How Can Mobile Application Development be a Strategic Method in the Digital Transformation of Your Business?
You can make mobile application development a strategic point in your digital transformation journey in three major ways: enterprise, agents, and customers.
The key to making it strategic is to avoid the temptation to have a shiny, new app. Start with the idea that your mobile app will represent your business to its users. Then focus on incorporating feedback and making it as simple and valuable to the end-user as possible.
In this article, we will cover all three directions with examples and ideas. Then we will examine the benefits to the users and the benefits to your company.
Let’s dive in.
- Your mobile application will soon be the face of your business to the public and agents
- The transparency with which you communicate information builds trust, and what is easier than a chatbot
- Useful, enterprise-level apps can help retain your most valuable employees
- Agent-only mobile applications can answer their questions from anywhere on anything
- Customer-facing applications can provide you with useful datasets to improve your machine learning automation
Most companies use some form of task management software these days. It doubled in importance in the early days of the pandemic when companies had to refigure their systems to support employees working from home.
It’s still beneficial to pursue apps outside of task management software.
An Oxford Economics survey of insurance executives found that employee retention is one of the primary goals (and concerns) for the next several years. The best employees know their value. Offering extra perks like flexible hours and remote work will allow your company to hire the best people away from your competitors and retain them.
Mobile applications can offer extra security, especially as companies start to figure out how to use blockchain technology in their niches.
Finding agent-only information on policies typically involves a handful or more navigational steps. Easily accessible mobile apps can help agents access policy details whenever they need it, whether it’s taking a client call in the car or otherwise on the go.
Chatbots can extend helpful capabilities to your agents by answering questions in real-time. Policy changes, underwriting status, the common questions that your support staff get can all be automated, saving the agent’s time and your payroll.
For example, if an independent life insurance agent is looking for a company with low rates for someone with diabetes, they’ll be more inclined to work with the company that responds first to their query. If your chatbot can answer it in seconds, that makes you more helpful than your competitors that forces archaic website navigation or potentially hours for an email response.
Finally, the whole insurance industry is based on trust. Building good relationships with your agents through helpful, timely information can position you as one of the agent’s go-to companies. Even a question as simple as “when will I see my commission?” can be answered easily through an agent app listing their in-force policies, commission rates, and expected payment processing dates.
An app can give new information, keep stats and commission schedules, answer underwriting questions. Simply looking at your support team’s FAQ list, you can help agents find the answers they’re always looking for without taking their time on a call or waiting for an email response.
If building trust with agents is important, the face of your company (increasingly your online presence) with your customers will present through any mobile application you develop.
Many valuable tools can mimic the agent level, like chatbots for questions or status for underwriting or claims.
Secure billing through the application can both make payments easier for your customers, and your app can remind them when the premium comes due so they don’t risk a lapse in coverage.
They also have their policy info at a glance. Many states allow electronic proof of insurance, and with 92% of Americans owning cell phones compared to only 62% owning a printer, that makes your customer’s life that much more convenient.
Filing a claim for P&C is already undergoing a transformation with the ease of taking pictures at the scene with a mobile phone and filing the claim on the spot. But it also helps savvy insurance companies walk a customer through what pictures to take, and AI can assess if the photos are blurry or need to be taken from another angle.
In short, you can program easy-to-follow instructions within the app to supply your claims adjusters with all the information your claims adjusters wish they had. Beyond that, this data will become useful later as AI develops to the point where it can automatically process your claims without involving a person.
Benefits To Your Business
Implementing mobile application development takes time and resources. Treating it as one component of your digital transformation keeps your organization from the barrier of a set and forget mindset.
Applications will need maintenance and security updates. You will also learn more about your customers and agents through the data the application collects for your team to analyze.
Data you collect from your applications can feed into your predictive analytics. Data mining, predictive modeling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence build on the statistics companies have used for years.
The key strategy point here is building a team with the requisite skillsets to take advantage of this new data stream. Can your current team handle the new workload and new information? Can you retain the people who can use your new technological portfolio to their full potential?
Another theme is trust.
Producing an app is one thing. Providing helpful, timely information builds trust with your brand. As trends in insurance move toward similar premiums. It’s no longer efficient to attract new customers by racing to the bottom of pricing bands. Differentiating your company through great user experience – particularly if you simultaneously cultivate a reputation for customer service – will win over a lot of people looking at similar products for similar premiums.
Now, we’re back to building relationships through mobile applications.
Your relationships with your team will improve, helping you retain that top-tier talent to take full advantage of your emerging digital transformation.
Your relationships with your agents will improve. They don’t have time to read books, training manuals, or watch hours of video to make a single sale on one particular product. As an example, Tidbit-sized on-demand training delivered through your app is one way to convey the information they need to make sales and pay their bills.
Your relationship with your customers will improve. Chatbots in your mobile app provide assistance 24/7. User data can be fed into machine learning models and AI to boost the sophistication of your risk assessment in underwriting, claims processing, and even speech patterns for chatbots.
If you haven’t yet begun your digital transformation journey, starting with intelligent automation of backend processes can significantly speed up turnaround times. In fact, industries will start seeing automation as a “condition of survival,” as predicted by the research company Gartner.
You could go any of these directions, perhaps even all of them. But mobile application development is only one tactic in a digital transformation for an insurance company. Starting with an insurance digital transformation roadmap will help.
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