If you’re as big of Star Wars buffs as we are here at the Insurance Tech Insider, then you know all about the Clone Wars –the galactic war that pitted the Separatist droid army against the Republic’s army of clones that was referenced in the original trilogy, only to be occasionally shown in small doses during the Star Wars prequels.
But hey, at least we got to watch lots of galactic politics followed by Obi Wan stumbling upon a clone army on a clone-making planet that nobody seemed to know anything about, despite the Jedi having downright magical powers that allow them to see, feel and know things that normal people can’t. I mean, seriously, it’s almost like the scope and effectiveness of Jedi powers seem to expand and contract based on what’s convenient for the plot. Wonder why that is (we’re looking at YOU, George).
In all fairness, though, there eventually was a Clone Wars animated series that did an extremely serviceable job of following the combined Jedi and clone forces of the Republic as they battled the Separatist drones in the Clone Wars. But we still think more of the actual Clone Wars should have made it into the prequels…you know…considering one of them was named Attack of the Clones and all.
If you’re wondering why we’re talking about Star Wars – and the Clone Wars, specifically – it’s because we’re super jazzed about some exciting news that came out on Friday. They’re bringing the Clone Wars show back! So we have THAT going for us.
Also…it just happened to be one of the first things that came to mind when I started researching news stories and themes for this week’s insurance news roundup. Why? Because we’re talking about droids…errrr…bots this week!
How are bots being used in the insurance industry? Well, they’re certainly not inept mechanical soldiers whose ability to fight increases and decreases as the plot requires (again, George…really?). Instead, the insurance bots we’re talking about are talking to you…the insurance customer (you DO have insurance…right?).
Today, insurance companies are turning to bots – namely chat bots – to speak to prospects and customers. These chat bots help to handle simple inquiries and help people find the information they need. The benefit is more time for actual insurance professionals to focus on harder inquiries and other, more mission-critical tasks. Also, it can result in happier policy holders.
So…without further ado, let’s hop on a Bongo and head through the planet’s core – where we’ll find this week’s top chat bot-focused insurance news stories.
NOW THIS IS POD RACING!
Apps are over and email is dead. At least, that’s what this article from Rick Huckstep, editor at the Digital Insurer, would have you think. And you know what? He makes some valid points.
Email is pretty hot garbage when it comes to emoting and engaging people. And he’s right when he said that, “we are in App overload…we only use about five regularly, and half of these are social media apps.” I know, because I only use about five apps with any regularity and have some that I’ve downloaded and never even opened.
Why are these two things relevant to chatbots? Well, they’re trends that could be ushering in the rise of that particular technology.
Chatbots – utilizing advanced AI, Big Data and data analytics – could evolve to start feeling more like we’re chatting with an actual human. They could open the door to interactive, engaging discussions via messaging apps that already exist (e.g. Facebook Messenger) with machines.
This means that insurance companies could interact and learn from customers and make timelier, targeted sales pitches to them without them having to force them to download a new app, or having dedicated human staff pouring over a customer or prospect’s Facebook page to learn actionable insight about them.
So…what’s keeping chat bots from taking over the (insurance) world?
The rise of the insurance chatbot
Often when we talk about a new customer-facing technology being introduced, people assume that one of the largest hurdles to adoption will be whether customers will “accept it” or not. Well, according to Property Casualty 360‘s Fazi Zand, it may not be insurance customers that are holding up the rise of the insurance chatbot like some might think.
Fazi cites research from Pointsource that, “…revealed that preferences for using chatbots with insurance are no different from the preferences of engaging with retail companies. A total of 77 percent of consumers are okay with interacting with chatbots if it means avoiding wait times for customer service representatives with insurance companies, versus 75 percent for retail.”
So, what is holding up the chatbot revolution in the insurance industry? Fazi has an idea about that, as well.
According to this article, “For the majority of insurers, their operational footprint and analytics footprint are separate.” These siloes between the operations and data makes it difficult for companies to rapidly access AI-generated, actionable data and insights. However, this is something that can be fixed by eliminating the stovepipes and eliminating bottlenecks.
So…this is all great in theory…but what do these chat bots look like in practice?
Insurance designed for the future: Q&A with Jeff Berezny of Trov
Here’s an article from a familiar source! I hear the author of this one is extremely likeable and has a wonderful Australian accent.
Anywho…in this Q&A interview that everyone’s favorite ITI Publisher conducted with Jeff Berezny, Head of Growth and Design at Trov, Inc., they lay out the company’s current and planned use of chat bots.
The section about bots is near the very end, but I encourage you to read through the whole thing since Trov is doing some very exciting and innovative things in the insurance space.
If you’re really interested in this whole chat bot thing and you’d like to learn even more, there’s an upcoming Webinar that you’ll definitely want to watch from our sponsor, Pitney Bowes. For more information and to register online – click HERE.