Softphone System: An Effective Way to Communicate for Insurance Companies
Softphone system: Businesses across the board operate and function in a much different way than their predecessors and insurance companies are no different. A lot of factors can be attributed to this change such as digitization, rise in remote work culture, advancement in telecom technology, internet based communication, and a sizable portion of the workforce being millennials. Infact, millennials will make up a staggering 75% of the global workforce by 2025. This pretty much explains why businesses communicate and operate the way they do.
Are insurance companies left behind?
Insurance companies are having a tough time dealing with operational, cultural, and market-related challenges in this new business environment. Why?
Historically insurance companies have relied on in-person meetings, tonnes of paperwork, and other complex processes to do business. Adapting to modernization, technological advancements, and regulatory changes is not a cakewalk for these companies as they are used to operating their business in a very traditional and not so tech-savvy way so far. To add to the pressure, insurance companies that have invested in technology and become digital first are putting immense pressure on those who have not yet joined the race.
To answer the question, insurance companies aren’t left behind but they need to catch up quickly with the changing times and technology.
Changing customer expectations and behavior
Technology and easy access to gadgets such as smartphones, tablets and laptops have revolutionized the way we connect and interact with one another and the rest of the world. Though a majority of people access the internet through a desktop or laptop a whopping 85% millennials access the internet on their smartphones.
This new breed of internet-savvy customers prefer to compare insurance offers, take out new policies, and make insurance claims online on the web. They even prefer managing their existing policies on digital platforms as they can easily access the same on computers and mobile phones.
However, for customers when it comes to insurance matters they still seek personal assistance from insurance agents. But for all regular, repetitive tasks like premium payments, renewals, getting a new policy they prefer convenient and easy to use digital options to cater to their needs. Customer service was always the deal breaker in the insurance industry, but today customer experience too is a ‘make or break a deal’ for insurers.
This changing customer behaviour demands a change in the way insurance companies communicate with them. A softphone system seems to be an ideal solution to meet the changing communication needs and deliver stellar customer experiences.
Changing face of business communications
In a digitally connected world which thrives on the internet businesses are fast making a shift from traditional PBX systems to VoIP. Why? Reaching your customers where they are, instant gratification, seamless transition between multiple channels of communication, and omnichannel presence in the success mantra today. Any business which involves a high-level of customer interaction needs to cater to these new requirements.
What is a softphone system?
A softphone system is like your regular phone using which you can make and receive both audio and video calls over the internet and do much more. But guess what, it is not a physical phone but a software application that’s installed on an internet-connected device such as a laptop/desktop/smartphone/tablets. A VoIP softphone app is provided by a VoIP provider and is a user-friendly interface that functions much the same way a regular phone does. A SIP softphone enables users to access dialling and all the features that come with a VoIP solution which is not possible in case of traditional phones with adapters. Most VoIP providers develop a softphone system interface along with a VoIP phone service.
Changing face of insurance industry and the role of softphone app
Insurance companies have undergone unprecedented changes in the last decade. Maintaining high-volumes of data and being relevant in a world that’s constantly connected is becoming both expensive and challenging using legacy systems. It’s time for insurance companies to embrace these new world realities, overcome barriers, and integrate technology in their day-to-day operations. Your communication capabilities and tech stack determine the success of your business in today’s digital world.
Though technology cannot fully resolve all the issues insurance companies are facing today, by making a switch to VoIP phone systems and VoIP enabled softphone systems they can address significant customer service and customer experience related issues.
Challenges insurance companies face and how softphone app can resolve them
#1. Building better customer relations
Missing a customer call can have dire consequences for any business and more so in the insurance industry. People take insurance possibly for everything one can imagine under the sun (Mediclaim, car insurance, home insurance, accident insurance, travel insurance, etc). Insurance customer support people are therefore required to be available on call all the time because emergencies don’t necessarily happen between 9 to 5. Besides, one never knows if a missed call was a lost business opportunity. In today’s world where people crave constant connection, traditional phone systems no longer suffice. What businesses need is a communication system on the go and a SIP softphone system gives them that mobility and flexibility. They enable people to take business calls and send business texts on their cell phone without missing a call or sharing their private contact details.
