A Story of Transformation: How Skit.ai is Helping ICICI Lombard Reach New CX Milestones

The age of hyper-personalization is here. For the digitized insurance sector, achieving communication-centricity along the way of personalization will be the mantra for superior customer experience (CX)!

Even though insurance policies are intangible, today’s customers look for tangible evidence in the customer service or product features that make their experience smooth and easy.

Insurance claims are moments of truth. They are sensitive moments following an ailment or an unfortunate event. Cost-effective and empathetic service holds the key!

Exploring the Need for Call Automation with Voice AI and Leapfrogging CX 

The high volume of calls in the insurance industry makes call automation imperative. For instance, insurance claims status follow-up typically involves sharing policy information and reference numbers over IVR, keying in their details in self-service dashboards, and calling customer support for status confirmation and validation. Shortening reach to that information most quickly is a definite way of improving CX.

From the providers’ standpoint, dispensing the correct information at the right time without impacting cost, productivity, and customer satisfaction could be a grandiose ambition, especially with the rising cost of human-agent interactions. Besides, the bar for CX is raised too high by thriving CX-centric companies from other industries. Nearly 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for great CX.

Here’s a snippet of industry research that we think can help insurance providers chart a realistic customer support roadmap in claims status management: 

  • People and technology combinations are the most sought-after options for insurance interactions, according to a study by Gartner.
  • Digital channels are great for securing sales but lack personalized advice capabilities, according to the Capgemini World Insurance Report 2021. 

To sum up, an ‘Always-on’, real-time and intuitive customer service is the need of the hour. Insurers need a balanced combo of human representatives and AI-powered automation for frictionless customer support.

We will discuss further in the article how Skit.ai’s Voice AI aces in enhancing both human-machine combinations for personalized claims status support for ICICI Lombard, one of India’s leading private sector general and motor insurance companies. 

Skit.ai and ICICI Lombard Partnership Upholds the Promise of Customer-centricity

ICICI Lombard has held a strong focus on being digital-led and agile. It has successfully launched an array of tech-driven initiatives that are tailored to customers’ expectations. Throughout their legacy of over two decades, ICICI Lombard is committed to customer-centricity with their brand philosophy, ‘Nibhaye Vaade’. As of March 2022, the company has issued over 23.9 million policies, settled 2.3 million claims, and has 283 branches with 11,085 employees. 

The insurer wanted to implement a revolutionary approach to help customers with ‘claims status’ updates for–better CX, contact center performance, and lower cost. The answer was Skit.ai’s Augmented Voice Intelligence platform, which helped the insurer usher in call automation in their contact centers and empowered human agents to drive better CX.

Skit.ai’s purpose-built AI-enabled Digital Voice Agents can handle tier 1 customer service calls, which are around 70% of total call volumes, and make intelligent handovers to human agents for more complex calls. It takes time and post-implementation pursuits to reach such high levels of automation, training the voicebot for all use cases and situations. 

We will discuss the positive business outcomes that Skit.ai’s Augmented Voice Intelligence platform helped ICICI Lombard achieve by automating and modernizing its legacy, checklist-driven claim status processes. Additionally, we will also be detailing the existing challenges in claims status management that prevents insurers from demonstrating speed, value, and efficiency. 

Dive deeper: What are Digital Voice Agents? 

How Skit.ai’s Digital Voice Agents are Accelerating ICICI Lombard Claims Status Support with Call Automation

Digital Voice Agents plug into contact centers and augment human agents by automating cognitively routine work. With the deployment of Skit.ai’s solution, ICICI Lombard could augment its performance in the below-mentioned areas. Other insurance companies can also transform on similar lines:

  1.  Personalization and Empathetic CX: Digital Voice Agent answered customer calls and automatically checked their history based on their registered mobile number. This knowledge helped ICICI Lombard personalize interactions with the customers. Upon request, the voice agents confirmed claim details and updated them on the claim status in less than a minute. ICICI Lombard could also leverage voice automation and personalized caller’s journey without making them wade through the IVR menus or wait to speak to an agent. No wonder they experienced a rise in CX. 
  2. Shorter Conversations: Obviating IVRs, the voice agent helped the insurer shorten the conversations by capturing all the details and transferring them to a human agent who picked up from where the voicebot concluded. This helped in improving the quality and average handling time for human agents. 
  3. Lower Contact Center Opex: Digital Voice Agents can contain a significant volume of claim status calls without needing intervention by the insurer’s customer support teams. This efficiently manages their contact center operations to handle a large number of customer queries (containing up to 30% of claims status calls), and also curbs additional expenses on training and hiring human agents to handle zero-value, repetitive tasks.
  4. Agent Productivity: The automation capabilities of Digital Voice Agents can help contact centers to use their human resources more judiciously by allowing them to only handle complex claims-related cases and escalations.
  5. Always On Support: Running contact centers 24/7 is not feasible from a cost and agent availability standpoint. An insurance policyholder can approach customer support for claim status information at any time of the day. Digital Voice Agents are capable of carrying out human-like conversations and can understand intent, sentiment, and voice tone to cater to their needs even post the working hours.

