Cloud ComputingNews & Analysis

Cloud Telephony is a Game Changer in the Insurance Industry

By: Anjali Malhotra

Cloud telephony has transformed many industry sectors with its ease of deployment, resourcefulness, and flexibility, and the insurance industry is no different. The global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has further facilitated the way for increased cloud consumption with the lockdown being imposed all across the globe; there has been a rise in remote working culture. 

A model of computer data storage, cloud computing has been a much sought-after affair in recent times. Cloud is a storage model that allows data to be transmitted and stored on remote storage systems. This is based on a virtualized infrastructure that has accessible interfaces, near-instant elasticity, and scalability. Similarly, Cloud Telephony refers to the technology where telephony switching, and storage equipment is hosted over the service provider’s premises and are made accessible to the customers through the internet.

Consumers expect to be served quickly and effectively when they call the customer centre.  It is necessary to have a responsive and effective communication system in order to stay updated with the user’s needs and capture the growing market trends. It is a need of the hour to address the queries of the customers in an effective and timely manner due to the evolution of technology by the use of Cloud Telephony Solution. Say for example, a customer may search the net with the questions to get the best answers or choose a website live chat in order to gather information. They want to be routed promptly from the IVR to an agent who can answer their queries. 

As people get accustomed to the digital world and self-service portals, premium payments, claims and other customer requests are likely to increase soon. Insurers will also need to ramp up their call center operations to keep pace with the rising volumes. They need to engage not only for product sales but also to resolve their queries on claim settlement or maybe documents required to file the claim etc.

Insurance industry is increasingly adopting cloud telephony services for uninterrupted customer management. Cloud telephony is also cost efficient and with the use of smart IVR, the manual costs can be reduced by automating the queries such as new insurance plans, premiums to be paid, new guidelines etc. One can create a virtual call centre and save a lot on operational expenses.  It helps in ensuring the privacy of the customer by masking his/her phone number. 

The transactions can be given an extra layer of security to verify and protect the customer data through OTP, Voice message and SMS. As work from home is becoming the new norm, this will not only help the company but also benefit employees to adapt to the system and keep the professionals content. For instance, at Aviva, prospective customers looking for a suitable plan visit our website and leave their contact information, get a call back by agents sitting at home through call routing on cloud. Using this technology, agents who are essentially working from home are fully able to support customers with all product information and process support.

The technology offers several other potential benefits. The system stores data and generates information that can be translated into actionable insights. Today, information stored on the cloud is being analyzed by data analytics software, providing insights that elude customer support.  

The insurance enterprises and companies will help in the conversion of more clients due to AI-powered ASR insight. Automated outbound solutions will help the company and its marketing channels to reach out directly to the consumer over the phone. Hence, through cloud telephony solutions, the sentiments of the customers can be analyzed to predict their needs and provide the feedback in order to improve the sales pitch. 

Smooth communication with customers made possible by cloud telephony is helping insurers cultivate relationships with every customer. Also, a cloud telephony system stores the names and numbers of every customer and creates a database. The database of a cloud telephony system can further be used to attract customers on social media sites. 

Insurers could seamlessly access big data to help identify the latest trends that are fascinating the users worldwide. And by leveraging that data and those trends, they could develop new solutions catering to the needs of the customers. That not only helps to retain existing customers, but also helps to attract new ones.

The pandemic is making brands adopt innovative solutions for enhanced customer satisfaction. Cloud platform catering to the end-to-end customer lifecycle has resulted in increased productivity, relationship building and superior brand value. It also allows integrating risk data, risk assessments and risk indicators within its environment which helps the company in protecting data against any breach or theft.

In the post Covid world, cloud telephony will prove to be the next game changer for the insurance industry to maintain business continuity and support strategic decision-making with real-time insight, unlocking new revenue streams and improved customer experience.

(The author is Chief Customer, Marketing, Digital and IT Officer, Aviva India and the views expressed in the article are her own)

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