Fintech can give insurance brokers a competitive edge. Use it to put customers at the centre of your business.
Financial technology (fintech) is developing at a rapid pace. Its impact is evident across the industry, from service delivery to customer care. In particular, the insurance sector will “feel” the impact of fintech more than others according to the World Economic Forum. In a recent industry study, 74% claimed that they viewed fintech as a “challenge”.
Fintech has raised clients’ expectations of the industry’s online services and tools. Customers now expect their needs to be central to service providers’ business models. It has also put personal insurance brokers under more pressure. Now they have to compete with other brokers as well as insurers that have developed self-service tools to encourage customers to bypass intermediaries.
More insurance brokers are adopting a customer-centric approach to remain competitive. Early adopters of emerging customer service technologies are already seeing the benefits. 40% expect their investments in technology to improve customer loyalty. Despite this, most brokers have been slow to power-up their strategy with fintech. Those who have, are in a better position to meet clients’ demand for a smart, customer-centric approach.
Here are ways that insurance brokers can use fintech in their customer-centric approach.
Guide users along the customer journey
Customers want websites to be simple to use; they expect tasks to only take a few clicks to complete. They have little tolerance for lengthy online application forms or complex onboarding processes.
Customer-centric brokers understand where the potential pain points are for clients and are ready to offer extra support at crucial stages of the customer journey. Many are turning to co-browsing software to reduce the drop-off rate on their site. The dual cursor technology lets them step-in and guide users through complex processes in real-time.
This show and tell approach is a convenient and fast way to remove unnecessary friction. By browsing together, brokers can transform areas of tension into opportunities for collaboration. Co-browsing software does more than deliver an excellent customer service experience. It facilitates in-person support right at the start of the relationship which can help build customer loyalty. Some are taking it a step further by combing co-browsing with live chat to solve issues quicker.
Answer questions in real-time
Live chat software for insurance brokers is fast becoming an industry norm. The ability to answer customer questions in real-time is no longer a “nice to have”; it’s a core part of brokers’ customer care strategy.
Here are ways that an embedded chatbox can help reduce brokers’ website drop-off rates:
- Customers are more likely to ask for help if they can’t find what they are looking for.
- Questions about application forms or the onboarding process can be answered immediately.
- Embedding a chatbox on a website keeps users on the site. If they leave without completing their task, they may not return.
Live chat is also being used to cut down on the amount of time spent chasing leads that turn out to be unsuitable. Automated chat templates can ask pre-qualifying questions before connecting new business leads to a broker.
Analysing big data
Technological innovations like fittech (such as Fitbits) or telematics (in-vehicle technology that records driving behaviour), are collecting and storing personal data all the time. BIBA notes that “Insurers are using their wider pools of data to better analyse trends” in the Brokers’ Guide to InsurTech.
Fintech can help insurers and brokers make sense of the data that comes from these devices. If they can work with big data, the insights can help identify new business leads and improve risk analysis. Issues arise when insurers and brokers don’t have the right tools in place or don’t look at the data.
Customers have a duty of disclosure before entering into an insurance contract. However, they don’t have to disclose information that insurers already know or are expected to know about. If emerging technology can transfer customer data directly to an insurer, does this fulfil a customer’s duty of disclosure? If an insurer has access to big data but isn’t using it, does it count as information they ought to know about?
In some cases, a big data transfer to the insurer may not fulfil a person’s duty of disclosure. Customers will expect their broker to keep them right at the pre-contract stage. To do this, brokers need to understand big data so they can advise customers on what they need to disclose. Failure to do this could lead to disputes in the future.
Insurance brokers are also paying more attention to their own data collection and management CRM strategy. They are investing in sophisticated platforms that collect, store and analyse customer data. These insights can drive engagement, allow them to personalise their service and ultimately, shape their wider business strategy. At Ibby, we’re helping insurance brokers to capture data from multiple customer touchpoints with our CRM tool.
Free up time to build relationships with clients
Innovations in AI has transformed the insurance industry. Early adopters are already benefiting. An industry report by Accenture found that:
- 40% claimed that AI-based technology has created operational efficiencies.
- 80% expected virtual assistants to handle over half of their interactions with customers in the next 5 years.
Chatbots are becoming a popular way to reduce the volume of customer service calls. With live chat automation, customers can receive instant answers to common questions 24/7. Chatbots are even being used to direct customers to useful online resources such as webpages. An “always-on” approach to customer service means that insurance brokers never have to miss a lead. Using chatbots for lead generation can support businesses by capturing users’ details and storing them in the CRM.
With advances in machine learning, chatbots will become better at interpreting customer questions. Eventually, they will be able to handle complex queries which will free up even more time for brokers.
Despite the rise in automation, developing personal relationships with clients is still an important part of brokers’ businesses. Also, insurance brokerage is a complex task that requires an expert to make the final decision. This is why brokers are taking a hybrid approach to business automation. By using AI to automate some jobs, they can free up time to focus on strategic tasks. Rather than handling frequent customer service calls, brokers can now work on developing key client relationships. By better understanding their clients, they can offer a more strategic service.
Become an omni-channel business
Clients want interactions with their insurance broker to be convenient and quick. To be a successful omni-channel business, customer-centric insurance brokers need to facilitate customer communications across a range of platforms (website, messaging apps, email, social media, etc.).
Customers are comfortable using new messaging apps in their personal and professional lives. Today, more people use social media for customer service queries and to learn about services. Businesses need to be prepared to use multiple messaging platforms to send and receive client communications.
They must also join-up the data as much as possible. Customers don’t always stick to the same method of communication which can make tracking interactions challenging. If a customer submits a query to a chatbot and then follows up with a call, they don’t want to repeat the information they entered into the bot. Customers appreciate it when brokers can access all their information in one place and use it to move the conversation forward.
Managing different platforms can be extremely time-consuming if it’s done manually. There’s also a risk that messages could be missed. Messaging software that has a multi-channel inbox can solve these problems and make it quick and easy to communicate with clients on social media platforms like Facebook as well as by email, live chat and SMS messages.
Step up your game with the right tools
Advances in fintech can be implemented throughout all stages of the customer journey to help insurer brokers get the upper hand, and we at Ibby can help! We’ll show you how to use our platform to harness chatbot technology, co-browsing and messaging automations to turn your processes into a customer-centric powerful business.