Many insurance companies are currently facing the challenge of providing seamless customer service amid a remote working environment – a circumstance that has been brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even though most companies have been operating remotely for some time now, Rod Lester (pictured), managing director for Australia and New Zealand at NICE, a provider of cloud and on-premises enterprise solutions software, says there are still many challenges ahead for the industry to ensure the highest level of service is being delivered to clients.
“Over the last eight weeks, most organisations have been trying to move from traditional ways of working to either at home 100% or a combination of the two,” Lester said. “Our organisation’s been helping a number of government agencies – both federal and state – and enterprises, both small and large, achieve an at-home capability.”
The next step, after organisations have transitioned to a fully remote workforce, is understanding how to efficiently manage that work at home environment.
“What’s becoming quite apparent is that traditional technologies just aren’t able to monitor effectively what the agent is actually doing,” he said, “to identify whether they’ve been effective and efficient in what they are doing.
“Then there is the loss of that human interaction because one-on-one communication that is face-to-face has been compromised during this pandemic. A lot of organisations are finding that their agents are actually becoming disassociated and not feeling connected.”
The key challenges for the insurance industry are visibility and understanding what’s going on at home; ensuring the highest level of service is being delivered to clients; and then, finally, keeping employees engaged and motivated.
“Organisations that are able to achieve these three key challenges are able to be way more effective in this work from home phase that we’re seeing,” Lester added. “I think remote working will probably not be going away even though Australia’s looking at opening up somewhat. I think it’s going to be a long time before we go back to the way we were working at the end of last year, which is an old reality.”
One solution that is available for companies, according to Lester, is cloud technology - because it enables agents and employees to access up to date information without the need for paper-based knowledge.
“The only way you can really monitor staff effectively at an enterprise level when you’re dealing with hundreds, if not thousands, of agents is through implementing cloud-based technologies that are going to actually drive engagement,” Lester claimed.
Part of this shift to cloud-based technologies, which Lester claims are the next wave set to hit the insurance industry, is the ability to monitor employees’ engagement while they work from home.
“So, we can actually view what they’re accessing. Are they accessing the correct systems? Are they actually doing what they’re meant to be doing during the day?” Lester explained.
“It gives us insights into who’s being productive, who’s not being productive, who needs additional training and then who’s also being completely idle, which can happen, and who’s actually working on stuff that’s not work related.”
The other technology Lester adds he’s seeing the industry show interest in is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based metrics.
“We can actually look at overall sentiment, we can see and measure across every interaction - if an agent is listening actively, if they’re being empathetic, if they’re building rapports, if they’re acknowledging loyalty,” Lester said. “If they’re not, we’re actually able to then push training to that person to then help remediate or improve the way that they’re behaving.”
Ultimately, cloud-based technologies like CXone – a platform manufactured by NICE – are said to offer a secure and efficient pathway to promote employee learning and engagement, which, according to Lester, will benefit the service given to clients.
“… within the platform, we’re able to actually automate processes, we’re actually able to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the interaction of the agent to provide, ultimately, a better customer experience,” Lester said.
“CXone is regarded by pretty much every analyst who looks at contact centres in the service space as being the number one cloud customer experience platform in the world.”
Don’t forget to join us to discuss all the latest technologies impacting the insurance industry at Insurance Business TechFest on May 27-28.