or the evaluation of risk, several other value chain functions are being performed through brokers now — of which managing the customer relationship is pivotal. 

There is a lot of data across the lifecycle to look at, which necessitates the need for advanced analytics in order maximize the opportunities to up/cross-sell. At present, data analytics is widely under-utilized among most insurance brokers leaving them blindsided to customer needs.

The Case for a ‘Digital’ Brokerage

A digital broker business is built on these foundational blocks — robust broker management system, seamless mobility tools for employees, insurer connectedness, self-service portals, smart customer apps, advanced data analytics and the cloud. 

The case for digital brokerage

Taking the entire business model online requires the right business advisory and technical roadmap, without which the transformation can leave you with unwarranted gaps in the operating structure. This is where Artificial Intelligence can play a critical role in securing brokerages to be future-ready. The digital broker has to be outfitted with a staunch selection of AI-enabled tools that provide better business visibility, more unified workflows and eliminates time spent managing and updating divergent systems.  

Analysing big data (predictive analytics) and social media using AI can offer real-time insights for measuring risk, immediate demands and possible life changes for customers. For brokers, this translates to an enhanced ability to justify value to clients and ultimately retain those customers.

EY ‘The broker of the future report’

According to a recent EY report on the state of digital brokerages, ‘digital onboarding tools’ and ‘sales leads & application tools’ were identified as attributes with the lowest satisfaction among brokerages. There is a growing sense that these tools need to be a cut above the industry benchmarks — in order to improve the digital relationship with a customer or prospect.

The Digital Broker can also leverage automation to improve efficiency in agent productivity and document handling processes. For instance, enabling employees with remote digital tools empowers them to quickly take action – from quoting prospects to providing policy details and managing claims for existing customers — especially when they need it most. 

Brokers, just like insurers and agencies, need next-gen customer engagement solutions in order to maximize real customer lifetime value. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence have the potential to enhance several facets of the business from reducing back-office processing times and intelligent lead allocation to designing better customer facing products. Improvements achieved through the deployment of AI can create significant gains in operational efficiency and RPE (revenue per employee).

To learn how MantaLabs can help your brokerage begin its digital transformation journey, reach out to us on hello@mantralabsglobal.com

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Enhancing digital patient experience with healthcare chatbots

5 minutes read

Chatbots are fast emerging at the forefront of user engagement across industries. In 2021, healthcare is undoubtedly being touted as one of the most important industries due to the noticeable surge in demand amid the pandemic and its subsequent waves. The Global Healthcare Chatbots Market is expected to exceed over US$ 314.63 Million by 2024 at a CAGR of 20.58%.

Chatbots are being seen as those with high potential to revolutionize healthcare. They act as the perfect support system to agents on the floor by providing the first-step resolution to the customer, in terms of understanding intent and need, boost efficiency, and also improve the accuracy of symptom detection and ailment identification, preventive care, feedback procedures, claim filing and processing and more.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital tools in healthcare, most commonly chatbots, rose to the forefront of healthcare solutions. Providence St. Joseph Health, Mass General Brigham, Care Health Insurance (formerly Religare), and several other notable names built and rolled out artificial intelligence-based chatbots to help with diagnostics at the first stage before a human-human virtual contact, especially while differentiating between possible COVID-19 cases and other ailments. The CDC also hosts an AI-driven chatbot on its website to help screen for coronavirus infections. Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) partnered with a messaging app named Ratuken Viber, to develop an interactive chatbot for accurate information about COVID-19 in multiple languages. This allowed WHO to reach up to 1 billion people located anywhere in the world, at any time of the day, in their respective native languages.

For Care Health Insurance, Mantra Labs deployed their Conversational AI Chatbot with AR-based virtual support, called Hitee, trained to converse in multiple languages. This led to 10X interactions over the previous basic chatbot; 5X more conversions through Vanilla Web Experience; Drop-in Customer Queries over Voice Support by 20% among other benefits.

Artificial Intelligence’s role in the healthcare industry has been growing strength by strength over the years. According to the global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, AI spending in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries is expected to increase from $463 million in 2019 to more than $2 billion over the next 5 years, healthtechmagazine.net has reported. 

Speaking of key features available on a healthcare chatbot, Anonymity; Monitoring; Personalization; collecting Physical vitals (including oxygenation, heart rhythm, body temperature) via mobile sensors; monitoring patient behavior via facial recognition; Real-time interaction; and Scalability, feature top of the list. 

However, while covering the wide gamut of a healthcare bot’s capabilities, it is trained on the following factors to come in handy on a business or human-need basis. Read on: 

Remote, Virtual Consults 

Chatbots were seen surging exponentially in the year 2016, however, the year 2020 and onwards brought back the possibility of adding on to healthcare bot capabilities as people continued to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Chatbots work as the frontline customer support for Quick Symptom Assessment where the intent is understood and a patient’s queries are answered, including connection with an agent for follow-up service, Booking an Appointment with doctors, and more. 

Mental Health Therapy

Even though anxiety, depression, and other mental health-related disorders and their subsequent awareness have been the talk around the world, even before the pandemic hit, the pandemic year, once again could be attributed to increased use of bots to seek support or a conversation to work through their anxiety and more amid trying times. The popular apps, Woebot and Wysa, both gained popularity and recognition during the previous months as a go-to Wellness Advisor. 

An AI Wellness Advisor can also take the form of a chatbot that sends regular reminders on meal and water consumption timings, nutrition charts including requisite consultation with nutritionists, lifestyle advice, and more. 

Patient Health Monitoring via wearables 

Wearable technologies like wearable heart monitors, Bluetooth-enabled scales, glucose monitors, skin patches, shoes, belts, or maternity care trackers promise to redefine assessment of health behaviors in a non-invasive manner and helps acquire, transmit, process, and store patient data, thereby making it a breeze for clinicians to retrieve it as and when they need it.

Remote patient monitoring devices also enable patients to share updates on their vitals and their environment from the convenience and comfort of home, a feature that’s gained higher popularity amid the pandemic.

A healthcare chatbot for healthcare has the capability to check existing insurance coverage, help file claims and track the status of claims. 

What’s in store for the future of chatbots in Healthcare? 

The three main areas where healthcare chatbots can be particularly useful include timely health diagnostics, patient engagement outside medical facilities, and mental health care. 

According to Gartner, conversational AI will supersede cloud and mobile as the most important imperative for the next ten years. 

“For AI to succeed in healthcare over the long-term, consumer comfort and confidence should be front and center. Leveraging AI behind the scenes or in supporting roles could collectively ease us into understanding its value without risking alienation,” reads a May 2021 Forbes article titled, The Doctor Is In: Three Predictions For The Future Of AI In Healthcare. 

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