AI, Chatbots

Insurance Chatbots Boost Sales Conversion and Policy Renewal Rates: A Customer Journey

By 6 Minute Read

Insurance chatbots are being deployed to engage with insurance customers in more automated, convenient and frictionless ways.

Whether it’s a request for an insurance quotation, submitting an insurance claim, renewing a policy, scheduling an appointment with a claims adjustor, or onboarding new policyholders, bots are transforming how insurance providers interact and do business with their customers.  As consumers communicate across multiple digital channels, from web to email, SMS, social, mobile apps, and messaging, chatbots are meeting them on their time and in their preferred channel. Here’s a real-world example, based on the AA Ireland, of how powerful a chatbot can be when done right. 

An Insurance Case Study:

1. The AA Chooses Chatbots to Increase Sales Conversions on Insurance Quotes


The AA Ireland was founded in 1910 to provide roadside assistance for Irish drivers and is now one of the largest companies in Ireland that provides car, home, travel, and life insurance. Regulatory requirements in the Irish Insurance industry mean that home and car insurance policies have to be renewed every year and the insurance company must send a renewal notice at least 15 days before a policyholder’s renewal date. This gives customers the chance to shop around for the best policy and request new insurance quotes. Naturally, this leads to a competitive marketplace where customers can switch easily if they find a better offer or if they are dissatisfied with their existing provider.

Hence, when you visit the insurance websites or mobile apps, a Quote button and attractive promotional offers are designed to attract prospective customers.

Insurance Chatbots Boost Sales Conversion and Policy Renewal Rates: A Customer Journey 1


In a highly competitive market like insurance, the cost of digital advertising is high. In fact, the term “insurance” is one of the most expensive keywords that can be bid on through Google advertising. To make the most of their investment in digital lead generation, the AA honed in on how they could improve the conversion rates on these leads. A chatbot seemed like the perfect solution to help customers through the quotation process more smoothly and to handle quotation requests out of office hours.

A lot of companies begin their chatbot projects with customer service use cases but the AA saw sales as a great area to put a bot to work. By guiding and helping a customer through the quotation process and answering their queries along the way, customers can complete the sale online, faster and more easily.

“Increasing conversion even by one to two percent helps to make the business more profitable. The potential to use AI-powered chatbots to improve our conversion rates, while providing operational efficiencies across customer service, was an opportunity we couldn’t ignore.” – Customer Lifecycle Manager, Louise McCormick

With no way, other than live chat, to engage, answer queries and retain customers during the quote process, the company was missing an opportunity to communicate how prospective customers could reduce their quote with simple changes to their insurance application. The AA was experiencing high rates of missed live chats due to unexpected spikes of customer demand, or requests received outside of business hours.

2. How the AA Implemented a Quote Bot


Out of these business needs, the idea for Quote Bot was born. Activated on AA’s existing policy quote web page, the Quote Bot was designed to help interpret quote details and make personalized recommendations to help customers get the right level of cover and price: navigating them to the right page location and interacting with the buttons on that page to make required changes.

Insurance Chatbots Boost Sales Conversion and Policy Renewal Rates: A Customer Journey 2


If a prospective customer needs further assistance, the conversation is seamlessly transferred to human chat through the bot’s integration with Zendesk, the live chat software used in the AA. If the request for further assistance is made out of hours, a call back is scheduled via the bot. 

3. Twelve Weeks to Launch with Immediate Results for the AA


It took only 12 weeks, from the selection of the ServisBOT Conversational AI platform to the implementation of the Quote Bot. Shortly after launching the bot the AA saw an 11% increase in quote conversions just by having the bot engage when the contact center was closed. Since its launch in November 2018, the sales conversion rate has risen from this. 

In an industry that often competes on price, the application of a well-conceived quote bot shows that by improving the customer experience through making insurance quotations more accessible, convenient and transparent, the business can reap the rewards of better conversion rates. Just watch this video clip and hear the story:

But, as we witness in many of our client engagements, there are always multiple benefits to both a customer and the business. In the case of the AA, customer self-service and out-of-hours access improved. This resulted in a 40% reduction in agent handling times of customers that had already interacted with the bot. Missed chats dramatically decreased too as the bot intercepted incoming customers when the contact center was busy. This led to reduced pressure on the agents, leading to higher agent satisfaction. And because the bot handles routine quotation interactions and hands-off more complicated sales to the agents, the agent productivity has risen. It’s a win-win. 

