UK insurance companies expect to make significant investments in AI-enabled web chat, automated customer identification and interaction analytics technology within the next two years.
A survey of over 200 UK contact centres undertaken by ContactBabel shows that insurance operations expect their use of web chat to grow from 44% today to 94% by the beginning of 2020.
The use of interaction analytics is expected to rise to 43%, as is automated speech recognition, with much of the latter being used to reduce fraud and the time required to take phone customers through security.
In 2012, only 7% of inbound interactions with insurers were through email, but this has risen sharply to over 15% today.
Due in part to increased automation, the sector will see a drop in contact centre employment of around 5,500 jobs by 2020.
The report’s author, Steve Morrell, Principal Analyst, ContactBabel, said: “With average call lengths in UK insurance contact centres having risen by over 60% since 2010, the industry has embraced the opportunities that digital channels can bring, especially in terms of automating simpler interactions.
“AI-enabled web chat can handle a large proportion of straightforward customer requests, while automating the customer identity process will shorten call times and reduces fraud. The insurance sector has also seen very significant rises in the average time taken to answer calls, as well as the length of calls. The significant growth in digital activity, particularly email, shows that insurers are understanding how their customers wish to contact them, while managing the cost of service.”
The report is downloadable free of charge from www.contactbabel.com/reports.cfm.