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Is Insurance Moving Up the Customer Experience Value Chain

Nidhi Agrawal
4 minutes, 36 seconds read

The insurance industry has been thriving to establish a strong connection with customers. The challenge is, however, intense with digital disruption and new avenues for customer risks. Insurance companies are catching the pace of the technological revolution and harnessing technology to bring more relevant products to the customers. While ‘customer satisfaction’ lies at the centre of businesses today, is insurance moving up the customer experience value chain? Let’s see.

Insurance Now and a Decade Ago

Traditionally, a customer would call the insurance company during instances of claims. The customer would hear from the company only when the policy renewal time is approaching. This indicates the need for an ice-breaker in the insurance-customer relationship.

A decade ago, insurers intended to harmonize customer interactions — the touchpoints. Normally, any insurance company can have 4-7 customer touchpoints. Even though individual touchpoints are performing, the overall experience for a customer might not be satisfactory.

Is Insurance Moving Up the Customer Experience Value Chain Satisfaction-touchpoints-X-customer-journey

Customer satisfaction depends on five factors: interaction; price; policy offerings; billing & payment; and claims. However, to train the entire organization to see the interactions with customers’ eyes is still a challenge. It’s not possible to revamp the entire system overnight, but identifying the pain-points and acting upon them can surely move insurers up the ‘experience’ value chain.

For instance, the year 2014-15 witnessed one of the hefty market slowdowns in the automobile sector. Despite this, the millennials expressed an increase in satisfaction for their car-insurance services. The main reason for the increased satisfaction in the customer experience value chain was measurably improved interactions. 

Resource: “Improved Interactions Drive Gen Y Increase in Auto Insurance Satisfaction.”

Addressing the fact that more touchpoints lead to more operational challenges and time to deliver results; insurers prototyped single-point-of-contact models during 2015-16. Here, a personalized agent would take care of the customer interactions. The results were profound, and this step is a milestone in defining the customer journey as a whole. McKinsey’s research finds that customer journeys are more strongly correlated with business outcomes than touchpoints.

Also read: Customer Journey is the New Product!

Today, organizations are leveraging technologies to speed-up processes like policy distribution, underwriting, and claim settlements. For instance, USAA (The United Services Automobile Association) is developing machine learning models to instantly predict vehicle damage from digital images and offer claim estimates.

Recent Developments in Insurance

According to Accenture, 76% of customers would switch providers for more personalized service and tailored product offerings. Insurers are, therefore, not only concerned about “what my customers want,” but also – “how my customers want.” 

Organizations are using technology to provide tailored solutions to customers specific to their requirements. Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), IoT, Blockchain, and Data analytics are strengthening the insurtech sector. 

Carriers are using AI and ML to improve underwriting for mitigating risks. For example, Cape Analytics uses AI and geospatial imagery to provide instant property intelligence. Insurers can, therefore, accurately assess a property’s risk and value.

As mentioned before, claim settlement is one of the five major factors influencing customer satisfaction in insurance. Insurers are leveraging AI and cloud technology to settle claims in minutes or even less. For example, ICICI Lombard uses Cognitive Computing, Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR), and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to automate the claim settlement process. Similarly for health insurance, ICICI Lombard is covering medical procedures like Cataract, Maternity, Appendicitis, Hemodialysis, and Hysterectomy for app-based claim settlement.

Also read – how AI can settle claims in 5 minutes!

Insurance companies are also automating workflows inline with their existing processes. It is helping insurers to bridge the technology gap between Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z customers. Efficient insurance workflow automation solutions are trained to decipher industry-specific jargon and at the same time, interact with the user using NLP (Natural Language Processing) techniques.

Another remarkable advancement in insurance CRM is the adoption of chatbots. It is a viable solution to serve multiple customers concurrently. For example, Religare, a leading insurer was able to increase customer interactions by 10x through chatbots.

Religare Chatbot

The present time also sees customers’ growing intent towards micro policies, which serve a single purpose instead of an all-encompassing insurance scheme. Technology is also helping to distribute micro policies in scale with almost zero upfront costs. For example, Gramcover, an Indian microinsurance startup uses direct-document uploading and processing for distributing policies in rural areas.

What Customers Say?

The World InsurTech Report 2019 indicates that less than 25% of business customers and 15% retail policyholders believe they’re covered against all emerging risks. However, 28% of individual customers are amenable to share additional data for more comprehensive services. Also, 15% of customers are willing to pay an additional fee for relevant services

The takeaway —  ‘relevance’ is the key to today’s customers. Insurance companies can leverage this opportunity to provide products related to emerging threats like identity theft, privacy invasion, misuse of personal information, and attacks from ransomware. 

