by David Pyle –
Insurance Industry hacks to take Digital Transformation to the next level
Data, data, data, faster, greater, wider! The insurance industry is grappling with the need to collect increasingly vast amounts of data to create better policies, handle claims more accurately, and maintain customer satisfaction all while increasing their ability to identify and avoid fraud. A Digital Transformation is the mechanism to achieve these goals but taking it to the next level involves a key asset of your business – the rich resource of human knowledge held within your workforce. Enhancing your digital capabilities for automation and profit is just part of the benefit. Returning information to the claim processors, adjusters and other front-line staff allow them to merge their experience with data to take the business and customer interactions to the next level.
Challenge to do it better, faster, cheaper
Taking Digital Transformation in the insurance industry to the next level involves thought and attention to how digital changes can be positive and contribute to workforce productivity. Providing faster data collection, smarter workflows, enhanced claimant profiles, flexible work locations, real-time information, and better fraud detection will promote a more productive, engaged and professionally satisfying environment.
Data Collection – How to easily collect the most meaningful and accurate data
Understanding your data and goals is the first step in any digital transformation initiative. Old systems may have had more flexibility but resulted in data difficult to rationalize and leverage. Thinking about the type of data you want to collect and how to best gather it leads to better results for your workforce.
As an example, free-form text fields are the easiest to design and implement but lead to inconsistent data as claim processors use various ways of describing a situation or even enter simple spelling errors. This leaves the data in a state that’s difficult to analyze after collection, even with AI to interpret the meaning. Moving data collection from free form to drop-down lists with pre-defined sets of possible values supports efficiency for the workforce and the analysis of the data.
All policies and claims are unique in some way, so the free-form text is still desirable and necessary, but it should be used to describe events unique to the specific policy or claim. A robust analysis of current data will help organizations to categorize the ways they want to collect the data from their users. By focusing on opportunities to pre-define the options for certain fields, the number of free-form text values should decrease dramatically. Think of tfree form as expanding the understanding of the values of the drop-down list instead of being standalone information.
Moving to drop-down list fields from the free-form text may be uncomfortable for some policy or claim processors so be sure to include them in the process during the design phase to ensure that their specific experience is captured. Analysis of past free-form text will increase your likelihood of capturing all the possible situations and the expertise of your workforce will help you make sure you’re positioning the business for the future as well.
An additional benefit of drop-down lists comes into play in dealing with regulations and compliance. Ensuring that data that needs to conform to specific government values is collected properly in the first place will reduce the amount of rework and support organizational efficiency, leaving resources to focus on other parts of the business. ICD codes are a great example of where you do not want someone manually keying in an entry. Example: being slightly off on the keyboard and keying an “A” instead of an “S” causes S06.0-Concussion to be A06.0-Acute Amebic Dysentery, not exactly the same
Workflows – Smartflows work hand in hand with users
Now that the workforce is entering more data through predefined drop-down fields, smarter workflows can be developed based on that information. As a claim is processed and consistent data is entered, the system can automatically move the user through the process, collecting additional data in some contexts or bypassing screens in another. Why show auto claim information when someone is calling about a homeowner’s policy? Why show 20 fields to collect injury information if no one was involved in the accident? Smarter workflows support the organization’s work with a claimant and allow them to focus attention on the call and not the system. Gone should be the days of telling the caller to hold on while you get to another place in the system to process specific data.
Over time, organizations can identify additional opportunities to streamline data collection and enhance workflows based on user patterns and inputs.
Claimant Profile – You have collected data on the claimant, let’s use it
Streamlined data collection and better workflows will allow users to more quickly work with claimants and increase throughput, lowering the cost per claim interaction and raising profits. Quicker interactions with claimants are desirable for all parties involved but can lead to a cold impersonal relationship with your customers. A digital transformation can and should support a personalized experience for your customers. The ability to present to the claim processor a wide range of information about the customer at the point of call will allow interaction on a personal level without having to take the time to obtain that relationship as part of the call. Comprehensive information pertaining to a customer’s past policies and claims, as well as environmental data such as weather in the customer’s area can be invaluable. Imagine the claim intake processor seeing data on their screen as a call comes in. It shows that the caller has had an auto policy for the past 10 years, has made no claims, and is calling from Vermont at the time of a big snowstorm. The claim processor starts the call with, “You haven’t had any accidents in a long time, has the current snowstorm caused you some bad luck?” Quick, personal and easy.
Location Flexibility – The data is all there, let’s use it from anywhere
Digital transformation also allows companies to do business in almost any location using various access methods including desktop and mobile devices. This flexibility meant to support your customers by way of apps to initiate claims can also be beneficial to your workforce. As support for various employee work situations increases, the ability for them to work remotely is a benefit that serves everyone. Employees get the flexibility of working remotely when necessary, or as required during national emergencies such as pandemics (whoever saw that one coming!). When designing applications for phones and tablets keep in mind your workforce needs as well as your customers.
A mobile representation of your applications allows field personnel to use the system directly and supports real-time updates of data. Adjusters in the field are able to use all aspects of the system and work in conjunction with the claims teams back in the office. No longer is your team out and about and you must wait until they return to get results of their analysis.
Fraud Detection – Adding the human element to fraud detection
Digital transformation puts a company in an excellent position to apply AI to its data to search out fraudulent activities. The intelligence behind these systems is growing every day but the human touch adds an extra element. With drop-down lists, the claims are organized better allowing greater ability to see patterns. Including your workforce into the final analysis of fraud detection will allow their experience to play a part in accurate fraud detection.
Feedback – Show your team the fruits of their labor
The final piece in engaging your workforce in your digital transformation is providing feedback and data showing the benefits of their migration into new systems. Dashboards and reports showing trends over time for productivity, number of claims processed, adjuster times, customer satisfaction and fraud detection will demonstrate and reinforce the effort put into the digital transformation. These dashboards are typically used by management to monitor and guide a digital transformation but expanding them to include the larger workforce will provide added benefits with little additional effort.
Strategically drive your digital transformation
Your Digital Transformation was driven from a need to streamline, automate and increase profit A few easy extensions to these goals will allow your business to bring onboard one of the most valuable assets of your organizations, your front-line employees. Leaving these resources out of the digital transformation leaves them in the dark and minimizes their potential positive impact on the changes. Including them brings their experience into your Digital Transformation and allows them to be more productive in the process.
A few easy extensions of your digital process can bring your front-line employees happily along with your digital transformation
- Faster Accurate Data Collection with fewer free-form text fields
- Smarter Workflows based on better data collection
- Complete Claimant Profiles based on complete view claimant interactions
- Location Flexibility for employee work-life balance and placing the employee in the best location to do their work
- Fraud Detection enhancement using workforce experience on top of better data
- Feedback to your workforce to build morale and processional satisfaction