Move over PBX. Insurers, switch to Cloud to acquire, engage, and retain policyholders

Dinesh V

Sep 27, 2023 | 6 mins read

The insurance industry is at an inflection point. Growing digitization means customers demand more flexible services and faster claim resolutions options. Insurers are increasingly challenged to provide excellent customer experiences and are stepping up to it by switching to cloud computing. Per the World InsurTech Report 2020, 48% of insurers had cloud-native expertise, and the numbers are only increasing since then.

This brings us to the question – Are systems like PBX (Private Branch Exchange) on the verge of phasing out? Let’s talk about some common challenges insurers face with PBX systems.

Common Issues with PBX Systems

#1 Network latency

This can be a common issue with PBX systems when the insurance sales rep can hear their own voice on the call while talking to the customer. There are several reasons for it – insufficient bandwidth, firewalls, wrong codecs, faulty signal conversion, or buffering. Network latency can seriously impact customer experience and business efficiency.

#2 Incorrect call placement

Often, calls won’t connect to the right department or employee while using PBX systems. For an agent requesting a clarification to settle a claim or a customer checking on the application status, it’s a “make or break” moment! 

#3 Jitter 

Jitter is when the system sends voice signals as data packets to the recipient’s phone, which is then converted into voice again. When there’s a delay in transmitting these data packets, the voice sounds disarranged. A common issue with PBX, and again – not a good sign for customer experience!

#4 Busy signals

If a customer keeps hearing a busy tone, again and again, they will simply switch their insurers. Sometimes, PBX systems show busy signals. And with patience wearing thin, it can be the number one cause of customer churn.

#5 Outdated hardware

Insurers often overlook investments in upgrading networks or hardware. Most of the time, all the above challenges mentioned can simply be due to an outdated router, even if you have sufficient bandwidth. It’s also important for insurers to ensure that the router is configured for packet prioritization.

Strategies Insurers Can Use to Upgrade Their Contact Centers

Unified view of data through CTI integration

Insurers have several divisions – auto, life insurance, banking, homeowners – each having a separate contact center. Customer service reps would need access to a lot of data. Integrating phone systems with the computer; Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), as we call it, is one of the best strategies for insurers to enhance customer experience. CTI makes it possible to draw information from insurers’ internal database/CRM or ticketing system to recognize their policyholders from their phone numbers. ACD or Automated Call Distribution can be used to transfer inbound calls to the right agent. Insurers can even use VIP Routing to prioritize policyholders based on the past average insured value. CTI further enables the sales teams to respond to queries immediately by reading customer information from the dashboard, and marketing teams to upsell or plan campaigns through call recording analytics.

Self-service support

Signing up for new insurance plans, filing claims, or simply navigating insurance processes can be a daunting task for the customers. And it’s here that self-service portals play a vital role in enabling customers to find solutions, check claim status, and receive payment – 24/7, all without waiting on hold, or in the queue to be answered by an insurance rep. This also enables reps to focus on the legitimacy of claims, speeding up the approval process and reducing paperwork and costs. Insurers can put together various resources to help customers, such as guides or product videos.

Deploying an omnichannel approach for interaction

Adopting an omnichannel approach enables reps to have seamless conversations across. For instance, integrated systems in the backend would notify a rep that the customer they’re talking to just requested a quote on an insurance policy through the website. The rep can use this info to modify the quote and text the customer with personalized options.

Including distribution partners

Investing in distribution partners offers several important benefits for insurers, including increasing resilience through a potentially prolonged crisis, responding quickly to current and future customer and agent demand, and increasing agent productivity.

Efficiently managing customer expectations with the Cloud

Insurers are responding to the growing customer demand for personalized services by reimagining their businesses and switching to the cloud. The cloud has enabled insurers to leverage data-driven capabilities and analytics at scale to accelerate business impact and drive retention with better customer experiences.

Specifically, the cloud has enabled insurers to bring in enhanced efficiencies through features like:

Smart routing – Insurers’ contact centers’ efficiency depends substantially on whether the right agents are on the right calls. The cloud helps them set up skill-based, time-based, priority-based, or campaign-based call routing. The skill-based method of call routing involves identifying an agent’s skills and assigning calls from a particular group to him or her based on those skills. For example, if you have an agent that speaks fluent German in addition to English, you route calls from German-speaking callers to this agent. Time-based call routing includes having agents accessible all the time. And there are several techniques to do it, such as virtual mapping and priority call routing.

Reminders and notifications – Cloud enables insurers to set multiple reminders and send notifications to customers so they never miss a task before the set date. The reminders can even be synced with customers’ calendars. 

Sticky agent – Connecting customers to an agent they are familiar with, every single time they call, leads to better customer experiences, faster resolutions, and less conflict. To automate such a level of customer relationship management, every time a customer/prospect calls, insurers can leverage a cloud feature called the Sticky Agent. This feature ensures that every time the customers call back, they connect with the same agent. It essentially maps the customer/prospect to that agent for all future interactions.

24/7 chat support – 24/7, chat-based query resolution, and claims support are possible through the cloud. Insurers can set up dedicated phone lines for claims status and easy motor renewal through photo quotes on chat.

Analytics & intelligence – Insurers can combine the cloud’s business intelligence (BI) software, data models, and advanced capabilities to meet the specific needs of customers. They can deploy cloud capabilities to meet specific needs, such as marketing and sales improvement, underwriting optimization, claims management, or regulatory compliance. All this without having to build and maintain a huge data warehouse, visualization capabilities, and reporting platforms.

Ozonetel Can Help Make Insurers Cloud Journey Seamless

Ozonetel adapts a highly adaptable cloud contact center solution for insurers of all sizes. Voice and chat, SMS, & social channels – Ozonetel CloudAgent is an all-in-one omnichannel cloud contact center solution. 

With Ozonetel’s advanced tools like screen pop, ACD, skill routing, sticky agents, agent scripts, barge-in, conferencing, and warm transfer features, insurance contact centers have reported to improve their efficiency by 60%. 

Insurers can offer AI-powered WhatsApp support to their policyholders. Chatbots can greet customers and answer basic queries such as claim status, and route more complex queries to live agents. Similarly, when customers call your contact center, a self-service IVR can solve basic queries, while routing complex calls to agents.

The Interaction Analyst in Ozonetel’s CloudAgent offers 70+ reports across all dimensions of a contact center. Features like live call monitoring and screen recordings allow managers to supervise calls and identify training needs with ease.

Ozonetel also offers ready integrations with several CRM, analytics, and helpdesk solutions. Contact us to discuss your goals and we can show you how Ozonetel CloudAgent can help!

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