Chatbot vs. human – which one is better?

In an age where everything is automated you can service your customer’s needs and interact with them through chatbots. Often also referred to as talkbots, chatterbots, bots, interactive agents or an Artificial Conversation Entity (ACE), chatbots are essentially a computer programme, which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods.

They’re super handy, particularly as they can answer the most basic questions sent from customers. Don’t get me wrong, customers can ask some very interesting and relevant questions but the ones that you commonly deal with that can be answered in a flash I feel should be directed to a chatbot. It frees you up to deal with more important queries rather than block up the call lines with questions like ‘what’s your email address’, and ‘would your pet insurance product cover my goldfish’.

That’s not to say that chatbots can’t also do useful work too. Chatbots can, in fact, transform and uplift the customer experience and claims process. For Millennials and others that love to use technology for everything, chatbots are ideal. Customers can then interact with insurers or brokers using smartphones, tablets, and computers.

What’s more, using a chatbot means you can interact with the customer 24/7 and questions about claims, terms and conditions, and goldfish insurance can be answered day and night at a time and place convenient to the customer. With chatbots, office hours are non-existent!

Chatbots and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) programmes are becoming very popular. According to a recent Accenture study, insurance executives believe that AI will significantly transform their industry in the next three years with insurers investing in AI to empower agents, brokers and employees to enhance the customer experience with automated personalized services, faster claims handling and individual risk-based underwriting processes.

That’s not to say that all insurers and brokers will get it right immediately. Accenture’s report found that insurers face challenges integrating AI into their existing technology, citing problems such as data quality, privacy and infrastructure capability.

However, there are lots of companies that are already embracing AI and chatbots. For instance, American digital insurer Lemonade has a chatbot called Maya that sells cheap homeowners’ and renters’ insurance. But she’s not as impressive as Lemonade’s claim bot A.I. Jim, which broke records settling a claim in 2016 in just three seconds!

It can’t go into the record books, but Lemonade still boasted: “The Guinness Book of World Records told us that no international standards exist for measuring the ‘payment of insurance claims,’ and so they’re unable to record this Record. Yet from all we can gather, in the 3, 000-year history of insurance nothing like this has ever happened in 3 seconds. So we’re claiming the title.”

While chatbots and AI will transform our industry, we have to remember those clients that will still be left behind. Older generations that have stayed true and loyal to our brands will require the same level of service and dedication that they’ve always had. So, even if we do create record breaking chat bots that pay out claims in seconds it’s key to remember those who fear technology. So keep those face to face appointments or telephone calls as an option – even if you get asked about goldfish insurance. Alienating loyal customers is the last thing you want to do!