The world of digital collaboration keeps improving. What does this mean for P&C insurance carriers? It means a ton of benefits that enable more streamlined communications.
Messenger pigeons were once a quick and efficient way to communicate across vast amounts of space. Imagine trusting sensitive and sometimes dire communications to a wild animal while constantly wondering if your message ever arrived intact. Luckily, communicating and collaborating in today’s world is much easier for everyone, including P&C carriers.
Our world, undoubtedly, keeps changing and fast, but often not fast enough for some of us in the insurance industry. Our insureds, agents and employees demand we have the same capabilities they experience in their other daily consumer transactions. So, how do we transform our digital communication to match what is current and relevant with our customers, agents and various distribution channels?
What is Digital Collaboration?
Digital collaboration is a broad umbrella term, but essentially it means using digital technologies for collaborating quickly and effectively with our business partners and customers. Digital collaboration happens when people connect in digital workspaces such as email, text, portals, social media and other tools where users access projects and communicate in real-time from virtually anywhere. Although the adoption of these technologies and processes will improve customer experience and ease of use, the most significant impact for carriers will be the internal benefits they gain.
Rapid Communication for the Win
The biggest impact and opportunity for P&C carriers is within the day-to-day workflows of their employees. If you can’t instant message a co-worker in real-time and receive answers immediately, the frustration levels may rise. The ability to have multiple people around the globe collaborate, view, write, edit and share thoughts on a single document 24/7 is now fundamental for workplace and remote team success.
According to a report by Gartner (available to subscribers), “by year-end 2022, 70% of teams will rely on workstream collaboration as the primary means of communicating, coordinating and sharing information between team members, displacing email.” To help envision the internal impact of using digital tools and collaboration, consider the following examples.
Digital Collaboration Examples
- An underwriter can view what a loss control inspector sees in real-time, or immediately after their loss control visit. The underwriter can then follow up appropriately by asking relevant questions and points of clarification. The inspector can respond at their convenience. The process supercharges ubiquitous information and collaboration with synergy and feedback loops without being bound by location or time.
- A claims settlement involves communication between an adjuster and claimant to gather pertinent claim information. As an adjuster investigates a claimant’s story via an internal database of documents requested from third-party sources, communication and version control help speed up the settlement process. The bill review team can promptly coordinate with adjusters utilizing workstream messaging if any questions arise throughout the process.
- Product development teams can iterate and enhance group concepts while taking product ideas to higher levels. Legal, underwriting, distribution and the claim areas can contribute to the development in real-time rather than identifying issues with a product developed in a vacuum.
- Customer service teams utilize software linked to sales data allowing them to provide solutions that drive efficiency and productivity. The ability to automatically connect with customers at various touchpoints – phone, live chat, email, social media – to receive queries, prioritize and route information, allows for lightning-fast resolution. Service teams can manage customer interactions and interpret any trends to other internal teams, leading to customer-focused continual improvement efforts.
Here is a snapshot of benefits digital tools and collaboration can provide P&C carriers:
- Communication flexibility, regardless of the time of day or location.
- Increase productivity derived from rapid communication.
- Workforce freedom allowing employees to work from wherever they have internet connectivity.
- Shared workspace to monitor updates, respond to alerts and provide instant group input.
- Ease of use in version control, editing, and brainstorming utilizing co-authoring.
- Chat features that provide the ability to have questions answered and exchange information in real-time.
- Increased access to documents and folders via mobile phones, allowing productive work to happen from anywhere, anytime.
- Ability to keep process flows moving forward via mobile tools
- Connect like-minded communities internally and externally to your organization quickly.
- Ubiquitous access to data and business intelligence on the go.
Over the next 10 years, we might look back at the early 21st century and compare these times right now to how employees performed their jobs in the 1960s. Productivity, throughput and efficiency will increase three-fold due to digital collaboration and access to the right tools. Just as the amount of data and information is now at our fingertips in the age of the internet, ubiquitous access and immediacy to collaborate with our peers and partners will become a necessity for P&C carriers.