Updated: Jun 17
India is still a virgin market, when it comes to insurance. And as more and more people are taking insurance, they are leapfrogging to digital (vs going through an agent). This is happening much faster than elsewhere in the world.
At some point in the last few years, we started to realize that Insurance is increasingly becoming very impersonal. When agents go selling (although fewer and fewer of them today), they build long lasting relationships with customers. In the digital channel, conversations are transactional.
Thinking from a customer point of view, insurance isn’t something that you consume immediately. It is a fail safe for the future. Customer’s expectation accordingly would be that the custodian of their money will not only take care of them when the need arises, but be a bit more caring along the way too. What you actually get is only nagging reminders to make a payment when renewal is due.
We are a technology company. How does whatever I mentioned so far about insurance in India, relate to what we are doing as a company today? This will sound like a digression, but stay with us for a few seconds. This is how we got started in our journey as conversational AI specialists:
AI that can talk like a human is such an enduring fantasy. In movies, computers wow us with their intelligence and make us chuckle with deadpan humor. Like R2D2 from Star Wars, or Jarvis from Iron Man. That unfortunately is not what real computers can do - not today at least. It is a very difficult challenge to overcome, and those of us who are constantly thinking like scientists know it all too well. That’s the challenge we decided to pick up.
Policy to Payout Insurance Conversations using AI
What started us focusing on insurance is a different story. To begin with, we did not realize how important conversations were for insurance. We were only looking at why the relationship between the insurer and insured turns impersonal when you go digital? We believe it is because large insurance organizations with many, many employees and their individual motivations, cannot present coherent engagement with customers for the entirety of a policy. Different people come, talk to customers at random times, make commitments, and just go lazy and don't follow up. There is no linkage between two consecutive conversations. And there are such a large number of conversations to be had, they just end up being not had. Unlike an agent where we can have long personal conversations, and there is continuity.
Which brings us back to what we do and why we do it. We decided to build the Qualyon conversational platform that pre-builds these conversations into one large conversation spanning a long time. Most AI based systems today are highly limited. For a single question, it provides a single answer. At most, it might handle a couple of questions contextually. What we are achieving is much longer conversations, and eventually endless conversations.
And the reason we built our platform is to provide a customer one cogent view, call after call, year after year.
We believe that insurance organizations want to be there for generations, and to make each generation feel cared for. Giving them the power to engage with each of their customers in a close and personal way, may lead to how human-computer conversations get perfected. We know it’s a long journey, and we are up for it.