Open Data: Driving Forward a New Generation of Customer Services for the Insurance Industry | Blog

07 / 07 / 2022

With Open Banking leading the trend of increasingly open access to all types of data, how insurers interact with their customers and their platforms can unlock substantial potential?

close up of a senior woman using online banking on her phone

In an increasingly digitised world where self-service has become an ever more popular and in-demand customer request, the more traditional engagement methods seen within the insurance sector have been shown to be flawed. With Open Banking leading the trend of increasingly open access to all types of data, how insurers interact with their customers and their platforms can unlock substantial potential.

In my previous blog, I discussed how open data offers multiple solutions to insurers. This includes enhanced access to data and more efficient customer dialogues. But what are some of the key potential benefits of using open data in regard to customer interaction? What are some of the ways in which processes and customer services can be improved? In this third blog, I discuss how the customer journey within the insurance sector stands to benefit from the use of open data on the basis of four questions and answers.

How can open data have an impact?

Beyond Open Banking, open innovation has led to open data becoming used increasingly across different sectors. Essentially, this means that consumer data, with consent, can be used to develop new and safe solutions, products and services that cut across industries.

This includes the insurance industry. Open Data can help insurers optimise their services, improve customer engagement and communication methods, and meet ever-increasing consumer expectations.

Why is this important?

Customers increasingly demand efficient and relevant services from their chosen companies, whether insurers, banks or beyond. Customer service methods, such as chatbots, automated replies, self-service portals and customer contact centres, need to be robust and responsive to take full advantage of each interaction.

Insurance companies see fewer opportunities to engage with their customers than other sectors. In general, insurers are now only in touch with, on average, 2.5 customers a year. Therefore insurance companies see fewer opportunities to engage with their customers than other sectors. As a result, the number of meaningful interactions must be increased, and services brought up to standard. This comes with associated costs, however. One way of mitigating prohibitive costs is by embracing technologies like conversational tools like WhatsApp and automated chatbots. These can range from basic FAQs and portal navigation to advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven tools for handling claim management and system services.

Automated services, especially more advanced AI-driven systems, require customer and company data. Essentially, the more data the system can work with, the more efficient the process and the better the customer experience. By switching to automated services, insurers can save money, resources and system maintenance.

What services can be implemented?

The Integration of data-driven, automated systems opens the door for existing communications channels, such as WhatsApp, to be used by companies, including insurers and banks, to facilitate customer interaction and enhance their communication platforms. For example, WhatsApp Business allows the integration of our own Worldline WhatsApp API, providing end customers with access to a chatbot and LiveChat service, allowing them to complete basic requests, such as getting access to FAQs, starting and resuming the onboarding process, including digital contract signing, and providing account information, all independently. Integrated systems make heavy use of customer data, meaning that the more data you make available, the broader the scope of support.

Beyond WhatsApp, potential services managed by data-driven AI include the creation of dynamic quotes, issuing policies, profile modification and claim resolution.

What does this mean for the insurance sector?

Embracing open data allows insurance companies to improve their customer outreach and use their customer's favourite communication platforms. Insurers must embrace new ways of communicating with their customers, especially within the more traditional finance sector, or risk being left behind in the evolution of customer service, sustainable growth and digital platforms. In the financial sector, customer retention is one of the biggest challenges. Appropriately using technology and data allows personalisation and adds value, thus encouraging loyalty.

Today’s customers want to communicate with businesses the same way they engage with friends and family – anytime and anywhere. Tools such as WhatsApp Business opens the door to those better communications, leading to better customer engagement, greater trust, and lasting long-term relationships.

To conclude, insurance companies and other companies in the financial sector must embrace evolving data-driven technology to maintain and grow their customer base. By updating and enhancing their communications channels and integrated systems, they can empower their customers and create effective dialogue and communication that benefits their clients and their own growth and development.

The What’sApp Insurance revolution is here! Learn more what an insurer can do with WhatsApp for Business.

For more information, check how Open Insurance is driving insurance innovation.

Naära Makkinje

Naära Makkinje