In 2018, about 30% of customers selected their insurer in a single day, according to a survey from the Insurance Information Institute. Through creating exceptional customer experiences, insurers can set themselves apart from their competitors. And the answer to ‘how’ to create this exceptional experience lies in focusing on the journey more than the customer touchpoints.

The customer interaction preferences will keep on changing. Today, millennials prefer to interact with insurers via digital self-service. Tomorrow, Gen Z might want complete automation, i.e. no interaction at all. How fast the insurance industry adapts to the changing preferences will determine the level of satisfaction in the customer experience value chain.

We provide insurtech solutions for business-specific challenges. Feel free to drop us a line at, illustrating your requirements.


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Chatbots are the assistants of the future and they are taking the Internet by storm. Ever since their first appearance in 1994, the goal was to create an AI that could conduct a real dialogue with their interlocutors. The purpose is to free up customer service agents’ time so they could focus on more delicate tasks- which require a more human approach.

If you are thinking about including a chatbot on your website, here are the things you need to keep in mind to boost customer engagement and deliver high-quality services.

Define your audience

First things first- think about who will be interacting with the chatbot? Who are your customers? How do they talk? How can you address them in a way they’ll enjoy? How can you help them?

For instance, if your company sells clothes that are mostly designed for young adults, using a less formal tone will be much more appealing to them.

Lisa Wright, a customer service specialist at Trust My Paper advice: “Customer service calls are usually recorded, so listening to a few of them can be a good place to start designing your chatbot’s lines of dialogue.”

Give your bot some character

People don’t like to talk to plain, simple robots. Therefore, giving your chatbot some personality is a must. Some brands prefer naming their chatbots and even design an animated character for them. This makes the interaction more real.

For example, The SmarterChild chatbot- designed back in 2000, was able to speak to around 2,50,000 humans every day with funny, sad, and sarcastic emotions.

However, the chatbot’s character needs to match your brand identity and at the same time- appeal to customers. Think about – how would the bot speak, if they were real? Are there some phrases or words they would never use? Do they tell jokes? All these need to be well-thought through, before going into the chatbot writing and design phase.

According to a report published by Ubisend in 2017, 69% of customers use the chatbot to get an instant answer. Only 15% of them would interact for fun. Thus, don’t sacrifice the performance for personality. 

Also read – 5 Key Success Metrics for Chatbots

Revise your goals before chatbot writing

Alexa- Amazon bot has 30+ skills which include scheduling an appointment, booking a cab, reading news, playing music, controlling a smartphone, and more. However, every business bot doesn’t need to be a pro in every assisting job.

Before entering the writing phase, think over once again – WHY you need a chatbot? Will it help customer service only? Or will it also help in website navigation, purchase, return, refund, etc.?

Usually, customers want one of the three things when they visit your site: an answer to something they’re looking for, make a purchase, or a solution to their problem. You can custom build your chatbot to tackle either one or all of these three situations. Many brands use chatbots to create tailored products for their clients.  

Cover all possible scenarios

When you start writing the dialogue, consider the fact that a conversation can go in many directions. To ensure that all the situations are covered- start with a flowchart of all possible questions and the answers you chatbot can give.

To further simplify your chatbot writing, take care of one scenario at a time and focus on keeping the conversation short and simple. If the customer is too specific or is not satisfied with the bot’s response, do not hesitate to redirect them to your customer service representatives.

For instance, Xiaocle is one of the most successful interactive chatbots launched by Microsoft in July 2014. Within three months of its launch, Xiaocle accomplished over 0.5 billion conversations. In fact, speakers couldn’t understand that they’re talking to a bot for 10 minutes.

Also read – Why should businesses consider chatbots?

This article is contributed to Mantra Labs by Dorian Martin. Dorian is an established blogger and content writer for business, career, education, marketing, academics, and more.


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The antiquated commodity of Financial ‘Coverage & Protection’ is getting a new make-over.  Conventional epigrams like ‘Insurance is sold and not bought’ are becoming passé. Customers are now more open than ever before to buying insurance as opposed to being sold by an agent.  The industry itself is witnessing an accelerated digitalization momentum on the backs of 4G, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence-based technologies like Machine Learning & NLP.

