Everyone hears the phrase “digital transformation” when working in the insurance industry. But do you really know what that means and how extensive it can be? Is it worth it? The answer is a resounding “yes” - if it’s done well.
While learning something new is always a little challenging, it can be made easier when you start out with short term goals and a long-term vision.
What Can Be Digitally Transformed in the Insurance Industry?
Digital transformation is a process that takes your existing tasks or time consuming functions that are prone to human error and uses software to automate them. For most insurance companies, anything that is coming in or anything that is being sent out of the company can have automation applied for an easier and more accurate process. In some cases, artificial intelligence can be applied for various uses such as identifying anomalies and analyzing data.
There are multiple areas within insurance companies that can benefit from a more automated workflow. These include:
- Product management
- Sales and distribution
- New business underwriting
- Customer Service
You might also like to read: 5 Keys to a Successful Insurance Company Digital Transformation.
7 Steps of a Digital Transformation Process for Insurance Companies
Once you recognize the potential that digital transformation can make in your insurance company, you will want to understand how to implement the technology into your organization. You don’t have to start with everything at once. Perhaps you work in the claims department and can see how automating some processes would reduce a lot of repetitive work for your team. Or maybe you’re a CFO looking to reduce labor costs. Automating several processes can help you reduce the need for additional staff for data entry. Regardless of where you sit within the insurance organization, let’s look at the steps involved in digital transformation.
1. Identify which processes will have the most significant impact: time savings, cost savings, customer satisfaction
Regardless of what biggest obstacles face your organization, digital transformation has the answers for you. However, identifying which of these existing processes could see the most considerable impact can help identify and structure how digital transformation is personalized to your office.
2. Audit existing workflows and software being used now
It is critical to know and understand how workflow processes are currently being implemented in your office. Working through the steps from your customer’s perspective and an employee’s view can help identify how things now exist and how digital transformation could improve and streamline your approach.
3. Identify any existing automations and their level of effectiveness
If this is not your first pass at digital transformation for your insurance company, it’s important to look at what you have in place now. If you have automations, talk with the team using them (if it’s not you personally) to fully understand how well they’re working, and whether the automation achieves the primary goal it was set up for. As software changes and new processes are needed, automations often need to change with it.
4. Create a plan for new automation and integrations with software, including Microsoft products
Once you understand how digital transformation can specifically help your organization, it is time to identify and plan your approach. However, digital transformation does not require you to entirely switch over your existing software and frequently work within programs or platforms, including Microsoft products.
Read more about how Microsoft is being used to automate the insurance industry in our blog: Insurance Use Cases: Microsoft for Business Process Automation.
5. Create the automations (usually with some help)
Now it’s time for the rubber to meet the road. Creating automation is where the entire process comes together. While there are options to do it yourself, it’s ideal to bring in a company that can help you find the right automation software and have it set up with your short and long-term goals in mind.
6. Training on how to use the new processes
Automations are only good if your staff knows how to benefit from them. Training is a critical step in the digital transformation process. We find that teams are generally excited about this training because it often means streamlined workflows and reduced workloads for mundane tasks. However, it’s also important to realize that change can be hard for people. Training should include an opportunity to ease the staff’s mind about how this will change their jobs.
7. Regular feedback and updates so improvements can be made
After you have created and implemented digital workflows into your insurance company, it is essential to collect frequent feedback. Minor tweaks and alterations can be done to further streamline the process and allow your team to work more efficiently to provide better service for your customers. There may also be issues that you didn’t anticipate. Giving the team the opportunity for feedback will help them embrace using the new technologies.
Benefits of Digital Transformation in the Insurance Sector
Digital transformation marks a new era for insurance companies. While many of our clients come to us with a single issue, they often don’t realize the myriad of benefits that digital transformation can provide.
Streamlined and automated workflows result in decreased errors. Manually entering the same strings of information multiple times leads to an increase in errors. These errors can be time-consuming and costly to track down and correct.
By reducing the need for manual entry, many companies also find that their staff has increased availability to assist their customers or perform a more in-depth analysis of data rather than spending time on simple data entry.
We find that customer satisfaction is often improved because your staff now can speak with them immediately. As you have happier customers, they are more likely to recommend you to a friend, and with more availability, your existing staff can service a larger number of customers. These factors lead to overall happier customers that also drive more potential customers to your door.
Additionally, with digital transformation technologies already set up in your office, you’ll be able to service a larger base of customers without changing your existing processes.
State of the Insurance Industry in Digital Transformation
Many insurance companies are jumping on board right now to get the most benefit and advantage over their competitors. If you haven’t already started the digital transformation process it’s a good time to get a plan in place. Working with a consultant like Integratz, you can benefit from all of the knowledge we’ve collected over the years about what works well and which processes have the biggest impact in an organization.
If you’d like to set up a time to discuss this for your company, whether you’re in charge of one department or all of them, we’re here for a digital transformation free consultation to see what makes sense for you.