Interactive Voice Response Systems Create Streamlined Customer Service Experiences
Success by the Numbers
- No pay-by-phone option; agents had to redirect 80-100 customers per day to website to make payments
- Policy lapses cause huge effort and resource commitment by both customer and company
- Needed upgraded CX technology but could not make a massive capital expenditure
- Conversational automated pay-by-phone option
- Outbound SMS reminders with effortless in-text payment capability
- 70% success rate in pay-by-phone application
- On pace to help 10,000 more customers make phone payments than initially projected
- Over 5,800 customers enrolled in SMS reminders
Legal & General America (LGA) is a top ten US life insurer, providing financial protection through life insurance for 1.2 million American customers.
In their highly competitive industry, LGA focuses on offering consistently affordable and high-quality life insurance products. They enlisted SmartAction to help solve business problems, particularly around payment processes and capabilities. Using Omni-bot for voice and SMS text, LGA has introduced effortless experiences across channels, helping affect customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Legal & General America has in excess of $678 billion of coverage in force with 1.2 million US customers, and consistently ranks among the top five as an affordable life insurance provider. To remain competitive and provide consistently affordable rates, LGA purposely engages partners that provide great technologies at cost efficient fees. With this strategy they are very selective in who they work with to achieve their goals.
The problem was that these improvements to the self-service system were integral to the customer experience. LGA faced challenges regarding their payment processes for customers, who could only pay premiums via mailed check or on the web. There was no pay-by-phone option. Anytime a customer called to make a payment—estimated to happen about 80 times per day—agents were instructed to redirect them to the website, causing increased effort and frustration for the customer.
To make things more complicated, if customers missed a payment, their policy would lapse. Unfortunately, a lapse is much more significant than simply paying a late fee or renewing coverage. It means that the customer and LGA need to reinitiate the medical underwriting process. Payment reminders would save policies, but without an e-billing service and limited by stringent regulations (TCPA), implementing them was not as easy as a pushing a button.
LGA needed a cost-effective but highly capable solution that would allow customers to securely pay premiums over the phone, remind them about upcoming or past due bills, and not require a technology overhaul in order to get there.
Intrigued by SmartAction’s conversational AI, pricing approach, and delivery model, LGA partnered with our company in mid-2017 to help solve the challenges they were facing. Omni-bot, which delivers 100% Natural Language automation in voice and digital channels, fit perfectly into their customer service approach, giving them advanced and secure payment options without ripping and replacing their contact center infrastructure. Omni-bot acts as an enhancement to their systems in place, seamlessly integrating to their customer database and other agent technology.
With SmartAction’s solution, customers can make quick and easy payments via the phone; agents even transfer callers to the PCI certified application in order to make those payments. This helps the contact center remain compliant and secure, while easing frustrations that came up with the previously limited payment options. The application has a 70% success rate; the other 30% of callers often do not have their policy number handy or are not authorized to make a payment.
As with all Omni-bot solutions, once deployed in voice, the application is available in any digital channel, including SMS text. SmartAction worked with LGA to enable the application as an outbound payment reminder text to customers that opt in, meeting TCPA guidelines while helping save policies from lapsing. Moreover, the outbound text conversation actually prompts customers to send a payment on the spot. The reminder serves as the vehicle to keep policies active, which saves time and resources for both customers and the company. It is actually even more seamless than the phone transaction, as all information is already on file and customers simply need to confirm the payment. Thousands of customers have already opted in, even before LGA has had a chance to promote the option to their base.
“We wanted to answer the question, ‘How can we make it as easy as possible for customers to make a payment?’ With SmartAction’s attractive price model and innovative approach, we were able to create a truly effortless payment experience.” – Kris Wong, Assistant VP Admin Services, Legal & General
With such success, LGA has worked with SmartAction to develop a robust roadmap for future solutions. One such roadmap item is to implement an intelligent front door with authentication in order to capture caller intent and securely validate all callers prior to transfer, either to more self-service or to live agents. They also see a need in their tele-application process, specifically the personal interview for medical underwriting. This interview is often conducted on the phone, lasting nearly an hour and managed entirely by agents. AI automation could shave 15-20 minutes off of every interview call by capturing the basic demographic information prior to transferring to an agent for medical questioning. LGA is confident that SmartAction is the right partner with whom to build out their AI roadmap and trusts their team to deliver what is needed to be successful and cost-effective.