How many times have you called customer service expecting a quick answer, but were instead passed around to a number of different people who didn’t have your full story, forcing you to repeat yourself unnecessarily? And how many times did this lead to a much longer-than-expected resolution? We’ve all experienced this at least once and as a result, we understand the importance of streamlining experiences to keep customers happy. It begs the question: How can you deliver an experience that doesn’t leave customers running for the hills?

By incorporating artificial intelligence into claims, inquiries, and other policy service processes, insurers can deliver more accurate information and streamline customer experiences. And as we look to 2020, we’ll see AI being used in completely new ways, transforming how insurers use AI across different channels – in context – to deliver experiences that make customers happy. Here are a few examples of how they’ll do so:

Taking AI from cold intelligence to empathy: “Cold” artificial intelligence will no longer be sufficient to meet customer expectations when they interact with an organization – there needs to be a personal and empathetic element in place. Personalization will help customers feel an insurance company cares about them individually instead of just being another line item in customer data records. Bringing empathy into the fold through emotional intelligence algorithms can humanize AI and deliver recommendations that are personalized to meet customers’ unique needs. Empathetic AI will enable contextual conversations, allowing companies to gain insight into customer motivation and intent, tone of voice, how they act in certain situations, and even what is happening in the environment around them. Empathetic AI will also be used in tandem with human agents to deliver a more intelligent, holistic, and empathetic customer experience.

Consumers want to reclaim control of their data: The battle for customer data will reach a head in 2020 with insurance companies and customers determining how to handle their data in a way that complies with new regulations. With new regulations like GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California, customer data ownership will transition back to customers, giving them control of how and when they share their data with businesses. Regulations and new services are taking shape that empower customers to not only own, but even monetize their own personal data and rent or sell it back to companies. With data being the fuel that powers AI, customers will continue to gain a better understanding of the role their data plays in offers insurers bring to the table and how it can benefit their current needs.

The future of real-time interaction management: If you were an early adopter of AI in RTIM, you have probably already seen a huge return on investment. But most insurers weren’t so lucky – many acknowledged the need and remained on the sidelines, while those who took the plunge largely kept their cards close to the vest to gain a competitive advantage. In 2020, we’ll see more insurers emerging from behind the curtain and talking about best practices in their use of RTIM as it becomes more ubiquitous. 2020 should be the year leading insurers incorporate purpose-built AI for customer engagement to stay competitive.

New roles will emerge to connect AI to the end value: With a deeper focus on AI creating optimal customer experiences, insurers will create customer advocate roles such as customer value officers to uncover ways to balance customer needs against the company’s business objectives. AI will be a critical component in ensuring customer value officers are bringing value to the millions of interactions customers have with insurers across channels and functions.

AI transparency will permeate customer engagement: With regulation and compliance concerns increasing, insurers will need to be more transparent about how AI is used in the decision-making process. While it can be a flawed system influenced by inherent biases, it can also help drive smoother, more personalized customer engagement. Insurers will need to be more transparent with how they are using AI to deliver these recommendations and weed out the inherent biases that come with it.

AI will be a driving factor in creating meaningful customer experiences in the insurance market. While the industry has been criticized for poor customer experience in the past, using AI to gain a better understanding of customer needs and create personalized experiences will give insurers the competitive advantage they need to stay competitive.