Discover the Biggest Contact Center Automation Trends of 2022

Business Outcomes of Call Automation at ICICI Lombard

With the help of Skit.ai’s Augmented Voice AI platform, ICICI Lombard achieved impressive outcomes: 

  • Contact center operational cost reduction by 28%
  • End-to-end automation for 30% of calls; no need for a human agent
  • Time to Value of fewer than 100 days 

These results represent just the beginning of possibilities for ICICI Lombard with voice automation.  Additional improvements will emerge as more use cases are added. Also, the learning curve advantages that come with time, will give the insurer a decisive competitive edge.

In the Words of ICICI Lombard Leadership 

Reflecting on their successful journey with Voice AI, the leadership team at ICICI Lombard also expressed their thoughts: 

“At ICICI Lombard, we believe that insurance is a promise that a customer pays for upfront, and the claim is the moment of truth. With our digital transformation strategy, we have set out to deliver on this promise with an intelligent digital voice agent that cuts down on customer wait time and holds empathetic conversations. It is an unconventional, modern solution that simplifies a legacy process that is quite complex,” said Girish Nayak, Chief of Service, Operations and Technology, ICICI Lombard.

“This is a watershed moment for the industry—for an insurance company to employ Voice AI to transact with customers and provide them with their claim status. One of the big CX wins is that customers don’t have to suffer DTMF anymore—no more,” ICICI Lombard mentioned in the case study.

Commenting on this revolutionary move, Vasundhara Bhonsle, Head of Customer Support at ICICI Lombard, said, “At ICICI Lombard, our digital transformation strategy focuses on deploying innovations that provide the best service and experience to our customers. Through our partnership with Skit.ai, we are creating a milestone for the Indian insurance industry. By implementing a digital voice agent to manage inbound queries for claim status, we are modernizing a legacy, complex process to make customer interaction a lot more personalized and empathetic. We look forward to bringing the benefits of the digital voice agent to millions of customers in India.”

Reimagining Insurance Customer Support with Voice AI 

ICICI Lombard began the deployment of Skit.ai’s Digital Voice Agents with one of the most challenging use cases i.e. Claim Status Support. Generally, dispensing claims status information on the go requires a good deal of time and resources. Sometimes, insurers are also dependent on other external stakeholders like hospitals and care providers using time-consuming, manual procedures for patient data and claims status-related updates. To ensure these hurdles do not affect customer support, insurance companies need to remain a step ahead leveraging Digital Voice Agents in the claims status area. 

Below are 6 reasons why insurance companies should up their game with intelligent Voice AI-led workflows in customer support to lead customers in their insurance and claims-related decision-making:

  • Much Newer and Tech-savvier Competition: With the arrival of smarter and innovative entrants in the market, it gets tough for insurers practicing legacy approaches in the claims process to remain relevant and win over customers. CX is crucial for survival and customer loyalty. So, it makes sense to integrate novel CX enhancing technologies and contact center automation to make claims status processing quick.  
  • Delays Cause Frustrations: Delays and long wait times for updates on the status of the claim frustrate customers. The claims process typically has limited human touch points. The absence of timely updates can gravely lower CX and customer satisfaction. 
  • Mounting Opex of Contact Centers: The time and cost factor for outbound efforts, confirmatory calls, and resources used as per policy with the available support team makes it difficult to reach all policyholders on time. This is yet  another driving factor to consider innovation in claims status and leverage Digital Voice Agents for 24/7 service.  
  • Automation Must Follow Digitization:  If approached in layman’s terms, there is too much information like claims reference number, policy number, name, address, and more that a policyholder must manually read out to a contact center agent along with call authentication conversations. This is not only time-consuming but also would be best if the information can be input and confirmed on self-service dashboards rather than over phone calls. 
  • No Room for Errors. Follow-up, changes, and corrections with the human agents when a slew of information (mostly when they are numbers and characters) is exchanged and input manually, has high scope for errors. Inaccuracies and mistakes can be costly for the insurer’s brand reputation and bring down customers’ confidence.  Automation with Voice AI allows for perfection by taking over repetitive, mundane processes. 
  • Self-service and DIY Option Comes with Privacy Factor: Offering intuitive self-service options and Digital Voice Agents that hold human-like conversations with customers can guide them through the claims process and can allow them a degree of autonomy. Since customers are independently accessing the claims process and status, it creates a strong sense of privacy which is integral for customer satisfaction and CX. 

How Voice AI Helps Insurance Companies Streamline Inbound Support

Looking Ahead: 

The future of customer support is voice. Rising costs and human agent attrition make delivering quality support prohibitive. But with evidence abound, Voice AI is fast emerging as a technology to leverage, and leapfrog CX. Voice AI was an option, but it is fast becoming an imperative, watch out!