#2. Features that enable elevate customer experience
Insurance business requires agents to work unconventional hours and be available 24×7. Hosted VoIP based softphone systems come with advanced features such as call-forwarding, auto-attendants, smart IVR, and can be customized based on the availability of an agent with personal time-based routing and messages. Setting up a recorded message and directing callers to a 24-hour claims department helps simplify the process, ensures
#3. Seamless collaboration between disparate teams
The events over the last two years left companies with no choice but to implement remote working policy. As a result companies including those in the insurance business had teams spread across different locations. Besides, during this period hospitalizations and therefore claim requests were at an all-time high. Unifying communications and ensuring seamless collaboration between agents working out of different locations was not possible with a traditional phone system. However, VoIP softphone systems made it possible for team members to get on calls, communicate with customers, collaborate with team members and hospital teams and get claims processed.
#4. Business continuity in unforeseen circumstances
Insurance is all about securing the insurer for unforeseen events and emergencies. But imagine if a customer is unable to reach out to you because of a faulty telephone service due to bad weather, thunderstorm, power outage etc. Even VoIP systems can be unreachable in case of internet downtime or complete internet outage. However, since VoIP softphone systems work on your mobile/laptop you can be connected and reachable using your mobile data too. No matter whatever the situation, a SIP softphone app ensures you are just a call away when your customers need you the most, even in the face of a storm. Your most essential texting and phone functions will work even in these unusual circumstances.
#5. Attracting the largest working population, the millennials
As iterated earlier, millennials today comprise a sizable portion of the working population. However, insurance companies in particular have a workforce which is aging fast and they really need to attract and employ a young and energetic workforce to keep going. A report suggests that 74% of insurance workers were aged 55 and above in 2018, which means by 2028 they will all pass their retirement age. Insurance agencies clearly need to adapt to tech and new ways of communicating to attract the next generation of workers.
These are challenges which can be neutralized with the help of VoIP softphone systems. Besides, softphone apps bring a plethora of benefits to any business communications system. What are these benefits?
Benefits of using softphone systems as a business communication tool
SIP softphones do not require any systems or hardware set-up making it an easy to implement and highly cost-effective business communication system. Being a subscription based service, a user pays only for what he uses making it affordable for any business irrespective of its size. VoIP service providers have various plans to make them an easy to afford option for all sizes of businesses.
#2. No infrastructure investment
Cloud based softphone systems are basically a software to be installed on your preferred device of choice. WebRTC supported softphone apps such as Tragofone do not even need to be installed. You simply need to launch it in your browser and login using your credentials and you are good to go. For a business this means no copper wiring, installing a PBX server or buying VoIP compatible handsets.
#3. No dedicated connection
Softphone systems work on your existing internet bandwidth connection alongside your other devices. You do not need a dedicated internet connection to use your softphone app.
#4. Think beyond basic calling
Regular audio calls sure have their charm. However, modern business communications need a lot more. Think video calls, collaborating on a project through file-share and screen share, instant messaging all using a single communication platform with a few clicks of a button. Well, a SIP softphone system lets you do all of this and much more.
#5. Ease of scalability
Increasing your team size and adding new lines for team members was never so easy. Login to your dashboard to add new connections, make necessary adjustments, and connect your new team members with old ones without any additional infrastructure and hard-wiring.
#6. 24×7 connectivity
VoIP Softphone systems give employees flexibility and mobility like no other communication tool. Whether upgrading to a new system or phone, traveling to a different country all that is needed is to install the software on the new device, login and stay connected.
Other challenges insurance companies face when going digital
Talking of insurance and technology, there are other areas too where insurance companies face challenges when working towards digital transformation. Let’s quickly glance through these.
#1. Integrating technology with existing systems
Insurance is an old business and often a complex one. Most companies have processes in place on how to write policies, collect customer information, run day-to-day operations etc. Many of them may also have certain tools like a database management system in place, a CRM system etc. However, modern VoIP solutions can easily integrate with your current tools and systems and make sure legacy data is not lost in the process.
#2. Enhancing the customers’ digital experience
Digital experience entails everything from a smooth website navigation, mobile app navigation, responsiveness on emails, social media handles, and the entire package. This means insurance companies need to make sure they have a website that is easy to navigate, mobile apps that are user-friendly and convenient, setting up seamless online communication channels which involves both time and substantial investments. However, to cater to a sizable digital native population this is a commitment insurance companies must do.
#3. Handling voluminous customer data and calls
Going digital makes access to a large volume of customer data easy and less time-consuming. With all customer data consolidated at one place in an organized manner removes dependency on a single agent. As a result, claims get processed faster, customers are connected to the right people, in short delivering customer delight. However, insurance companies need to make sure all data entered is accurate.
Insurance sector is still catching up on the technical revolution. However, making a switch to modern day communication platforms such as cloud based VoIP can be a good starting point and make a huge difference. The capabilities of VoIP remain largely untapped and the potential is huge.