Why Natural Language Processing is the Next Big Thing for Insurers

By leveraging NLP’s capabilities to analyze human language and to generate dialogues using simple, conversational terms, some insurer chatbots are already bringing new efficiency to customer onboarding, customer service interactions and even simple claims processing, saving insurance companies both time and money.

This frees up customer service agents to focus on the most complex and high-priority customer inquiries – and because chatbots feed all relevant data to the agents, they make it quicker and simpler for human professionals to attend to customer needs.

It’s not only insurers who stand to gain big – NLP will also be a boon to customers.

Allstate’s use of Amelia, a virtual agent/“digital colleague” developed by IPsoft, is a case in point.

Working alongside human customer service professionals, Amelia draws on their real-world customer service interactions to understand how to handle common customer inquiries.

Allstate reported that the average call duration fell by nine percent during the first six months the company used Amelia and 75 percent of customer inquiries were solved on the first call, compared to a 67 percent rate before deployment.

Trained on natural human conversations, these tools are designed to demystify the often-befuddling jargon of the industry, ensuring that customers are engaged and satisfied.

An added bonus for insurers (and for other industries implementing NLP for customer service): because NLP technology is capable of analyzing not only the intent but also the emotion behind human language, it can generate valuable insights into customer sentiment.

Available 24/7, NLP-enabled chatbots and virtual agents also bring greater accessibility and convenience to insurers’ customer service operations.

With Gartner projecting that 85 percent of customer service interactions will be handled without human involvement, insurance is positioned to be at the forefront of the move toward more digitized operations, driven by insurers’ race to win customers’ hearts and minds, and head off competition from insuretech startups.

In an industry in which 67 percent of executives say that innovation is a very important priority – followed by customer experience – it’s only, well, natural that natural language processing is a major focus for insurers.

By the very nature of their work, insurers know how to distinguish a promising proposition from a risky and dangerous one, which is why their turn to NLP is instructive.

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