1. How has digitization brought about a reform in the Insurance industry

How has digitization brought about a reform in the Insurance industry

In this era of information technology, the buying-selling process has changed for the better, especially the customer service part.

Updated: July 7, 2017 1:31 PM
In this era of information technology, the buying-selling process has changed for the better, especially the customer service part.

This is a time machine.

Let us travel twenty years back in time. beep-boop-beep. You are now in the year 1997 where smartphones and social media do not exist. Take note of the way people buy and sell. The process is simple: give money, buy goods/employ services, and that’s it! Customer service is scarce and dissatisfied customers, aplenty.

Let us come back to today.

In this era of information technology, the buying-selling process has changed for the better, especially the customer service part. Organizations today focus on building relations and providing value and experience, rather than simply selling a product.

A product as integral as insurance

There are thousands of stories and testimonials on the internet that scream the importance of insurance. This is an industry that has completely metamorphosed over time. A few years ago, agents used to visit people’s houses to coerce them into buying insurance. It was cumbersome. This changed into phone calls, and further into emails and 24X7 customer care centers. Then came the era of catchy advertisements and slick websites.

Nowadays, we have options – a multitude of plans, premiums, and policies to choose from. An industry that worked solely on paper, is gradually becoming paperless – simple and more convenient than ever.
Quoting a survey done by Harvard Business Review*, “a thoughtful digitization program can deliver up to 65 percent in cost reduction, a 90 percent reduction in turnaround time on key insurance processes, and improve conversion rates by more than 20 percent.”

Surveys like this elucidate the importance of digitization. This is perhaps why there has been a shift toward embracing a cloud-based interface, where data can be stored and accessed on the go. Today, we have more methods of storing, studying, and using data than ever. The world is undergoing a technological revolution and thus, there are more things to be insured now. IoT (Internet of Things) is slowly penetrating the mainstream and as more devices get connected online, businesses have started insuring their digital data as well.

The internet has penetrated across all segments of the society owing to the availability of affordable 4G services. Social and online media is where people spend a huge chunk of their time. Organizations, enthusiastic toward ameliorating their experience, have further forayed into the field of AI (artificial intelligence). Chatbots have changed the game. Speedy problem-solving is the norm. Customers can even use services like Facebook Messenger for grievance redressal!

Introducing RIVA

One of the flag bearers for innovation in India, Reliance General Insurance has ushered a revolution in customer service through implementation of RIVA (Reliance Interactive Virtual Assistant), an interactive online chat facility. It is accessible via Reliance General Insurance’s website as well as through Facebook chat messenger.
The latter part is particularly exciting since users can now buy or renew their insurance policy without leaving their favorite social media platform. An integration of such nature is pioneering in its own right. RIVA empowers the user to get a soft copy of their policy, intimate a claim, check the status of claims and various other service requests.

With this, users can get their insurance needs fulfilled in a way that is truly intuitive, seamless, and time-saving. Customers need not wait for the company executive to answer their insurance related queries on a voice call anymore. RIVA is sure to pave the way for the incorporation of many more useful insurance related facilities within the realm of social media.

The true potential of AI remains unexplored, but virtual assistants like RIVA seem like a right step in the right direction. The future looks bright, for organizations and for the consumers.

 

*Source: (http://hbr.org/2014/03/insurance-companies-untapped-digital-opportunity)

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