Insurance Chatbots: From Customer Conversions to Customer Onboarding, Service, Renewals and much more!

Changing customer demographics and expectations, increased competition from new digitally native Insurtech players and a fast-changing technology landscape has placed pressure on the insurance sector to change their clunky business models and processes, resource-intensive customer relationship practices, and inflexible legacy systems. One of the most promising technologies to help them in their transformation is Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

At ServisBOT, we are seeing the insurance sector embrace chatbot solutions for a range of different use cases and to achieve different business objectives. The AA started out with a Quote bot since converting incoming leads was a priority but other insurance clients started their bot journey with other goals in mind, for example, streamlining the onboarding of new customers,  improving customer retention through more efficient renewals engagements, or updating customer policy changes more easily. It doesn’t matter where you start with a chatbot. The main driver has to be the business need and where a chatbot can have a significant business impact. The rest follows.

Insurance policy Quote


The example of the AA is a good one to encourage any insurance provider to prioritize the bot use cases, based on business objectives and the potential for positive impacts. Initial bots don’t have to be complicated but they need to be effective. The AA spent their time analyzing customer chat scripts across email, live chat, and other customer conversations so that they could be sure that when the bot was launched that it could provide consistent, high-quality answers to queries. They wanted the customer to have an experience that both reflected the AA brand and fulfilled their needs. Once the customer lifecycle team was armed with this information they were able to pretty much create the bot themselves using the tooling available from the ServisBOT platform with assistance provided by ServisBOT experts when needed.

This exercise and the impressive results they achieved has spurred the company on to launch and plan a range of more chatbots for different customer interaction points. This is typically the case, one well-conceived and successful bot experience motivates a company to roll out many more chatbots.

The Evolution of Customer Engagement and the Adoption of Chatbots

Chatbots are not new. After all, the first chatbot, ELIZA, was created over 50 years ago. So why are they suddenly so important. There are a number of factors at play here, one of which is the evolution of different interfaces that enable us to interact and search for information. This image helps explain how, over time, we have moved from using websites and email to engage and search, to the emergence of mobile and social media where we can interact, search, and share while on-the-go, and now to conversational interfaces where we can interact, transact and search using natural language powered by chatbots and available 24/7.

Insurance Chatbots Boost Sales Conversion and Policy Renewal Rates: A Customer Journey 3


The shift in graphical interfaces to conversational ones is monumental. Conversation by its nature is more fluid and natural than the structured web forms and data fields we are used to from graphical user interfaces. As speech recognition and natural language processing technologies mature and improve, chatbots become more intelligent and capable of understanding exactly what a customer wants and responding accordingly. This has given rise to a steep increase in the adoption of chatbots. In the case of the AA, 80% of customers that clicked on the bot continued to interact with it. So not only are businesses embracing conversational engagement, customers are too.

Put Insurance Chatbots to Work Across Your Business

It is no longer good enough to expect people to engage nine-to-five with live chat or via voice with contact center agents. Consumers are demanding the exceptional experience that they get from providers in other areas of their life and are bringing these expectations to their insurance needs. They want to interact on their time and in the channels that they have adopted – this can be voice speakers, messaging apps, SMS, web or mobile apps, as well as the more traditional email, live chat, and phone channels. Besides wanting things done instantly, they also demand greater transparency.

While the price is an important part of purchasing an insurance policy, it is also about the experience that the customer has. Has the customer got all the policy information at their fingertips or is it hidden in the small print? How responsive is their insurance provider when they have a claim? It is the sum of their interactions that determine their overall experience and the more positive interactions they have the more likely it is to create increased loyalty and retention. 

For more insights into how chatbots can transform how you engage with your insurance customers you may be interested in the following resources:

Watch the Insurance Overview Video

Download our Insurance Bot eBook


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