The journey of transformation has just begun. As we constantly evolve and experiment with our technology across use cases in the insurance domain, there’s clear certainty for better numbers and more success stories in our pipeline.  

Are you interested in exploring automation possibilities with Digital Voice Agent to elevate your customer experience with better customer support? Use the chat tool below to book a demo with one of our experts

Move Beyond IVRs: Transform CX with Digital Voice Agents!

For contact centers, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems were a turning point a few decades ago, but now have become a customer experience turn-off. IVR systems have helped companies manage call volumes as well as create value with self-service options, information gathering, and call routing.  But a recent study found that, on average, IVRs cost businesses $256 per customer each year! Additionally, a whopping 61% of these customers are unhappy with IVR systems and believe they contribute to a poor customer experience.

“About 83% of the customers abandon the call and company after their IVRs encounters.”- Vonage report 

Why IVR Systems a Customer Service Turn off 

Historically, IVRs have failed to delight callers due to the poorly designed phone menu and the inability to dispense an answer or connect an agent on the go. Companies and businesses receive a lot of flak due to the general notion of associating IVRs as cost-effective replacements for contact center agents. It is paradoxical that customers warmly accept other forms of automated, self-service options for an instant response like ATMs and a variety of mobile applications but not IVRs!

The reasons for it are pretty simple. Since their introduction into the contact center market, IVR systems have undergone few iterations, and their main features haven’t changed much. The hold time, lengthy pre-recorded menus, and the need to repeat query information, especially during an emergency, continue to be a liability for businesses.  More importantly, customers have a strong affinity for resolving queries with a human representative than with restrictive, pre-recorded systems that only leave them with unsavory emotions towards the brand.

Nearly 47% of callers reportedly experience frustrations with IVRs. A significant number of them admitted feeling angered and stressed, according to the Vonage report.  

The same report also revealed that instead of IVRs, if the customers were able to get a hold of a live agent, they experienced relief (27%), less frustration (26%), and less anger (24%).  However, call center agents often end up at the receiving end of customer frustrations from navigating a labyrinth of IVR menus. Therefore the onus is on brands to elevate customer experiences without negatively impacting agents’ morale and productivity.

In this article, we share our insights on overcoming common contact center and customer experience challenges associated with traditional IVRs by diving into the capabilities of Voice AI. We will explore how brands can elevate their customer support with intelligent voice automation of nearly 70% of calls and human-like conversations.

Explore Now: AI-powered Digital Voice Agents vs Outbound IVRs 

Understanding Digital Voice Agents: DVA vs. IVRs 

Imagine a scenario—a customer calls a banking company’s contact center to block their stolen debit card. In lieu of pre-recorded messages and caller authentication protocols, the call is handled by a voice agent that is capable of contextually comprehending the caller’s urgency and making appropriate suggestions. The overall call experience is different! Why?

  • Zero waiting time
  • The instant response instead of punching numbers, a refreshing change from the lengthy IVRs menu options, annoying IVR theme music, and even from the exasperating experience of going down the rabbit hole of the menu by accidentally pressing a wrong button. 
  • For simple queries, no need for human agents

That’s our Digital Voice Agent (DVA) at work. Skit.ai’s DVA, for instance, is an AI-enabled virtual agent built from the ground up to understand human conversations. It can be plugged into contact centers to resolve tier 1 customer problems and automate cognitively routine work.

Digital Voice Agents vs. IVRs

  1. Built for Voice: Unlike conventional IVRs and chatbots that are capable of understanding only transcriptions, Digital Voice Agents are crafted specifically for voice conversations. Whenever a customer calls the contact center, they can interact with the voice agents in the same way as they converse with human agents.  
  2. Built for Personalization: With DVAs, there wouldn’t be any psychological barriers that callers experience when they are forced to interact with IVRs or chatbots. Besides, an intelligent voice agent that can sound like a human, picks up on the immediacy of the issue, giving callers a sense of relief and comfort in their critical moments, adding a more personal touch to customer service. Besides, they can even interact in the caller’s preferred choice of language.
  3. Built for Accuracy: Another issue when dealing with IVRs is that they work well only when there are no external disturbances like background noise or music. They can sometimes not recognize text inputs and end up redirecting the caller to the undesired part of the IVR menu. But DVAs can take in both voice and text inputs, and even filter out the ambient noise to capture the accurate voice response by the customer. 
  4. Built for Capturing Intent: Voice agents are based on powerful spoken language understanding (SLU) algorithms and can identify the semantics of the conversation. They can accurately capture the caller’s sentiment, tone of voice, and speed of the conversation to identify intent. 
  5. Built for Resolution: In emergency situations that require a quick response from customer support, a call hold would reflect poorly on the company’s services. It can even make them lose customers to their competitors. Most IVRs cannot pick up on non-linguistic cues like pauses, gasps, and utterances in between sentences. It is purely designed for text inputs. DVAs are capable of having contextually accurate interactions without relying on a limited stack of keywords, enabling quick query resolution. 
  6. Built for Intelligent Human and Machine Collaboration: IVRs are automated and function independent of human agents. DVAs are capable of end-to-end automation of simplistic calls and pass on complex ones to human agents, involving them only in complex use cases.

