Insurance is one of the world’s most multifaceted consumer-facing industries, which makes it an ideal venue for digital colleagues who are designed to eliminate unnecessary complexity between humans and enterprise systems.

Digital colleagues with cognitive and conversational capabilities like Amelia are uniquely suited for the insurance industry. Unlike a low-level chatbot, these solutions feature a versatile conversational UI, which can discern user intent from a wide range of human inputs, including ones they haven’t been specifically programmed to anticipate. This flexibility is a must for insurance providers, which aim to automate engagements for a large customer base with a wide spectrum of accents, diction, slang, and dialects.

Digital colleagues have another advantage over chatbots in that they marry this advanced front-end UI with comprehensive back-end integrations into a provider’s business systems. This means that once the digital colleague has discerned the user’s intent (e.g. submit a claim, request a password change, or inquire about premiums), it can access these systems to find personalized information and then resolve issues on their behalf.

These capabilities enable insurance customers to access information and services 24/7 from any device, without ever having to wait in queue. As a result, customers have access to comprehensive and streamlined policy self-management — something that is particularly important to younger demographics of digital natives who expect services and information to be available on-demand. Younger customers don’t want to wait in queue for an agent who may or may not be able to assist them, and they certainly don’t want to visit a physical location (indeed, a recent study found that millennials are, for the first time, doing the majority of their shopping online).

This isn’t a far-off vision, but a technological trend taking place right now. When Allstate hired Amelia as a whisper agent to work alongside their human call center agents, the hybrid workforce almost immediately made an impact and improved service quality, with a drop in average call times and an increase in inquiries solved during the first call with Amelia from 67% to 75%.

Always-on Insurance Concierge

Near-instant access to services can deliver a variety of benefits for insurance providers beyond a boost to customer satisfaction. For example, in the event of a regional natural disaster, a home insurance provider might find that thousands of customers are impacted simultaneously. Unlike a customer service function handled by human agents, digital colleagues scale to handle spikes in call or inquiry volume. If the provider receives hundreds of calls and questions after a disaster strikes, customers will always receive the information and services they need.

There is another related benefit for customers. When digital colleagues are tasked with high-volume tasks (say password resets or policy detail inquiries), human agents can address more complex or unique customer needs that a machine wouldn’t necessarily know how to handle. For example, while digital colleagues at an auto insurer are answering routine inquiries, experienced sales agents have more time to handle rare consumer requests (e.g., How much would it cost to cover an auto collector’s latest vintage model?) A digital colleague might not be trained to handle such a specific inquiry, so a trained human agent can step in and provide another level of personalized service.

Digital colleagues provide quicker, better access to information and services, but more importantly, they also can enhance the overall customer experience. As the insurance sector becomes increasingly competitive, a quality customer experience will be critical for a provider’s ongoing success.

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