Document Digitization as a Business Transformation Strategy

Though most insurers have been scanning documents and capturing data for many years, still vast amounts of paper continue to flow in and out of insurance companies. As we look out into the competitive landscape and understand emerging customer expectations, it is clear that significant opportunities remain to transform inbound and outbound paper documents into digital formats. Taking advantage of these opportunities can not only help to meet customer expectations and increase market competitiveness, but drive major improvements across all segments of the insurance value chain.

Let’s take a look at what exact improvements content digitization can deliver by business segment:

Benefits to Agents/Brokers:
Insurers still expect huge volumes of paper to be mailed, faxed and handled by agents. Digitization, however, offers the opportunity to turn these documents into digital versions housed in an online agent/broker ordering portal, giving agents on-demand access to past correspondence as well as the data and tools to easily create personalized follow-ups. Portals also enable agents to enter prospect and account information directly into the system and process forms and business documents. As more information is entered directly into the portal and the remaining paper-based forms are digitally captured, data can then be automatically extracted from these items that can enable agents to deliver faster and more accurate responses, and an overall improved sales/customer experience.

Benefits to Business Processes:
Digitization can create a more agile, responsive organization with the potential to redesign the entire organizational infrastructure for growth.  Not only do the high volumes of paper currently being managed weigh heavy on budgets, they weigh heavy on internal and external project management resource, creating burdensome workflows that are often ineffective and fall victim to human error or lack of quality control. Errors in file processing, proofing, production or fulfillment result in frequent delays in sales and service response, impacting customer service satisfaction. E-delivery, on the other hand, leaves little room for human error and ensures on-time, accurate delivery with the benefit of automated send time adjustment.

Benefits to Marketing:
E-delivery enables more accurate, personalized and on-time communications to prospects and members. It empowers insurers to foster more direct dialogue with customers in a more profitable mode. Even more importantly, e-delivery grants insurers and their marketers access to big data. For each and every digital interaction, data and analytics can be collected and made viewable in real-time. This data can be used to create comprehensive customer profiles that allow marketers to better understand, predict and personalize to individual behaviors and preferences. Through access to a a database of customer interaction activity reporting, marketers can better understand their relationships with customers and can leverage the data to support continuous campaign/communications enhancement and the development of individualized engagement strategies that drive acquisition and member loyalty.

Benefits to Information Management:
Digitization of printed forms and materials can also help with inbound information flows. Application submissions, premium payments, claims documents, requests for product information and more continuously come in via printed mail and fax. Many times, these envelopes and reply cards contain highly valuable information, including return addresses, responses and information requests that should should be retained, yet go undocumented or into the archives, where information becomes virtually inaccessible. Digitizing these inbound documents means internal staff will have an easier time accessing them for future use in claim investigation, as well as for legal regulatory and customer service purposes.

By employing an enterprise-wide digitization strategy, your business can:

• Deliver more appealing, consistent and effective communications for every document that touches the customer
• Improve customer correspondence and communications management across the enterprise
• Apply analytics to customer interactions for improved personalization and customer experience
• Enable more rapid information access and more comprehensive tracking and measurement

Tips to get started?

Insurers looking to drive digitization across the enterprise need to start by evaluating their existing tools and approaches for creating and managing documents and communications for their customers. They then must develop a unified strategy and toolset that is integrated across the enterprise, including IT, business process management and customer communications management systems. This unified strategy must involve a process for digital data capture, digital content management and e-delivery.

Additionally, while many policyholders desire electronic communications, others still want print copies of their documents, which brings us to the next stage of digital strategy development: building a preference management process and the technology systems to support. A real-time preference management database connected to a Web-based preference form is critical, but for many smaller plans, requires the assistance of a software development company. However, once established, the ability to track and manage delivery in accordance with preference will undoubtedly produce new cost savings and customer satisfaction.

Below are some guiding elements to keep in mind as you begin to define your digital strategy:

• Make digitization an organizational priority be integrating it into the IT roadmap
• Employ digital capture as early as possible in the document lifecycle
• Extract all data elements from documents and related images, emails and other unstructured data
• Employ software that can automate the classification and indexing of each document and related data

With marketing, sales, claims, underwriting and customer service producing a myriad of printed correspondence each day, digital document creation and e-delivery has the power to enhance business processes, improve customer relationship management and create an overall more agile organization. Enlightened insurers are taking advantage of advanced customer communications management (CCM) systems to implement digitization across the enterprise and improve their customer correspondence.

The insurers that are able to leverage emerging CCM applications to create appealing, consistent and effective communications for every document that reaches the customer will be ones to emerge as leaders in digital customer experience and operational effectiveness. Will your business be one?

For a free consultation to see how Cierant’s CCM technology systems can help your business digitize and optimize its full portfolio of customer communications, please call 203-731-3555 or email

Comments are off this post