 A Deep Dive: AI-powered Digital Voice Agents vs IVRs

Now, let’s look into 7 specific angles where Skit.ai’s purpose-built, industry-specific voice-first technology, Voice AI, makes a tremendous difference to contact centers.  Skit.ai’s voice agents are a better fit than traditional IVRs in enhancing the quality of customer service.

  1. Speed and  Simplicity: Simple and easy-to-understand customer support is a formula for delighting a captive audience. There’s a good chance that the majority of callers may not get past the common obstacles in IVR menus, complex navigation, and confusing terminologies. IVRs can best offer five top-level and three sub-level menu options whereas DVAs immediately attend to calls, keeping it short and simple. 
  2. Quick Resolution with Cost Efficiency:  Apart from resolving customers’ problems, customer service organizations look at cost and call time spent as success metrics. Instead of wasting time, waiting for the right menu option on IVRs, customers’ queries with DVAs are addressed instantly and at a fraction of the cost while also engaging with the callers over voice conversations at scale. 
  3. For Intelligent Customer Service: Today’s customer service is expected to be built intuitively to absolve current issues and anticipate the next course of action. DVAs help make the most of the voice conversations with customers by mimicking human-like conversations and leveraging customer data to make appropriate recommendations, suggest steps or make intelligent call transfers to human agents.

  1. Quick Agent Reach during Emergency: Even the most loyal customers lose patience and abandon calls midway when forced to repeatedly go over the IVR system. For critical use cases that require timely resolution, DVAs work best. They not only hold an immediate voice interaction with the callers but also identify short, conversational utterances, pick up on callers’ intent, and capture customer details for quick call transfers to human agents. 

  1. Making Query Resolution Interactive: Speaking to a live agent immediately is not the magic bullet for customer support success. Augmenting IVR systems or replacing them with Voice AI-driven automation for call back features at customers’ preferred time helps personalize and enhance the call experience making the conversations more empathetic. The rapid scalability and robust integrations of the DVAs help include options to reach customers with interactive emails and voicemails along with call-back options. 

  1. Easy Integration with Customer Experience Systems: Customer service calls can be more proactive and intuitive when integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) platforms and automated call distribution (ACD)  systems. Voice agents have access to caller history, previous purchases, and other customer data based on the caller ID number. It provides enough pre-context to authenticate calls before call handovers to human representatives.

Read in Detail About–Digital Voice Agents: What, Why, and How 

  1. Timely, Useful Insights for Enhanced CX:  DVAs help brands adopt advanced analytics-driven approaches to unlock a treasure trove of insights on call performance as well as define relevant KPIs and areas for improvements in the customer’s journey for cost savings and better CX. IVRs need optimizations to deliver this capability. While DVAs work as productivity enhancers with timely insights that help add incremental value to the brand or business’ customer experience. 

Despite several detractors that customers unanimously agree on, IVR systems remain a staple in customer support. The worldwide growth rate of the IVR market is expected to reach $6.7 billion by 2026.  This growth trajectory can be a blessing to CTOs who chose IVRs for long-term customer service investments, but certainly a nightmare for CMOs against the backdrop of increasing customer calls. Technological innovation and AI-driven upgrades are needed to drive the progression of IVR systems. Until then, Voice AI helps empower businesses to elevate inbound and outbound initiatives for better CX in ways that IVR systems fail to live up to. 

Are you interested in contact center automation with our Digital Voice Agent to elevate customer experience?  Book a demo with one of our experts: www.skit.ai   

Transforming Customer Experience with Optichannel Support and Augmented Voice Intelligence

We have all been in dire straits and dealt with frozen bank accounts and medical or travel emergencies. We can vividly recall the palpitation and frustration felt during those moments, waiting for customer support, navigating IVRs, or a chatbot.

Companies have long wanted to change it, but challenges such as high attrition rates, unscalable teams, inconsistent CX, and cost pressures have curtailed their capability to serve customers.

Consequently, customer frustration is on the rise. A 2019 report said that customers are annoyed by the irrelevant options presented by the IVR. In fact, two out of three Americans (66 percent) say they would choose AI-powered voice-over chat if it were effective at answering their questions.

Riding the wave of recent advancements in NLP and AI, we are graduating from machines automating crude, low-value tasks to a new era where AI-enabled voice customer support would help companies create enormous value, conversing in their preferred language with semantic understanding to resolve their problems.

