Slick contact centre tech vital for ME insurance firms

Interactive Intelligence makes the case for a slick workflow environment in the regional insurance industry

Tags: Interactive Intelligence Inc (www.inin.com)United Arab Emirates
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Slick contact centre tech vital for ME insurance firms Shaheen Haque, territory manager, Middle East & Turkey, Interactive Intelligence
By  Shaheen Haque Published  May 6, 2013

Opportunities for growth in the Middle East insurance market are abundant. According to David McLean, chief executive of the Middle East Insurance Forum (MEIF), "The attractive demographics, increasing customer awareness, positive regulatory reforms and increase in average individual income in the Middle East have made the region one of the fastest growing and most attractive insurance markets."

Backing this claim is recent analysis which has shown that total premiums generated by 13 MENA insurance markets grew 17.1% year on year to $31.4bn.

To capitalise on these opportunities, regional insurance providers must acknowledge the need to transform from policy- and product-based, to customer-based organisations. Ineffective business processes or lack of integrated communications within an insurance organisation have an impact on customer experience. Like any industry, insurance faces significant challenges in its quest to provide excellent customer service. Often, insurance providers are acutely aware of the need to apply technology to improve customer-facing processes, but fail to correctly identify key requirements of proposed solutions. The situation is complicated by disparate systems, legacy data structures and ineffective contact centre platforms, which result in the creation rather than the solution of problems.

It is therefore necessary to deploy advanced technology solutions in the contact centres of modern insurance providers.

Automation of processes

In many insurance organisations, critical business processes are often still completed by passing documents and file folders from department to department, manually typing in information from those documents, or copying and pasting between multiple different applications. IT departments should explore opportunities to digitise, both documents and processes, and deploy advanced technology solutions that support communications and the automation of document-centric business processes. This process automation should include the ability to easily source data from multiple other systems such as policy or claims management and legacy databases without custom integrations, to avoid Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) having to manually type or copy/paste. The right solution will enable reduced process cycle times and reduced errors. CSRs should have automated reminders for pending due dates. Work items should be tailored to a CSR's specific task, include customer data and phone numbers to initiate a call with a single click, and have that call, as part of the customer case recorded. Escalations and exception reporting to managers should also be part of the solution to ensure that the process remains intact through completion.

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