Digital Integration Hubs: Bringing customer service up to speed in the insurance sector

digital integration hubs insurance

When consumers request information, submit a query or make a claim with an insurer…

there are a number of processes which take place behind the scenes before a conclusion is reached. However, with retailers and other services providing ever faster responses, whether online or on the phone, there is increasing pressure on insurance businesses to speed up these processes and meet the expectations of the modern customer. Now accustomed to finding what they need in a few clicks of a button, customers may simply switch to a competitor if they have to wait too long. The problem for insurers is how to update their consumer-facing IT systems without affecting back-end systems that store critical business information.

It is clear that insurers must address this issue as the pace of technological development may be making their systems increasingly outdated. They cannot simply rely on a website, an email address and a telephone number to provide the level of responsiveness and interaction expected by customers. Today’s customer is used to consulting a range of touch-points across multiple devices; a typical journey may begin on a website, transition to an app and then end with a phone call. The business must therefore be able to provide a seamless, user-friendly experience across each platform with customers particularly favoring Google-like search functions for example. These have become the standard for customer service that insurers must aim to provide to survive in the long-term.

An additional consideration for intermediaries, agents or brokers, and insurers is that they are increasingly requested to provide applications offering a fast and engaging user experience; this requires the use of highly modern front-end technologies but also calls for a means of retrieving data from multiple back-end systems of the insurance company itself. An ideal solution for insurers looking to build new systems that will impress, while protecting old back-end systems, is to employ Digital Integration Hubs. This article explains how this solution can take customer service for insurers to new heights.

  1. Fast Response Times

Digital Integration Hubs allow agents to provide the level of speed that customers expect. As multiple touch-points become available for interaction with insurers, there is increasing pressure on systems as queries come in from different sources, while agents themselves are also using the same systems to extract information. Many businesses invest in new front-end systems which may give the impression that their IT systems are up to speed but in fact they have not addressed the strain on their back-end systems from the unprecedented volume of queries coming in. Digital Integration Hubs help to ease the strain by creating an efficient architecture that draws data from a ‘data lake’ fed by legacy back-end systems, rather than the legacy system itself.

  1. Accurate Data 24/7

The data lake is continually updated in near-real time using an optimally flexible and efficient ingestion procedure. Agents are able to access accurate information at any time using dashboards or ‘cockpits’, which help to manage customer profiles based on a complete view of new customer data and historical interactions. Easy access to this data allows agents to quickly determine the best course of action, using their expertise to provide advice that is tailored to the customer’s profile. Digital Integration Hubs also offer intuitive search functions allowing the agent to find the information they need speedily. In a recent study, 58% of respondents rated personalized offers and products from their insurer as their top-valued feature[1], and data insight is a key to providing this.

  1. Strengthened Data Protection

Back-end legacy systems are where historical data on policies, accounts and claims, as well as other core business information, are stored. Trusted third-party businesses may have access to customer data, which can make data protection more challenging, while peaks in queries from these third parties could slow down the system for all users. Digital Integration Hubs can reduce the complexity of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) so that historical data records and line-of-businesses environments can be detached. This then enables consolidation of new and historical data in a single repository which can be consulted instead of the back-end itself. As a result, the load of incoming queries is managed by the data hub with no impact on back-end systems and operations. Moreover, the back-end becomes less vulnerable to hacking attacks which may result from external access, while access to a full historical view of customers will make it easier for agents to check for previous investigations or fraudulent claims.

As digitization transforms the finance sector, insurers must look for solutions that fulfill the above criteria if they wish to compete with new entrants in the market that are not burdened with legacy systems, and already have systems that are easily integrated with new technology. Factors to consider when choosing solutions are: desired speed; integration of all data types; possibility of cloud integration; and flexibility. An end-to-end solution that encompasses all business needs and operations is ideal for complete integration and optimizes system protection as it eliminates the need to involve multiple software providers. Digital integration hubs are a neat solution for established insurance businesses to catch up with current technology, providing a bridge between legacy back-ends and newer systems and applications. Seeking advice from specialists and experienced consultants is crucial for ensuring that the selected solution is truly appropriate for the specific needs of a business, that it can be customized as needed, and that it will achieve digital transformation aims.

To find out more please download the latest whitepaper from Fincons Group here:

[1] Future Customer, Digital Insurance Monitor 2016: The Insurance Customer – A Hybrid Being, 2017

Giuliano Altamura, Financial Services Business Unit Manager, Fincons GroupBy Giuliano Altamura, Financial Services Business Unit Manager, Fincons Group


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