Explore How to Improve Customer Experience With Voice AI

For Exceptional CX – Technology and Channel Strategy Matters

A Harvard Business Review survey revealed that 73% of business leaders view reliable customer experience as critical to the overall business performance of their company.

Companies now realize that multi-channel or omnichannel strategy has failed to live up to the expectations of improving CX, primarily because different customer segments prefer specific channels to connect. Thus, an optichannel or optimal channel strategy is more prudent as it focuses on the capability to support a customer journey via a channel/modality optimal for that problem.

Even today, after years of decline in customers’ preference for voice support to troubleshoot, voice is still over 50% in contact volume. Though companies may pursue an omnichannel strategy, if they are not good at voice support, they must be cognizant of its impact on CX. Optichannel is thus a more prudent strategy as being good at different modalities such as emails and chat will not compensate for the damage done by poor voice support. Companies have to choose wisely, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Text and Voice: Don’t Mix and Serve

Acing CX means that the company must be good at serving customers with their preferred channels. Voice is complex, subtle, and requires semantic understanding. Nuances of a voice conversation such as a change in the rate of speech, voice modulations, and more that convey a customer’s feelings are lost if your solution is not built from scratch for voice. Bundling a chatbot with a readily available Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) to add voice capability just kills the beauty of spoken conversations because it can transcribe but not converse.

Shortcuts like these fulfill notionally the goal of being present in every channel but defeat the goal of being good at the relevant channel. 

Moving Beyond the Complexity of Digital Transformation with Voice AI

In the last few decades, the world moved from voice to text to chatbots. But as customers still prefer voice over other communication channels, even brands are taking notice. WhatsApp, a chat messaging platform, is building voice-led solutions for businesses. A Deloitte study reveals that by 2030 there will be a proliferation of voice-led technology across the globe and that 30% of sales will be via voice by then.

As companies hustle to achieve digital transformation, the low success rates, and disturbingly lower rates of sustainable DX success are proof of the precarious journey. 

Fortunately, there is one way to not only automate contact centers with the most cutting-edge technology but also ensure that it succeeds without a big resource commitment from the organization. Yes, Voice AI is one such solution with stand-alone deployment and stunning success rates. 

Companies must consider deploying Augmented Voice Intelligence for contact center automation as a good starting point toward digital transformation. But before that, brands must ponder over the most significant question – What does the shift towards voice entail as we cross the voice automation rubicon? What is its impact on the market and competitive landscape? 

Look before you leap!

Only if you feel that your human agents are doing zero-value repetitive tasks, and there could be enhancement of their productivity. Your company is continuously facing resource, cost, and compliance challenges. Perhaps it’s time to contemplate and change.

For more information and free consultation, let’s connect over a quick call; Book Now!

Also, for more information: How We Can Transform Customer Experience

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Voice AI for Insurance: Streamline Inbound Support

Today, the expectations of insurance customers are heavily influenced by the tech first disruptors. In order for traditional insurance companies to continue with their market domination, they will need to take a comprehensive and structural approach to transform their business models to compete with the nimbler tech-savvy entrants- Insurtechs, which are redefining product offerings and customer experience (CX).

The insurance industry is going through a tectonic shift, as more consumers are buying insurance policies online rather than taking the help of agents/brokers, in order to minimize contact – a behavioural change that has accelerated due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic. The online insurance market in India is expected to grow to INR 220 billion by 2024 (Mordor Intelligence report). However, most insurance companies are overwhelmed with the increased surge and face a hard time in resolving queries of leads and customers. 

Since the trend is only going to increase in the future, it’s critical for insurance companies to reimagine their inbound support strategy. With limited resources and increasing support queries, insurance companies need to leverage the right technology and automation to see results.

AI Voice bots, for example, are becoming increasingly popular among insurance companies and are being leveraged by many insurance companies to answer mundane support requests and streamline the claims process. In this blog, we dive deeper and understand exactly how AI Voice bots are driving value for insurance companies when it comes to inbound support –

Role of Voice AI 

Voice AI is a combination of technologies that enables interaction between computers and customers through voice. AI Voice bots that are powered by Voice AI are built using sophisticated and advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms. 

With the ability to understand the context and intent and hold human-like conversations they can engage with customers and assist them without any human intervention. 

By connecting with the customer at different stages in the customer journey, be it to remind them about upcoming renewals, lead qualification, answer FAQs or inform about claim submission status, AI voice bots delight the customer while freeing up additional agent bandwidth to take up complex tasks. 

While the solution is equally effective in increasing renewals and for proactive customer engagement, in this blog, we’ll just focus on how it can streamline inbound support – 

Answering FAQs around policy quickly

Insurance companies receive a lot of inbound queries daily around premium payment terms, maturity date, lock-in period and more. A huge chunk of these queries are mundane in nature and don’t need human assistance. However, most insurance companies still resolve these questions manually. 

