Recent entrant, selling into SA’s life insurance market, Simply Financial Services is a new entrant to the South African life insurance market.
Part of the company’s aim to shake up the market is its chatbot, Sam, developed from its quoting engine and allowing customers to get a quick quote via Facebook messenger in a matter of seconds.
The chatbot has been used for over 600 messages and quotes already. People also use the chatbot to ask questions about their policies or ask for callbacks at specific times.
“As a disruptive fintech company, we love to explore conversational commerce opportunities,” says Anthony Miller, CEO of Simply Financial Services. “We believe in meeting the customer where they are – and Facebook is increasingly that place, where people play, learn, and buy products that they need.”
The Simply chatbot is one of several ways that customers can get in touch — intentionally designed so that people can use the channel that works best for them. Simply’s website, for example, has a live chat functionality, which is well utilised – people ask all sorts of questions here – about the products, company, the details of cover and more.
“While we are not allowed to sell life insurance via Facebook yet, we use our chatbot to demonstrate the incredible value that customers can get – if they click through to our website,” Miller says.
“Simply’s chatbot is a continuation of our brand value and company philosophy, to offer easily accessible and affordable life insurance products and to simplify our touch points with our customer,” he adds.
Forrester Research, in its report “Bots aren’t ready to be Bankers — August 31, 2016”, cautions that, although chat bots are developing rapidly, customer experience is not; and that many fail to effectively meet users’ needs due to poor infrastructure and lack of fundamental understanding of artificial intelligence (AI).
Miller, however, remains bullish about the chatbot and its role within the business both now and going forward.
“Futurologists reckon we’ll need less of the human touch as we develop algorithms to enable “robo advice” — improving service and reducing fees in the process,” he says.
“We believe our value proposition, in terms of the products and the nature of the market we are targeting, is synergistic with the chatbot and the services it can deliver to our customers.”