Some insurance companies choose to build their own self-service portals, while others choose to procure one from their software vendor. In either case, careful consideration needs to be given to both the customer and the business user. The ability for customers to submit FNOL is important to many insurers, although some might argue that most customers prefer to speak to a human when reporting catastrophic events.
After the FNOL is submitted, it’s another story – the self-service portal becomes an effective tool for both the insurer and insured. It should offer the ability to receive updates, communications, upload and download documents and images and allow the customer to “message” the claims teams with queries (either via chatbots or live chat facilities.)
From an insurance policy and underwriting perspective, a self-service portal should offer direct quote and purchase, policy updates and amendments, billing schedules, and documents and communications. The real question is around which extent services should be exposed to the customer via the portal. Do you really want them to be able to cancel a policy online or would you rather guide them to a call centre to improve retention? Do you want to allow them to make any change or amendment or limit it to specific scenarios? It’s worthwhile understanding what could work best for your company and customers.
Here’s a list of things to consider before you roll out a customer self-service portal across policy and/or claims.
1. What functionality should be offered and what will actually be used?
2. What age group or another key demographic am I reaching out to?
3. Are you building your own portal or is your software vendor providing one?
4. Can all back-office functions be made available?
5. How good is the integration from the portal to back-office and is it real-time or delayed feed?
6. Can back-office information, decisions, notes, communications, etc., be exposed back to the portal?
7. Is it relatively straightforward to maintain data integrity within back-office target systems?
8. Can the portal be viewed on any device and does it adhere to open standards of software development?
9. Is the portal responsive?
Tia offers a complete end-to-end customer portal that supports filing claims, buying products, changing existing policies and customer data. The portal is easily adaptable to your own brand platform and the sales flow can be implemented directly to your website, or a framework can be provided if you want to design your own front-end.
Optimising your portal with widgets
Do you want to be able to make quick, easy changes to your customer portal or your website in general? Then consider using widgets. A widget is a web component that displays information or provides a specific way for users to interact with the operating system or application. (Think: Google Maps Widget.) Essentially, widgets offer an easier way to create surface functionality for customers by using standard components instead of building bespoke components.
Tia offers widgets that embed easily into your self-service portal, your CMS and your CRM system, making it easy to optimise the digital experience based on your customers’ needs. Using standard components, developers can quickly implement purspose-driven functionality into your digital environment. Functionality can be quickly and easily tested before launch, driving down the cost of innovation.
Widgets make it easy to modify your self-service real-time based on market events or changing customer needs. They make it easier to ensure your customer journey is optimised along with the overall customer experience. But once you have a sharp, agile self-service portal, how can you be sure you’re able to feed it with the right product at the right time? That’s coming up in the next chapter.
Part 1 – The importance of self-service and time-to-market
Part 2 – How boosting efficiency can improve the customer journey and cut costs