Outsourced customer support services refers to the model of using an outsourced third party to handle customer service matters on your behalf. These providers generally have hands-on experience and dedicated knowledge and tools to deliver quality customer service to your policyholders, sometimes even better than your internal team’s capabilities.

Insurers must deliver superior customer service if they want to remain competitive and grow their market share in today’s dynamic landscape. In the digital age, this means being accessible 24/7 across policyholders’ preferred channels.

While it was once acceptable to be available only during business hours and make policyholders endure long wait times until a representative was available, this approach no longer applies. But, insurers are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and retain qualified professionals to help them deliver quality service 24/7, leading many to implement reliable business process outsourcing (BPO) partners as the solution.

How do Customer Service BPOs work?

The partnership between an insurer and an outsourced provider can look different depending on the specific provider you work with. The BPO provider may handle all or just a portion of your customer service tasks. For instance, maybe you already have personnel to handle customer support during normal hours, but you also want a team available after hours — this is when a BPO provider could enter the picture.

Whatever the level of engagement, the provider should seamlessly integrate into your operations, providing the on-brand service that is expected; policyholders shouldn’t even realize the customer support team is a third party. Leveraging insurance outsourcing to enhance your operational efficiency should never diminish the policyholder experience.

5 Types of Customer Service That Can Be Outsourced to a BPO

Your BPO provider can handle some or all of your customer service channels. Here are some of the main types of customer service a BPO provider offers:

Call Center Support

Many insurance BPO providers deliver real-time telephone support for policyholders. 54% of consumers in the United States prefer phone support when resolving customer service issues. Certain BPO providers like Covenir offer multi-language support and scalable services to handle anything from a few dozen to a few thousand calls a month, helping you meet the unique needs of your policyholders.

Live Chat Support

With AI-powered chatbots seemingly taking over customer service, consumers appreciate connecting with a knowledgeable live agent who can offer personalized service and recommendations rather than frustrating pre-configured conversations with bots. Not all policyholders like speaking with representatives over the phone, so live chat support still offers the quick and convenient human-to-human service that many consumers prefer.

Email Support

Email support is a common insurance support option, especially if a call center isn’t available 24/7. Using a BPO partner allows policyholders to contact support at any time while the insurer maintains a hands-off approach to customer service.

Technical Support Helpdesk

Insurers may also need help from BPO providers delivering technical support for the insurer’s mobile app or website. This level of customer service is unique and requires more specialized knowledge, which is why it’s commonly outsourced by insurers to those with specific experience and understanding.

Social Media Customer Service

Other (less common) customer support BPO services include social media support. Insurers targeting a younger demographic may want to be available to policyholders on the platforms they utilize most for enhanced convenience.

A recent survey by Sprout Social shows that 74% of adults online feel more connected to a business when they can message them directly on Facebook Messenger. As the world becomes increasingly digital, this has high potential to become a prevalent customer support channel for insurers.

Benefits of Working with a Customer Service BPO

Partnering with an outsourced customer support provider offers a number of advantages to insurers, including:

Cost Reduction in Hiring and Training

Rather than paying to recruit, hire, train, and retain dedicated support staff in-house, BPO providers often charge a reasonable monthly fee that’s much more affordable.

Access to Specialized Expertise

In today’s tight labor market, it’s becoming more challenging to find and attract professionals with the right skills and experience for various insurance roles. If an insurer lacks the necessary in-house resources to deliver quality customer support, they can partner with a BPO provider who already has qualified and experienced staff members to work with.

Scalability for Peak Service Times

Insurers often deal with fluctuating demand throughout the year. Outsourcing customer support makes it easier to scale up to meet peak service times, like after a large storm or natural disaster emergency. When demand normalizes, it’s just as easy to scale back.

24/7 Customer Support Availability.

As we’ve mentioned throughout, one of the key benefits of outsourcing customer support is providing policyholders with round-the-clock support. Even if you have an in-house team handling inquiries during regular business hours, a BPO partner can supplement your team and offer consistent support when your team is unavailable.

Enhanced Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty.

If you outsource customer support to a highly qualified BPO team, you can deliver excellent service to your policyholders with timely, thorough responses from knowledgeable agents. Superior customer service elevates revenue and reputation, and helps to boost retention and policyholder loyalty.

Focus on Core Business Activities

P&C insurance outsourcing can help you grow by allowing your in-house team to focus on innovation and strategic initiatives that expand business. Your team can spend more time on core competencies and areas of expertise, whether that be underwriting, sales, risk management, or other insurance operations.

Access to Advanced Technology and Tools

When you outsource customer support to a BPO provider, you gain access to cutting-edge tools, solutions, and technology, systems that may be out of your price range if you purchased them outright. However, the affordable monthly fees for your BPO partner means you can access them at a fraction of the price.

Improved Global Reach Through Multilingual Support

Lastly, your BPO provider can help you expand your reach and serve a larger customer base by offering multi-lingual support. Some partners, like Covenir, offers hundreds of languages, something that would be nearly impossible to offer with only your internal resources.

Top Challenges of Integrating BPO into Existing Customer Service Systems

There are some P&C insurance outsourcing challenges when working with a BPO to deliver customer support. Depending on whether you use an onshore or offshore BPO partner, there may be a language barrier between the outsourced team and your policyholders. If not managed properly, this can create serious frustrations for your policyholders and diminish their loyalty to your company.

Another challenge with BPO customer support services is ensuring consistency in your messaging. Customer service is a critical touchpoint for insurers, so you must be confident that your BPO partner can deliver on-brand service according to your requirements and standards, even when your team is not directly involved in the delivery.

In addition, you need to ensure the provider will meet relevant data security requirements and other compliance standards to keep policyholder data safe. When evaluating potential partners, ask about their data security measures and how they adapt to changing compliance requirements.

Optimize Operations with Customer Support BPO from Covenir

Though integrating BPO customer support services can present some challenges, choosing the right partner can help you mitigate any roadblocks effectively. Outsourcing customer support to a trusted BPO provider like Covenir is a great choice if you want to reduce operating costs, enhance customer support delivery, and enhance efficiency.

We help you streamline insurance operations with a highly skilled onshore team who provides top-tier customer support via email, chat, and phone. We’re not just an extension of your team—we are your team. Covenir can deliver complete service support or supplement your team during busy periods, after hours, or during disaster response. We follow carefully scripted service plans to deliver your brand’s promises in up to 175 languages.

Contact us today to learn more about our BPO customer support services.