Chatbots and virtual assistants are shaking up the service sphere. By 2022, Gartner predicts that 30 percent of web browsing will occur without a screen. Google research reveals that over 55 percent of American teenagers use speech recognition on a daily basis.

Our younger generation of consumers is as impatient as always and (believe it or not), pressing buttons has become seen as too much of an inconvenience. Customer satisfaction will soon rely not on placing keyboards and buttons in the way of customers looking for instant, accurate and efficient service, but on a simple chat with a device.

This is the dawn of the age of Alexa and Siri. Insurers see where we are headed and are turning to voice recognition to raise the bar on their service levels and add another layer of efficiency to their organizations.

Alexa for Insurers

Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant that powers Amazon’s Echo, is a tool insurance companies are using to leverage voice recognition and increase their value to their customers. Liberty Mutual offers its customers the option to use Alexa to get an auto insurance quote estimate through voice interaction with Liberty Mutual’s Guestimator tool.

It also offers actionable advice on common home and auto queries. Insurance carrier Aviva uses Alexa to answer questions about insurance and regards Alexa as the future of their customer interactions. Safeco introduced an insurance advisor skill for Alexa, allowing customers to simply ask Alexa around 100 common customer questions about insurance policies. Safeco is also looking to offer customized insurance products directly via Alexa.

Simple queries may be answered directly from the “client.” But for more complex questions, and especially those requiring calculations (like premiums) or personal information retrieval, the machine will receive the requested information via APIs that are connected to the insurance policy administration system (directly or indirectly) and only afterwards will be able to answer the customer.

Specific Benefits of Voice Recognition Technology

The use of voice recognition technology is an effective tool for increasing customer satisfaction, while at the same time implementing efficiencies in the organization. These benefits include:

Improved customer service: voice recognition offers quicker and more automatic responses to customers calls and ensures more relevant rerouting and provisioning of information about rates, claims, statuses and other customer information, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and engagement.

Quicker workflows: the high reliability of voice recognition (Google is now able to understand human language with 95 percent accuracy, which is the same level as human comprehension accuracy) is enabling insurers to speed up claim processes. This gives the agent a head-start on the claims process, saving time and resources.

Higher efficiency: the use of voice recognition enables insurers to automate calls and interactions that would normally require a human agent. Via advanced voice-recognition and call routing technologies, insurers can improve call automation rates, free up employees to handle more complex and high value tasks, and increase customer engagement and satisfaction.

Fraud detection: insurers can check a caller’s voiceprint against known fraudsters and can detect and identify fraud in real time, enabling staff to act quickly to prevent fraud. This saves the organization from significant losses.

For more information, please check out our white paper, Insurers Can Benefit from Natural Language Processing (NLP), which outlines the advantages of NLP for insurers and explains what is needed to maximize NLP.

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