As new technologies and consumer habits keep evolving, so are insurance business models. The reality for many insurance carriers is that they still don’t understand their customers with great accuracy and detail, which is where intermediaries like agents and distributors still hold incredible market power.

On the other hand, distribution channels are turning hybrid, which is forcing carriers to be proficient in their entire channel mix. Customer expectations for 2020 will begin to reflect more simplicity and transparency in their mobility & speed of service delivery.

A recently published Gartner Hype Cycle highlights 29 new and emerging technologies that are bound for greater business impact, that will ultimately dissolve into the fabric of Insurance.

For 2020 and beyond, newer technologies are emerging along with older but more progressively maturing ones creating a wider stream of opportunities for businesses.


Irrespective of the technology application adopted by insurers — real, actionable insights is the name of the game. Without it, there can be no long term gains. Forrester research explains “Those that are truly insights-driven businesses will steal $1.2 trillion per annum from their less-informed peers by 2020”.

Based on the major trends identified in the Hype Cycle, 5 of the most near-term disruptive technologies and their use cases, are profiled below.

  1. Emotion AI
    Emotion Artificial Intelligence (AI) is purported to detect insurance fraud based on the audio analysis of the caller. This means that an AI system can decisively measure, understand, simulate and react to human emotions in a natural way.

    F0r Insurers, sentiment and tone analysis captured from chatbots fitted with emotional intelligence can reveal deeper insights into the buying propensity of an individual while also understanding the reasons influencing that decision.


Autonomous cars can also sensors, cameras or mics that relay information over the cloud that can be translated into insights concerning the emotional state of the driver, the driving experience of the other passengers, and even the safety level within the vehicle.

Gartner estimates that at least 10% of personal devices will have emotion AI capabilities, either on-device or via the cloud by 2022. Devices with emotion AI capacity is currently around 1%.

  1. Augmented Intelligence
    Augmented Intelligence is all about process intelligence. Widely touted as the ‘future of decision-making’, this technology involves a blend of data, analytics and AI working in parallel with human judgement. If Scripting is rules based automation, then ‘Augmenting’ is engagement and decision oriented.

    This manifests today for most insurance carriers as an automated back-office task, but over the next few years, this technology will be found in almost all internal and customer facing operations. Insurers can potentially offer personalised services based on the client’s individual capacity and exposure to risk — creating opportunities for cross/up-selling.

Source: Gartner Data Analytics Trends for 2019

For instance, Online Identity Verification is an example of a real-time application that not only enhances human’s decision making ability, but also requires human intervention in only highly critical cases. The Global value from Augmented AI Tools will touch $4 Trillion by 2022.

  1. AR Cloud
    The AR Cloud is simply put a real-time 3D map of an environment, overlayed onto the real World. Through this, experiences and information can be shared without being tied down to a specific location. Placing virtual content using real world coordinates with associated meta-data can be instantly shared and accessed from any device.

    For insurers, there is a wide range of opportunities to entice shopping customers on an AR-Cloud based platform by presenting personalized insurance products relevant to the items they are considering buying.

    The AR ecosystem will be a great way to explain insurance plans to customers, provide training and guidance for employees, assist in real-time damage estimation, improve the quality of ‘moment-of-truth’ engagements. This affords modern insurance products to co-exist seamlessly along the buying journey.

  2. Personification
    Personification is a technology that is wholly dependent on speech and interaction. Through this, people can anthropomorphize themselves and create avatars that can form complex relationships. The Virtual Reality-based concept will be the next way of communicating and forming new interactions.

    VR Applications such as  accident recreation, customer education and live risk assessment, can help insurers lower costs for its customers and personalise the experience.

    Brands have already begun working their way into this space, because as they see it — if younger generations are going to invariably use this technology for longer portions of their day for work, productivity, research, entertainment, even role-playing games, they will shop and buy this way too.

  3. Flying Autonomous Vehicles and Light Cargo Drones
    Although this technology is only a decade away from being commercially realized, the non-flying form is about to make its greatest impact since its original conception. Regulations are the biggest obstacle to the technology taking off, while its functionality continues to improve.

    The Transportation & Logistics ecosystem is on the brink of a complete shift, which will create a demand for a wide array of insurance related products and services that covers autonomous vehicles and cargo delivery using light drones.

While automation continues to bridge the gaps, InsurTechs and Insurance Carriers will need to embrace ahead of the curve and adopt newer strategies to drive sustainable growth.

Mantra Labs is an InsurTech100 company solving complex front & back-office processes for the Digital Insurer. To know more about our products & solutions, drop us a line at


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