How insurance firms can incorporate GenAI to improve the customer experience

In an era defined by technological leaps, the insurance industry faces a pivotal juncture: with the opportunity to embrace Generative AI (GenAI) to elevate customer experiences at the forefront of that. FinTech Global had the privilege to speak with Deepti Kalra, vice president & head of AI Products & Solutions - Insurance Analytics at EXL, delving into the crucial facets of GenAI and its transformative potential within insurance. 

In an era defined by technological leaps, the insurance industry faces a pivotal juncture: with the opportunity to embrace Generative AI (GenAI) to elevate the customer experience at the forefront of that. FinTech Global had the privilege to speak with Deepti Kalra, Vice President & Head of AI Products & Solutions – Insurance Analytics at EXL, to delve into the crucial facets of GenAI and its transformative potential within insurance. 

Customer experience (CX) stands as the cornerstone of success in the insurance realm, wielding a unique influence compared to other sectors due to the heartfelt deep-rooted nature of why we need insurance. Kalra explained that consumers seek reliability and seamless service over mere cost-effectiveness, rendering an effective CX critical in shaping perceptions and satisfaction levels. 

“Insurance is an industry wherein trust and ease of mind drive choices. Customers prioritise carriers providing reliable services and seamless experience rather than defaulting to the cheapest available option. Effective customer experience (CX) thereby is critical, directly influencing consumers’ decisions and overall satisfaction,” said Kalra. 

“Given the pivotal role CX plays in shaping customer perceptions, it directly impacts the top-line performance of organisations. This is no different from other verticals we operate in – the interconnection between CX and growth is a universal principle that transcends industry boundaries,” she continued. 

But what are the foundational elements necessary for an efficient CX platform leveraging GenAI? According to Kalra, three key tenets emerge: comprehensive data and profiling, personalised insights and recommendations, alongside a robust frontend integrating insights seamlessly into existing workflows. These pillars pave the way for a transformative customer journey, enhancing growth and satisfaction alike. 

What benefits could GenAI bring to insurers looking to bolster their CX platforms? 

The incorporation of GenAI stands to revolutionise the landscape for insurers, in a similar vein to its impact across numerous other sectors. According to BearingPoint, GenAI empowers insurers to provide highly personalised products and services, establishing a robust market differentiation. Simultaneously, enhanced underwriting capabilities and more effective fraud detection mechanisms significantly diminish risk exposure for insurers. 

Kalra agreed that there was serious room for improvement in the space. Claiming that the technology could have a multifaceted role in transforming the CX experience. 

She explained, “GenAI will play a vital role throughout the entire value creation lifecycle. It helps harmonise and analyse troves of structured/unstructured data such as knowledge articles, historical CX interactions, CRM data, etc. in a matter of seconds. It also unlocks the potential of previously untapped dark data through synthetic data generation and vector databases, enhancing the overall richness of the data foundation for downstream analysis. GenAI leverages LLMs to generate more precise and personalised insights at the right time to drive better decision-making, while also enabling human-like interactions with customers and agents via chatbots.” 

EXL’s own AI platforms, known as EXL™ Customer 360 Insights and EXL EXELIA.AI™ respectively, underscore this transformative potential. EXL™ Customer 360 Insights harnesses deep data assets and analytics to create unified views of customers and agents, while EXL EXELIA.AI™, a conversational AI platform, elevates customer interactions through natural language processing. The amalgamation of these platforms results in elevated CX, reduced costs, and accelerated growth for insurers, as Kalra explains. 

“While EXL™ Customer 360 Insights works its magic in the background, EXL EXELIA.AI™ which is a conversational AI platform, offers a robust front end by enhancing customer interactions (voice/chat) via natural language processing and contextual understanding. It can be non-intrusively integrated into legacy systems, covering the entire value creation lifecycle. Combined with EXL™ Customer 360, EXL EXELIA.AI™ is able to contain up to 60-70% low-medium complexity interactions, and reduce the cost of interaction by 70-80% while maintaining an 80-90% positive CSAT (at par or sometimes even better than human agents).  

“Summarily, both these platforms help deliver an elevated CX, reduced costs, faster growth and higher profitability,” said Kalra. 

Mapping out the future 

The insurance sector has historically been plagued with caution toward technological evolution due to complexity, legacy systems, and stringent regulations.  

Yet, there’s a notable shift in mindset. Insurers are increasingly experimenting with GenAI, recognising its potential to reshape various facets of the industry. 

Kalra said, “Generative AI holds substantial promise in reshaping multiple facets of the insurance sector, and there is a growing openness to responsibly embrace and implement this technology. Every insurer we are talking to is experimenting with Gen AI in some shape or form.” 

Scalability remains a pivotal aspect. EXL’s AI initiatives offer over 50 prebuilt use cases, adaptable to diverse insurance business needs. “These GenAI solutions encompass conversational reporting, deploying digital twin for agents to have more effective conversations with customers and accelerated code generation with improved productivity for the development team to name a few, ultimately leading to elevated customer experience across multiple touchpoints,” Kalra said 

The future will seemingly be based on adapting to the ever-evolving technology. Winning that race with the sector’s new and old incumbents will be key to success. With an eye on 2024 and beyond, firms such as EXL will be looking to move with the times – and operate ahead of their competitors if they are to offer the best possible solution for their clients, as Kalra explained. 

“We at EXL maintain the innovation and adaptability of our generative AI solutions by actively monitoring the evolving technological landscape and consistently engaging with our insurance clients to understand their changing needs. This enables us to update and customise our AI solutions, ensuring we remain at the forefront of innovation and aligned with our clients’ demands. We constantly work and expand our partner ecosystem as well to bring the best solutions and drive the best outcomes for our clients.” 

In the world we now operate in, insurance firms need to innovate in order to keep pace with technology and their customers. With the technological revolution in full swing, the building blocks for insurance companies to bolster their own CX through a GenAI solution are now readily available. 

As the level of competition rises, so does the bar for success, GenAI is undoubtedly the latest technology that can change the game for insurers – making their product vastly more efficient. EXL is firmly positioned to take advantage of this major market move and position itself as a go-to InsurTech company for clients. 

Kalra added, “Generative AI’s potential to create substantial value for businesses is unquestioned, from innovative products and improved customer experiences to heightened productivity and data monetisation. At EXL, we use over a decade of experience delivering innovative AI solutions across the insurance industry and data expertise to help our clients realise value, making Generative AI ‘real’ for them within the tacit boundaries of ethics and responsibility.” 

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