It's true that products can be bought and, if need be returned or repaired, automatically. On the other hand, much of business and consumption is far more nuanced and many people want an emotional as well as logical engagement with a supplier.
Digital platforms should automate routine tasks and free up agents with the time to help customers seeking advice.
A recent Accenture Study " THE VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER:IDENTIFYING DISRUPTIVE OPPORTUNITIES IN INSURANCE DISTRIBUTION" interviewed 33,000 customers and found that:-
- 16% willing to use computer-generated advice for buying insurance, seeing it as faster and more convenient
- Same percentage state human advice is essential at key stages
Read the full report as it shows a fascinating mix of motivations and drivers that insurers should address.
Combine those findings with the HBR article (link below) to help plan the balance between automation and human engagement.
Why the deck is stacked against automation
- Service can be emotional; technology can't
- We still prefer people to help solve problems
- Less work for employees means more work for customers
Successful automation typically involves
- Automating transactions, data gathering & facilitating human connections
- Supporting employees without getting in the way
- Enhancing employee and customer/claimant engagement
- Engage customers in ways that won’t make human service providers cringe.
"Remember: the devil’s in the details of service design, but the best uses of technology are likely to make customers and employees feel more, rather than less, valuable to your organization. They’re also likely to make the service feel more, rather than less human."
Ryan W. Buell Harvard Business School in HBR
1. Service can be emotional; technology cannot. When we’re anxious about whether a check will clear or why our migraine won’t go away, we become advice-seeking. Even if it has the answers and can read the tone of our voice, or the expression on our face, people find the idea that technology “feels” and “senses” to be unnerving, and when a technology is deployed for such a purpose, the results can be unsettling. For example, customers who call MetLife to settle a death-related insurance claim are treated to digital condolences, delivered through an IVR system: ROBOT VOICE: “We at Met Life want to express our sincere condolences for your loss.”