With limited bandwidth, companies struggle in reducing response times. Also, this negatively impacts the productivity of the agents as they waste their time answering repeated queries each day. 

A great way to fix this is by leveraging AI voice bots to answer these questions. They can easily understand the customer’s query and resolve it instantly 24/7. Customers no longer need to wait in a queue or go through complicated IVR systems. With the right integrations, AI voice bots can easily fetch customer past data to provide a personalized support experience. 

By freeing up agent bandwidth, human agents get more time in resolving complex support queries. Customers on the other hand get immediate answers to their queries which could have otherwise easily taken a few minutes. 

Additionally, AI voice bots are extremely helpful in tackling surges in the number of support queries during certain events such as a flood, earthquake etc. 

Enhancing the claims experience 

The claims process is a defining moment in a policy holder’s life. They expect it to be frictionless. However, most of the time they’re left disappointed. Traditionally, the insurance claims process has been slow and challenging. Getting a claim processed in a few days or weeks with minimal effort is nothing less than a miracle. 

With time, insurance companies have understood this. They know it’s critical for customer retention, sustainable growth and differentiating themselves from the competition. Hence, they constantly employ different strategies and technology solutions to streamline their claims process and make it more efficient. 

But, oftentimes, the reason for dissatisfaction among customers has to do with the lack of information around the status of the claim (especially during life-changing events) than the overall processing time. To fix this, insurance companies can leverage AI voice bots.

AI voice bots can intelligently assist customers throughout the claims process and even proactively inform them about the status of their claims. They can answer common questions around how to raise a claim, claim forms and more. If required they can also seamlessly do handoff calls to agents. 

By engaging with customers at every stage and keeping them in the loop, they prevent any information gap and remove the need for them to reach support. This significantly enhances the customers’ claims experience, thus increasing satisfaction and customer loyalty. 

The road ahead for Insurers

By focusing on convenience, personalization, friction less customer service and building loyalty insurers can stay ahead of the competition and attract loyal customers. But the road ahead for them is not easy. Insurers need to invest in customer-centricity to build and maintain a competitive edge.

About Skit

Skit is an Augmented Voice Intelligence Platform, helping businesses modernize their contact centers and customer experience by automating and improving voice communications at scale. By enabling preemptive, intelligent problem solving and seamless live interactions, we have automated over 15 million calls for global enterprises across industries. We help our customers streamline their contact center operations, reduce costs, and also enhance customer experience and engagement.

Connect with us if you’re interested in learning more about the platform and how it can streamline your contact center strategy.

Why NBFCs Need Voice AI To Create Differentiated Customer Experiences

Today, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) are a major force in financial inclusion by offering credit to underserved retail, small businesses and consumers in India. The industry has seen phenomenal growth in the past few years and is expected to grow by 9.5% in FY22. They play a critical role in the development of core infrastructure, employment generation and in helping the weaker section of the society financially. NBFCs have, in a lot of ways, has been instrumental in filling the gap in credit availability that has existed in India for so many years.

According to PwC, NBFCs have outperformed banks in new credit deployment. The ability to scale faster, customize rigid policies and continuous experimentation with the latest technologies has played an important role in their growth.

NBFCs have a deep understanding of different customer segments which is extremely critical for them to be able to effectively attract, convert and serve customers in a personalized manner.

Since the beginning, NBFCs have leveraged technology to streamline their operations and become more efficient. In the past few years, they’ve also heavily invested in data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for improving the customer journey and enhancing the customer experience – eSignature, eKYC (Know your customer), video chats, IoT-based data collection for connected cards, behavioural analytics and more.

Gaurav Chopra, Founder & CEO at India Lends said, ” The Indian retail borrowing has evolved over the years and in this past year, a paradigm psychological shift has been observed in consumers’ borrowing behaviour. This change resulted in a significant rise in demand for personal credit.”

Growth Opportunities

Even with the increase in the disposable income of consumers and improved access to credit, India is far behind when it comes to the Credit to GDP percentage (refer to the graph below). This clearly illustrates the massive growth opportunity in front of them. Regulatory innovations, government initiatives and convergence of technology in the last ten years are a few of the main reasons for their consistent growth in India.

Reports say that the recent pandemic has further fuelled their growth as more people leverage contact-less and paper-less lending. It has also fast-tracked digital transformation for NBFC companies.

CX Challenges for NBFCs 

Despite the robust growth, NBFCs are facing challenges due to different factors, the primary ones being the increasing competition from new Fintech companies and increasing demand for a superior customer experience. In this article, we look at four customer experience challenges NBFCs are facing and their solution:

Identifying the Right Opportunities 

NBFCs generate a prospective customer base through different channels, be it through the website, partnerships, or inbound calls. While on the outset all the leads might seem good opportunities, in most cases only a few are valuable. Support agents usually end up wasting their important time by speaking to the wrong leads. This greatly impacts conversions and agent’s productivity. 

