Using Automation to Drive Efficiency and Improve Satisfaction
Maximizing the value of technology begins with giving adjusters more time to provide a personalized experience.
When it comes to claims management and customer satisfaction, back-office technology probably does not come to mind. However, leading insurance companies can automate and streamline behind-the-scenes business processes so adjusters can focus on client-facing interactions. This provides a competitive advantage because consumers want the efficiency that a smooth digital experience offers as well as the human touch that only a person can provide — especially when interacting with the adjusters on their claims.
An adjuster’s attitude and approach are the biggest drivers of policyholders’ satisfaction with claims experiences, according to a Hi Marley analysis of 24,363 customer surveys. A positive adjuster attitude or empathetic handling approach accounted for 46% of the five-star ratings analyzed, while a negative attitude or approach drove 34% of the one-star reviews.
Property and casualty insurers would be wise to build upon such evident appreciation for adjusters because customer reviews greatly influence premium written. Deloitte says that one in four consumers research what it’s like to make a claim before buying coverage from a particular auto or homeowners insurer.
However, having an adjuster help them through difficulties is only part of what customers want. Consumers are increasingly comfortable and satisfied with automated claims processes for automobile policies, according to the 2021 LexisNexis Future of Claims Report. In surveying 1,750 auto insurance policyholders, LexisNexis found that 62% say it’s more convenient to submit a claim any time/anywhere, and 55% say it enables faster claims settlement.
Savvy insurers blend the efficiency of technology with the empathy of personal attention.
Creating more time for customers
Processing claims faster, better and cheaper provides a competitive advantage because an efficient claims management process enables an insurer to offer customers a better experience. For example, LexisNexis says that an insurer could transform a call center into a quick claims resolution center by giving customers more self-service first-notice-of-loss options and up-skilling some call-center staff to bring low-complex claims to same-day resolution.
Efficient back-end operations technology can also accelerate claims processing, such as solutions that enable automated onboarding, licensing and appointment for adjusters. Adjusters can spend more time servicing customers and doing other high-value work if automation eliminates their licensing tasks or speeds their completion.
Forward-thinking insurers deliver exceptional customer experience and operational efficiency through a “purpose-driven” claims approach that builds customer loyalty and reduces loss adjustment expenses by applying new technology and tools across the claims process. For example, properly routing incoming claims to human processors and adjusters or automated, straight-through processing can help an insurer avoid the risk of claim reassignment, which would slow the customer experience and increase costs, KPMG notes.
Streamlining claims processing is particularly important for improving the customer experience. “As the customer experience becomes a strategic imperative for carriers, the claims organization will play an even larger role in helping define customer sentiment and brand loyalty, thereby helping to determine the carrier’s future success and destiny,” KPMG says.
And improving the customer experience is imperative because property claims satisfaction is at a five-year low in the U.S., largely because the average time to complete repairs increased by 2.9 days. In addition to slower cycle times caused by supply disruptions, property and casualty insurers have endured growing pains associated with transitioning to digital servicing channels, according to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study.
Balancing personal service with digital experience
Mixing human interaction and technology provides the ideal customer experience. And though their roles may evolve, claims professionals will likely remain at the center of claims management.
For example, adjusters become more productive when they have a single system for fulfilling requirements for licensing and state continuing education. With one place to go to for everything, they can spend more time with customers.
Similarly, automatically synchronizing the adjuster-licensing data in a company’s claims system with the National Insurance Producer Registry eliminates claims processing delays by ensuring that adjusters are properly licensed in the states in which they are handling active claims. Having controls in a licensing system that automatically confirms adjusters have all the licenses required for their teams also drives greater compliance. So, adjusters can start on claims sooner and more easily maintain the credentials they need to assist customers throughout the claims management process.
Deloitte advocates for such “exponential claims professionals” that balance automation and personalized customer service. “Insurers should continue bolstering their data sources and technology infrastructure to settle claims faster, more accurately and at lower costs, while upskilling their claims professionals. That way, they could maximize the value of all the newly integrated technology and data available while still being able to curate a personalized customer experience,” Deloitte writes, in making its case for preserving the human touch in insurance claims transformations.
Maximizing the value of technology begins with giving adjusters more time to provide that personalized experience that customers cherish. And though it may not be obvious, it is technology that automates back-end processes that enable the human touch up front.
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