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Lessons Learned Series: Efficiency with Empathy

By: Neil Garrett, Sales Director, Account Management – Key Accounts, Solera, Inc.

So far in our Lessons Learned Series, we have concluded human interaction and Artificial Intelligence (AI) processes can live simultaneously in the claims and repair process and determined how human-driven “on-ramps” and “off-ramps” can customize and humanize the digital claims experience. For part three of this series, we will focus on how insurance companies can meet customers where they want to be met through the right combination of human interaction and AI: efficiency with empathy.

One of the primary themes discussed in the roundtable that inspired these blogs was the importance of the customer experience. As we’ve discovered over this series, while the efficiency AI provides the customer does improve their overall experience, the human element is just as – if not more – important to the automotive claims process. Consider the emotional state your customer may be in at First Notice of Loss: while a digital FNOL may be convenient, it may not be what they want, need, or expect during a potentially traumatic experience.

Empathy over efficiency at FNOL

Several participants in the roundtable agreed that there seems to be something uniquely traumatic about a motor incident. While their customers may be willing to utilize a fully digital process for their household property claim, they still want to speak to a human after a road accident – regardless of whether the digital, AI-empowered process is quicker or more convenient.

In fact, one consumer survey found that despite the advancements of AI, 41 percent of respondents would rather speak with a human agent to resolve customer service issues. Another survey regarding AI chatbots revealed that 46 percent of respondents would still prefer a human even if the chatbot saved them 10 minutes. According to yet another survey, many people doubt AI could ever understand their preferences or the nuances of their situation as well as a human. In other words, humans crave an authentic, empathetic customer experience they’re not sure AI can provide.

That being said, there is also plenty of evidence that suggests that, while customers still want humans in the process, they don’t want too many. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated AI investment and drove a staggering rate of digital transformation, which, in turn, helped consumers become more comfortable with AI as daily interactions with such technology increased in both quantity and quality.

Panel participants agreed the best overall consumer experience involves just the right balance of human touch and technology. So what does that look like? Maybe it’s time to let each customer decide for themselves.

The customer-led motor claims experience

Now and into the future, the claims organizations leading the way in customer service will be the ones constantly determining, optimizing, and combining the best features of AI and the human touch into a single, smooth, and easy customer experience. A customer may need or expect human interaction at FNOL, but once that need has been met, their priorities change. Now they want to know the best path for their specific claim: What will be the fastest, easiest, most accurate, and most hassle-free way to proceed?

What that path looks like may differ greatly from customer to customer, particularly across generational divides, even as overall comfort with virtual claims increases. So how does a claims organization remain flexible enough to offer each customer an exceptional, personalized experience while still retaining efficiency and speed? It comes down to how the company perceives and uses AI as a tool.

Unlike decades of science fiction and pop culture would have you believe, the reality of AI use isn’t an either/or, man versus machine scenario. Humans and AI have very different strengths, which also happen to complement one another. While AI is rigid, efficient, productive, accurate, and data-reliant, humans are flexible, imaginative, anticipatory, empathetic, self-sufficient, and a bit random. If a company combines the two, it’s known as augmented intelligence. For a claims organization, one of the best uses of augmented intelligence is leveraging the best of both worlds for the benefit of the consumer.

Augmented intelligence: Efficiency with empathy

There’s a reason why the insurance company is often the third call a person whose been in a motor accident makes after emergency services and their family: empathy. However, that doesn’t mean their expectation for efficiency and accuracy disappears. We covered previously how human “on-ramps” and “off-ramps” enable the customer to customize their experience. Augmented intelligence is what ensures their experience is an exceptional one.

For example, with an AI- and computer vision-powered platform like Solera Qapter, an agent can begin working on a claim as soon as that phone call comes in. They can enter and verify any necessary information, then send the claim on to the customer. The customer can then verify information as it’s auto-filled by AI and initiate the next step in the claims process by following an AI-guided image capture process. Once complete, the claim goes back to an agent at the company who can review the data points and pre-estimate for accuracy and determine if further review is needed.

However, digitization should go beyond FNOL. As the claim goes on, so does the highly coordinated dance between claims organization, AI, agent, and customer until the process is complete. Thanks to AI, the claims organization gets all the accurate information it needs promptly and the claim is processed quickly and efficiently. Because of the human touchpoints, accuracy is ensured, variables are accounted for, and the company builds a rapport of trust with the customer.

If used correctly, augmented intelligence can provide the best customer experience of all – one where the customer feels cared for on their terms while their claim is handled quickly and with accuracy, efficiency, and empathy.

For more information about how Solera can improve your customers’ claims experiences with Qapter, visit https://www.solera.com/solutions/vehicle-claims/qapter/