To solve this problem often brands outsource their lead qualification to a third-party agency. However, this only ends up creating additional challenges. Further, since brands have little to no control over the communication it poses a huge risk to the CX. 

Also, checking the prospect’s interest level is not enough. A person might be interested in taking a loan but if he fails to meet even one of the eligibility criteria, he’s disqualified. Usually, this is verified by an agent manually over call and by going through the submitted documents.

Solution

One very effective and scalable way to automate prospective lead qualification is by leveraging voice bots. Before going deep into how they can help, let me talk a bit about voice bots and how they work. 

Powered using Voice AI, voice bots can converse with customers in a natural and multi-turn conversational style. The experience is very human-like. Voice bots can allow you to engage with your customers 24*7 in a scalable manner. 

Whenever a new prospect enters the CRM, voice bots will make an outbound call to explain about the product, collect important information and check their interest levels. It also answers common questions around the product and suggests other alternatives too. All this information is captured and the prospects are tagged as interested and non-interested. Depending on the interest levels, agents prioritize their engagement with the lead. In case, during the call, a prospect wants to connect with an agent, it can make seamless handovers too. The voice bot can further qualify the prospect by checking their eligibility. This can be done by asking multiple questions to the prospects.

Apart from lead qualification, voice bots ensure that all prospective customers are engaged quickly. Lead response times are critical because the sooner you respond to a lead (if it’s qualified) the higher the chances of conversion.

It also provides brands with important customer insights and other data that can help them understand the performance of different channels. 

Creating a good onboarding experience 

Most NBFCs struggle with customer retention. They’re failing to build trust among their users and a lot has to do with customer onboarding. While often overlooked, welcoming the customer and explaining important clauses plays a huge role in creating a good first impression. This is especially important in an industry where the number of customer touchpoints is very few. 

However, calling each customer and onboarding them is a mundane and resource-intensive process. With limited bandwidth, companies find it impossible to assign agents specifically to onboard customers. 

Solution 

A scalable way of welcoming and onboarding customers is through voice bots. They can automatically trigger calls to customers and explain the product, answer common questions, and more. Further, if a customer doesn’t pick up the call, the bot can intelligently re-schedule the call. By automating the complete process, voice bots free up agent bandwidth without compromising on customer service quality. 

Thus, Voice AI can not only help enhance the onboarding experience for customers but also contribute to major cost savings. 

Streamlining Collections

Every NBFC in the lending space is continuously trying different strategies to streamline its collection process and make it more efficient. The primary challenge NBFCs face is in reducing the number of defaulters. To ensure customers make timely repayments, they greatly depend on reminders across different channels and phone calls. In fact, the most common reason for missing a repayment is not receiving any reminders. 

Let’s learn how the process of repayments can be further streamlined for scalability and efficiency by leveraging the right technology. 

Friendly Reminders for Repayments   

While often underutilized, triggering reminders a few days before the repayment greatly helps in reducing the number of defaulters. By reminding them in a timely fashion, customers can ensure that their account has sufficient account balance for payment deduction thereby saving them from the unwanted hassle and late fee charges.

In case the customer wishes to pay instantly, the voice bot can also trigger an SMS notification with a payment link. Further, when a customer is busy, voice bots can make follow-ups as well, reducing the number of defaulters.

Thus, Voice AI plays an important role in improving the debt collection metrics for NBFCs.

24/7 Customer Support

Responding to and resolving customer support requests quickly is everything. Customers today expect resolution irrespective of the day or time or whether it’s a holiday. However, meeting these needs is a huge challenge for NBFCs.

Solution 

Voice bots can help NBFCs provide round-the-clock support. So be it tracking claims or answering questions, voice bots can integrate with the internal systems and provide an instant resolution. Providing personalized support, enhances the CX and promotes brand loyalty.

Apart from this, voice bots can also be leveraged in the case of an unexpected spike to free up agent bandwidth. 

Over to You

Both the new entrants and NBFC leaders need to consistently deliver great customer experiences and keep innovating by adopting new-age technologies for sustainable growth. Looking at the current state, there’s a huge scope for improvement especially when it comes to traditional NBFC companies. 

By leveraging solutions such as Voice AI, NBFCs can not only enhance customer experience but also optimize their operating costs and expand the value provided to customers.

About Skit

Skit is an Augmented Voice Intelligence Platform, helping businesses modernize their contact centers and customer experience by automating and improving voice communications at scale. By enabling preemptive, intelligent problem solving and seamless live interactions, we have automated over 15 million calls for global enterprises across industries. We help our customers streamline their contact center operations, reduce costs, and also enhance customer experience and engagement.

Connect with us if you’re interested in learning more about the platform and how it can modernize and transform your contact center.

