Automating Your Customer Support

Article 5 in a 6-part series

Customer support automation is one of six primary categories we recommend independent insurance agencies invest in to build out their InsurTech strategy in 2020.

What is Customer Support?

Customer support tools engage clients and prospects through virtual assistance, enhanced personal interaction and multi-channel communication.

Why It’s Important to Use These Tools

Insurance is a service business. You want to help prospects and clients efficiently, while not burdening your staff needlessly.  Enter, automated customer support (ACX). ACX tools do two important things:

  1. They facilitate client communication, AND
  2. Allow you to help prospects and clients at scale without increasing staff count.

The New Model of Customer Support

Gone are the days when client support meant fielding calls or in-person visits during business hours. Clients have questions at all hours and expect instant answers. They access your agency via your website, text, mobile phone, even social media.
Today, customer support means engaging with your clients when, where and how they choose. The results are happier, empowered clients and happier, less stressed agents and staff.

Customer Support Tools

Here are some of the major work tasks you can automate. We’ve included representative solutions vendors as well. These are just examples. Our list is not intended to be exhaustive of all the options out there, nor does ePayPolicy endorse or prefer one vendor over another.

Live Chat 
Live chat is like having a fully staffed customer service department. One live chat agent can handle multiple inquiries, while other employees attend to other business. And research shows customers are more satisfied with live chat than phone or email support. Companies like Zendesk,  Podium,  and Intercom help your agency:

— Engage people via websites, mobile, or social media — even before they ask a question
— Build credibility and trust with clients and prospects through personalized and non-intrusive interaction
— Track who’s using the service and how, including who’s asking to chat with “Sales” or “Support”

Self-Service
Save staff from answering the same questions over and over. A good first step is to add a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section to your website. FAQs:
— Encourage prospects and clients to find their own answers
— Cut down on the number of inquiries staff must handle

AI-powered chatbots are also a useful tool for self-service customer support. Chatbots use sophisticated natural language processing to simulate a human interaction. Vendors such as ChatBot, LivePerson, ada, and Bold360 make it easy to:
— Tailor a ready-to-go bot template to industry-specific use cases
— Assure that each inquiry triggers the right bot response
— Engage your visitors with a seamless, conversational experience

Phone Service
Today’s virtual (internet-based) platforms bring multiple communication channels together. VoIp phone service providers such as RingCentral, Grasshopper, Nextiva, and Ooma amp up your business interactions. You and your staff can present a consistent business brand as you:
— Conduct business via phone call, text message, or high-quality video session
— Serve clients with greater ease and reliability
— Do it all from your preferred device, anywhere you happen to be

Thinking Ahead

Your clients are quickly becoming used to automated support from other vendors and service providers. Adopting customer support solutions such as Live Chat, Self-Service and VoIP Phone Service shows clients you’re modern, highly responsive, and communication savvy for their convenience.

Where Does Your Agency Stand?

Find out! The InsurTech Award presented by ePayPolicy is now open for entries. Top scorers will get cash and other awesome prizes. All entrants receive their InsurTech adoption score, along with valuable feedback. Enter today and find out how your agency stacks up against others (and how you’ve improved over time, if you’ve entered before). Judges even offer tips on specific ways to leverage automation for:

1. Sales
2. Marketing
3. Team Collaboration
4. Client Experience
5. Customer Support
6. Agency Management Systems

Our 6-part series covers all of these InsurTech solution categories. We invite you to explore them all.

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