Opinion: Connected Communications Add Value and Profitability

Jonathan Sharp from Britannic Technologies, takes a look at the importance of the customer experience when it comes to marketing insurance. The switch to online transactions and the rise of social media has transformed the way insurers do business and continues to evolve. Those who don’t stay at the forefront of digital marketing risk being left behind.

Britannic Technologies - Jonathan Sharp.jpg

Digital transformation resides near the top of every company’s agenda. Insurance companies are aware they must adopt a digital transformation strategy to not only remain competitive but also to increase market share. It’s no longer a choice but a requirement to survive.

Technology is ubiquitous in our personal lives and people want to use the communications and collaboration technology that they use at home in the work place. This is particularly apparent with the younger technology natives who naturally expect these technologies to be available at work. Companies need to provide the latest devices and solutions to attract and retain the younger generations.

Customer experience has never been bigger and insurance companies must strive to offer a superior service, if they don’t then customers will go elsewhere. The Walker study revealed that by 2020 customer experience will have over taken both product and price as the key brand differentiators. Customers insist on receiving a superior service that is available 24/7 for 365 days a year using the communication channel of their choice.

Unified Communications the Cornerstone

Unified communications technology is the cornerstone of a company’s digital strategy and needs to be devised and aligned with your objectives and operations. It is recommended that you appoint a Solutions Provider who has experience and a good reputation in insurance. They will work closely with you to understand your business, what technology you have in place and assist you in devising a technology roadmap.

Insurance companies rely heavily on telecommunications and contact centres so it is imperative that you have the correct unified communications technology in place for internal and external communications to flourish.

Unified communications ranges from video and audio conferencing, to working from home solutions, multi-media contact centres, and mobile and collaboration solutions such as Microsoft Skype for Business, Mitel UCA and Avaya One-X. These solutions enable you to facilitate voice calls, video calls, instant messaging, screen share, and joint remote collaboration on documents.

Employees and customers can communicate and collaborate more effectively and productively. This technology can be hosted on-premise or in the cloud, or a combination of the two allowing cost savings to be made and margin increased.

Seamless Communications

Kelliher Insurance Group had several phone systems throughout the business and this proved both costly and difficult to manage. The systems did not integrate with each other and internal calls were expensive.

Simon Davey, Head of IT, Kelliher Insurance Group comments

“The existing systems did not facilitate the business’s growth plans. We knew that we required a fully integrated, unified communications system with a new contact centre to help staff to communicate and collaborate more effectively and to improve customer service.”

Kelliher Insurance appointed Britannic Technologies to provide the solution through a managed service offering. They now have in place a single and seamless lP telephony solution and contact centre. Britannic’s SIP solution, netX has enabled them to save 23% on call costs and has inbuilt failover mechanism to guarantee that phones will keep working in the event of a disaster.

The Customers Journey

Insurance companies know the importance of improving the customer’s journey in the contact centre by making it as easy and seamless as possible for both the customer and the agent. By incorporating unified communications in the contact centre you can streamline the contact centre operations and enable omni channel customer service to increase margin.

Customers want a choice of the channel they contact the agents with, whether its telephone, email, text, using chatbots or social media. Insurance Companies need to look at the channels of communication their customers want to use.

Joining the Conversation

The most important conversations about your brand happen on social media. Integrate your social media channels into the contact centre for a rapid, live and personal service interactions with your customers. With Web Real Time Communications (WebRTC) you can unlock the power of social media and integrate it into the contact centre so your agents can talk to customers in real time via your website on a desktop or on a mobile device. This shortens their journey and delivers instant first time resolution.

The two-way video and audio communication allows agents to solve customer issues instantly online. Co-browsing and content sharing helps teams to take control of the customer journey for upsell, cross-sell and effective resolution right there and then.

Chatting with Chatbots

Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps contact centre agents to eliminate the mundane everyday tasks that are part of the job.  This could include anything from call routing to answering basic questions that an auto attendant or Web Real Time application can assist with. Essentially, the more advancement in technology in the contact centre, the more the agents’ roles will be refocused on the soft skills to deliver a more empathetic and personal service.

Getting Personal

With intelligent call based routing using CRM records and intuitive self-service options customers can connect to the right people and services that they need to speak with, at the right time. This helps resolve queries quickly and effectively. Inbound automation speeds up low-touch interactions and frees up the best-skilled contact centre agents to solve complex customer issues and add value to higher value interactions. Agents will then be able to focus on more difficult queries that require a one-to-one conversation with the customer.

Kelliher Insurance Group use the Mitel Multi-Media Contact Centre Solution from Britannic Technologies for its ‘Trade Direct’ division. When a customer calls in they are routed to the correct agent and their policy details are automatically retrieved from the CRM system using Britannic’s CTI integration tool, netCONNECT. This immediately displays the client’s history which helps the agent to deliver a personalised service and reduces the repetition of the agent having to ask the same questions to the customer.

 

Back to the Future

Unified Communications provides Insurance companies with the option to have a flexible and seamless communications solution to serve requirements for today and the future. With cloud based solutions you can easily add on applications and increase scalability when required ensuring it integrates into the back-office systems.

Integration is the Answer

Multi-media contact centres enable you to fully integrate all the omni-channels so your agents can efficiently handle voice and digital media contacts from a single application. Whether on their desktop or from Web interface they can deal with enquiries from the telephone, email, web chat, SMS and social media actions using fewer steps and delivering first time resolution.

The key to a multi-media contact centre is integration; technology must be integrated to the front and the back office for it to be truly successful. It needs to talk to your existing and new technology and applications to utilise what you have and what you need.

Look for a Solutions Provider that specialises in integration and will work closely with you to discover your objectives and devise a technology strategy. They will need to understand how to utilise the technology that you have and what you require, and the importance of engaging with your employees to discover what technology they think will help improve their jobs and customer service. Enabling you to deliver a comprehensive, integrated multi-media contact centre that will deliver improved communications, business processes and drive customer experience, so you can drive higher margins.

Historical and Real Time Reporting

Evaluating and reporting is essential in the contact centre, multi media contact solutions enable you to access historical and real time reporting so you can see the entire picture and drill down to individual call and agent level for each communications method from the omni-channel. You can respond instantly to changing traffic volumes and ensure that the service levels are maintain. With the historical reporting you can measure performance against objectives and key performance indicators, review play by play account of the contact centre and identify new ways to improve business processes.

Andy Marlow, Kelliher Insurance Group’s Sales and Service Manager concludes,

“The integrated multi-channel contact centre and outbound dialing solution have helped the business to deliver a significant increase in sales. Not only because sales agents can make outbound calls faster now with automatic dialing and dial-in scripts. Rather, because Britannic helped us to report on and understand the actual volume of customers attempting to contact us outside our working hours. The amount of calls we were missing was astonishing. It led us to review our opening hours and to run a marketing campaign that saw our team call back all those clients who had been unable to get through. It created new sales leads that, previously, we were unaware of.”

About InsuranceEdgeEditor (909 Articles)
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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