5 Ways to Create a Better Crisis Claims ExperienceLast updated: April 23, 2020 | 4 min read
COVID-19 is not the first crisis insurers have faced – and it won’t be the last. It’s in unprecedented times like these that insurance carriers who seize the opportunity to innovate their claims processes and technology will be the ones who make it through ahead of the curve.
While claims frequency for many P&C insurers is slowing dramatically, it is on the rise for life, health, and disability carriers. Now more than ever, customers are looking to their insurers for responsive and reliable solutions that meet their immediate and ever-changing needs. Implementing an engaging, touchless claims experience offers massive efficiencies while increasing customer satisfaction.
Consider these five tips when looking to improve your claims experience from the first notice of loss (FNOL) to the settlement.
Focus on Real-Time Communication
In a world susceptible to pandemics and shelter-in-place mandates, face-to-face claims are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Despite this, policyholders still expect timely, clear, and consistent communications with your claims team.
Digital channels enable insurers to provide valuable information in real-time to policyholders, giving them a sense of control and involvement at a time when they need it most. As more insureds begin to embrace digital, carriers can use these channels to raise customer awareness and engagement while providing self-service tools to reduce the burden on call centers and agents. Insurers who successfully enable digital claims correspondence will excel in customer experience, efficiency, and effectiveness.
Consider digitizing the following claims communications to get started:
- Push notifications with safety warnings
- Digital first notice of loss
- Real-time claim progress tracking
- Self-service loss assessment and repair selection
- Digital invoices
Add Two-Way Dialogue Channels
Customers need quick and convenient access to their insurance providers, especially during a crisis where long call wait times, unreliable service, and the need for rapid messages are all too common. Insurers that provide several contact channels with the opportunity for two-way communication will ensure a better customer experience.
Consider implementing the following two-way communications channels to your claims experience:
- SMS or text message
- In-app messaging such as WhatsApp
- Social media posts and direct messages
- Live and automated chatbots
- Live and automated phone calls
- Interactive forms and docs
For higher levels of efficiency, look for a customer communication management (CCM) suite that will empower you to leverage all the channels in one easy-to-use platform for the entire organization.
As you begin your claims digital communication journey, customer feedback is an essential tool to help you continuously improve your claims experience. Consider conducting surveys before settling the claim to make improvements before it’s too late.
If you’re new to digital communications, read How to Move to Digital Insurance Communications to get started.
Use Customer Experience Data
During a time of crisis, customer experience is more important than ever for loyalty and retention. Many insureds will switch carriers after just one bad claims incident. Using a data-driven approach with customer experience information, you can make changes that will have the most meaningful impact and create long-lasting relationships.
You can use these data points to send messages to customers’ preferred delivery channel in their preferred language and format. If you understand what concerns and values your customers have, you can address that with in-depth information and products to meet their needs. This will help you deliver the personalized experience your customers expect while providing an opportunity for effective upsell and cross-sell activities.
Support Policyholders with Empathy
Customers who are filing claims during a crisis face a high-pressure situation. This makes support, empathy, and compassion even more essential than usual. With many scared and uncertain policyholders, carriers who deliver an empathic claims experience that guides customers through the claims process quickly and painlessly will experience higher levels of customer engagement and loyalty.
Offer several channels of communication where claims agents are ready to listen, answer questions, and discuss solutions that positively impact customers. You’ll have to find the right balance between message automation and live chat to maintain the personal experience customers demand during the claims process.
Claims teams must consider each person’s unique situation. You can do this by asking yourself:
- What is the insured experiencing right now?
- Where are they in the claims process?
- What are their concerns and pain points?
- Where can I help?
- How can we get to claim resolution more quickly and easily?
- What can we do to make this process more efficient on both sides?
Be Prepared for Changes
During and after a major crisis, things move quickly.
Insurance claims departments are dealing with internal changes, pending regulation updates, and a fast-paced environment that requires a fast-moving response.
Like many significant crises, the global pandemic is bringing about the fight for new regulations on the insurance industry due to numerous court battles. This means that insurers need to keep an eye on regulatory change. As jurisdictions across the US consider reactions, claims teams need to determine how these can impact open and future claims.
Keeping track of what is going on is a fundamental component of adapting. Use customer data with publicly available coronavirus information to provide customers with insight on how the pandemic is impacting their coverage. Consider adding regular reports and dashboards to your communications for clients to track claims and the coronavirus impact while offering innovative, new solutions.
Now is the Time to Create a Better Claims Experience
Insurers who don’t take this time to improve claims will find themselves very far behind as digital claims become the new normal. Now is the time to stay ahead with innovative claims processes and upgraded technologies that provide efficient and effective solutions aligned with customer expectations.
Whatever challenges you’re currently facing, GhostDraft is here for you. For customized help with customer claims communications, get in touch with our insurance CCM experts. To learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on insurance, visit our Resource Center for more research and information.
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