Call center work. I have worked at this during my insurance career. When I first started, it was an 8 am to 9 pm job answering the phone, keying endorsements, and processing paperwork. In the past ten years the industry has morphed into a 24-hour business with work at home agents, chat bots, email response, and automatic payments via the interactive voice response system or IVR.
Yet, at any given minute, there are 150 to 200 calls in queue, just like there was on day one. That means there are 150 to 200 people waiting to speak with someone about insurance.
According to eConsultancy, (read article here), consumers prefer to communicate via phone 61 percent of the time. All other forms rate lower such as email, live chat, online knowledge base, or automation. Nowadays, 75 percent of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent (read article here).
I agree, most times, there are other factors holding up the line.
Technology in the larger insurance companies has slowly moved from the old DOS blue and black screens to the super slow Windows Fox to the current internet based Java or C++ systems. The upgrades are few and far between. Still, every day I either read or am reminded that Insurtech with lightning fast coverage at low, low prices is coming.
Because of this, insurance companies follow the cult of JD Power. Thereby draining their reserves trying to be everything to everyone. Who can blame them? According to a report by McKinsey (read article here), companies that focus on superior service saw a 10 to 15 percent increase in revenue and a 20% increase in customer satisfaction.
My question is, where will all these people holding for a representative go? How is Insurtech going to meet their need? How will they overcome state regulations when most fraudsters know more about billing, regulation, and best practices than most agents.
How will an insured get money to rebuild if electric is out, the home is washed away and the banks are closed indefinitely? Will they have staff on site handing out cash or are they going to hire out adjusting teams that expect a signed contract and payment to mobilize?
Our business isn’t about charity, it’s about indemnification. It isn’t fast money to make anyone wealthy overnight. It is hard work, compassion, understanding, and respect for life. I just wish everyone understood that.
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