How important a part does technology have to play?

Russell ThomsonCharlotte Parkinson of Modern Law Magazine spoke to Russell Thomson (pictured), Chief Business Executive at Eclipse Legal Systems, about which latest technology is the best in the claims sector at the moment and how technology is benefitting not only the client but also insurers and lawyers in the claims arena in 2014.

The focus in the claims sector is increasingly based upon speed, transparency and accessibility.

Insurers and lawyers have had access to great internal IT systems for a fair while – software that automates processes, provides consistent decision making, and trims the fat from the claims process. The missing cog has always been at the other end – the customer end. The external face. How can IT help the customer to engage fully in the process, be kept informed, and feel less like an outsider?

Smarter claims organisations are increasingly looking at this – engaging the customer – as a key differentiator, a way to sell their service and raise the competitive bar. So how can this be done? The customer journey, the experience, has to be mapped out and integrated with current internal processes. It’s all well and good having smart and efficient internal systems, but if the customer experience is not up to scratch then that’s a big issue.

Self-service technology (Eclipse’s TouchPoint system) is now available that ties the internal claims process in with a customer-facing tool. Ideally claims firms want the customer to be able to maintain contact all the way through a claim, feeling very much part of the process, but in a low-cost way for the claims firm itself.

It’s now possible for insurers and lawyers to provide claimants with access to live claim statuses, give them the ability to sign documents, engage in two-way conversations, and upsell additional claims services – all through the iPad the customer uses while sitting on the sofa.

This type of self-service is the key to uniting back-end efficiencies and front-end experience, and is set to become the norm for the claims sector as a whole.