Now, more than ever before, prospective clients have higher expectations of Insurers. In many cases, especially in direct-to-client distribution models, the first meaningful interaction between the applicant and carrier is a quote. So that quote needs to provide more than just numbers, it needs to provide an experience — and a good one at that.
Applicants used to expect a web-based interaction where they provided a small amount of information and an agent would contact them in the next several days. Once contacted, the quote would be discussed. If they elected to move forward with the purchase, another application would be required, capturing additional data, and then a multi-day delay for underwriting prior to the issuance of the policy.
With the advances in mobile, cloud, and other technologies, the applicant expects a very different experience — an experience where they can receive a quote on any device in a streamlined interaction, where only data that isn’t in the public domain is requested once. They expect to be guided through the interaction with simple descriptions of options, and they find out if they’re approved in real time.
Many successful InsurTech companies deliver on this user experience and enjoy the cost advantages and business predictability that accompany it. But how do they facilitate it?
There are two key customer interactions to focus on: quote experience and application experience. Applicants generally expect the ability to move directly from quote to application, the ability to exit and return to the interaction where they left off, and the ability to interact through multiple channels. For the majority of applicants, the technology barrier to meeting these expectations has been removed with newer platforms.
A seamless quote experience
Prospective clients expect the ability to fill out a quote through a variety of channels, from the web to mobile and even texting and social media. The channel mix expectation has and will continue to evolve. But the expectation that these interactions be efficient, seamless, and easy is here to stay.
What this expectation requires of insurance companies is implementation on a unified platform to eliminate traditional data silos so that the guided questionnaire, integration, business logic, and data can be accessed across channel.
Prospective clients now also want the ability to dictate the pace of the interaction. Each step in the quoting process needs to be breadcrumbed and automated so that they can exit the quote and return to the last step — yet at no point do they need to wait for elongated business rules to execute.
This requires sophistication in both the experience layer and transactional logic. In this perfect quote experience, the design of the quote workflow should provide the prospective client the ability to perform the quote process as either a known or unknown user. However, a truly unknown experience will prevent any follow-up action on the quote data provided by either the prospective client or carrier. The prospective client should only be challenged for data that isn’t already known to the carrier or in the public domain and findable given the data provided during the process.
The quote logic needs to be flexible so that the data provided can be enriched in real time via external callouts. After all data has been provided for the quote, the prospective client should be provided with the quote immediately and not have to wait for a callback.
They should then be invited into the application experience upon receiving a quote. For complex insurance products or scenarios where the carrier needs to leverage a sales resource to complete the transaction, a digital quoting process can act as a lead source for the sales resources, even if they are non-captive.
An enriched application experience
Entering the application experience should not require starting from scratch. All known information about the applicant should be pre-populated regardless of the data source. Applicants generally have narrower channel expectations for the application experience vs. the quoting experience, as they understand that the data needed and level of interaction is more extensive than can naturally fit in some of the channels. The application experience needs to occur regardless of the distribution channel used for the sale. Therefore, the user in this experience may be an applicant or an agent or both.
The application experience should be guided so that the applicant isn’t guessing about the various product options they are shown. For applicant interactions with more complex product features, leveraging a series of short instructional embedded videos is best practice.
The applicant is expecting approval of pre-issue requirements in real time. Therefore the majority of the underwriting and approval processes must be automated, including state variations and conditional product feature rules. Edge cases may exist that require manual intervention, however, those should be kept to a minimum.
With all of this benefit going straight to the consumers, how do the carriers fare?
Making the investments to deliver such streamlined experiences has some significant ongoing benefits for the carrier. Leveraging one platform as the backbone of these interactions also reduces technology investment allowing the carrier to deliver more value for the same cost.
Removing the data silos also provides additional visibility for business predictability. Knowing how many quotes are being created, in what channel, with conversion rates helps with business planning. Further, if the applicant email address is captured at the beginning of the quote, marketing automation can be leveraged to increase conversion rates. Renewals can be fed into the system, inviting the client back into a shortened quote and application experience to increase investment leverage and experience consistency. Feeding quotes to sales resources, particularly in a non-captive channel, could be leveraged to build that channel or as a longer-term business strategy to diversify sales channel mix.
Operation costs are minimized as guided data intake reduces not in good order (NIGO) quotes and applications. Straight through processing via the automation of underwriting and approval logic allows for additional sales growth with a reduced investment in operations.
Implementing the ideal experience with Vlocity, Silverline, and Salesforce
To efficiently deliver ideal quoting and application experiences, leveraging a platform that combines best in class engagement and insurance transactional layers is required.
Fortunately, the Salesforce platform includes the systems of engagement like Marketing Cloud, Community Cloud, and a solution to contain status-level information about the insurance transactions in Financial Services Cloud for Insurance.
Vlocity, built on the Salesforce Platform, provides the industry transactional layer. Because Vlocity is built on Salesforce, there is no integration effort to move data between Salesforce and Vlocity. Equally as important as choosing the right technology platforms for you, is selecting a solid consulting partner that understands both the technology platforms and Insurance. Silverline can help. Interested? Learn more about our Vlocity insurance solutions.