Voice AI for E-Commerce: Reimagining the Customer Experience

The Ecommerce sector is the fastest-growing sector in India and is expected to grow to US$ 200 billion by 2026 from US$ 38.5 billion in 2017 (IBEF). Most of the growth can be attributed to the rise of online shoppers due to increased smartphone and internet usage. In fact, according to a report, the number of active internet connections in September 2020 was 776.45 million. 

The pandemic and social distancing have further accelerated the usage of online shopping apps like Amazon, Flipkart and BigBasket. The beauty and wellness category, for example, saw volume growth of more than 130% during the pandemic, according to a report by Unicommerce

But the increasing growth has posed multiple challenges for the Indian ecommerce companies, including stiff competition and the demand for a frictionless and superior online shopping and customer experience.

CX in Ecommerce 

In Ecommerce, CX is a combination of all the experiences across the customer journey, right from when the customer installs the application/visits the website to product returns/refund.

Today, every company is obsessing over creating delightful customer experiences and it’s for all the right reasons. Take the example of the ecommerce giant, Amazon, which has been successful in providing customers with the best experience for multiple years now. It is also a leading company in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) in the category of Internet Retail.

With increasing demand and customer needs, technology has a critical role to play in helping companies achieve customer experience goals. Let’s take a look at voice technology and how it’s transforming CX for the ecommerce industry. 

Rise in voice technology 

Today, voice technology has become an integral part of our lives. We use it right from playing our favourite music track, switching on lights to ordering a product online. Companies have also been very quick in leveraging it to provide a personalized customer experience across the customer funnel. 

Ecommerce companies, for example, are using AI-powered voice assistants for everything including triggering personalized product recommendations, creating a shopping list, tracking order status and raising a complaint. It’s as easy as saying “Hey Alexa, add tissue papers to my cart”.

According to a Capgemini Report, “By 2022, for each activity across the ecommerce consumer journey, the consumer uptake of voice is expected to increase by 15 percentage points or more compared to today’s levels.”

Here’s what consumers are performing using voice assistants –

  • 51% of users research products
  • 30% of users track a package
  • 18% of users contact support



Let’s look in-depth at how voice is impacting a typical customer journey and assisting companies in providing personalized customer engagement and faster service.

Increase in Voice Commerce 

Imagine having a dedicated salesperson guiding you through a product purchase at the comfort of your home. Sounds too good to be true?

Today, with voice commerce you can do exactly that. You can speak with a voice assistant to buy a product without browsing through the web or opening a shopping application on your phone. Just as you check the weather on your phone using voice commands, you can ask questions, check ratings, product details and more.

While there are multiple advantages, the biggest one for voice commerce is convenience. This helps consumers save time and maximize ease. Juniper Research forecasts that voice commerce will be over USD 80 billion by 2023. 

Voice AI for customer engagement and support 

The customer journey for any ecommerce customer is very complex and involves multiple touchpoints, more than any industry. For example, on mobile, only 15% of the customers who’ve added products to their cart end up making a purchase. Cart abandonment is not something new to the ecommerce industry and they’ve been employing different strategies to tackle it including triggering emails and push notifications. 

To further reduce cart abandonment and tackle other similar challenges, companies are increasingly adopting Voice AI solutions. For example, whenever a user abandons a cart, an outbound call can be automatically triggered to a customer after a certain period to understand the reason for cart abandonment. Depending on their response, ecommerce companies can take appropriate action. For example, if the customer was facing a payment issue, the company can suggest alternative payment methods and so on. This can drastically help in reducing the number of cart abandonment.

Similarly, Voice AI can help with customer reactivation, promote offers/new launches and update customers on product availability and price drops. When it comes to customer support, Voice AI can allow customers to raise complaints instantly, answer frequent queries and collect important feedback interactively. 

Future of voice in Ecommerce & opportunities 

The rise in the usage of voice-enabled devices in the recent past has clearly shown how comfortable consumers are becoming when it comes to engaging with conversational assistants. According to a report jointly released by Kantar Millward Brown and IBM, “There are already 33 million voice-enabled devices installed globally.”



Apart from few challenges, voice technology is a game-changer for ecommerce companies. Be it voice commerce, customer engagement or support, voice has a huge role to play across the customer journey. When used at the right time and situation, it can create unforgettable experiences for customers.  

This is a huge opportunity for ecommerce companies to reimagine their strategies and customer journey across different stages. By doing this, companies can not only enhance CX but also stand out in the competition. 

Brands providing a good experience with their conversational bots are driving higher levels of customer engagement (Capgemini Report). 

About Skit

Skit is an Augmented Voice Intelligence Platform, helping businesses modernize their contact centers and customer experience by automating and improving voice communications at scale. By enabling preemptive, intelligent problem solving and seamless live interactions, we have automated over 15 million calls for global enterprises across industries. We help our customers streamline their contact center operations, reduce costs, and also enhance customer experience and engagement.

Connect with us if you’re interested in learning more about the platform and how it can modernize and transform your contact center.