When It Comes to Communications, Twilio Has Insurance Firm Covered

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Cover Financial operates its own insurance agency in Texas and a national auto, homeowners, and renters insurance brokerage that connects applicants with more than 30 other insurance providers.

The San Francisco-based company aims to provide personalized insurance provisioning and servicing by leading with mobile options backed by licensed agents, says Cover cofounder Ben Aneesh.

“We focus on the mobile experience, though we do have a web platform,” Aneesh says. “We want to tailor the experience to be as quick and painless as possible for our customers. As customers come back, sometimes even 12 weeks or a year later, we want to make sure that they talk to the same agent from the first interaction.”

Cover had initially relied on a Salesforce platform for all of the communications between agents and customers but had only a single phone number for text messages and calls, which became unwieldy as the business grew, according to Aneesh.

“With our volume of texts, we had to keep moving issues offline, and that was a bad experience for our customers,” he says.

So in February 2019, the company began looking at other communications solutions with more flexibility. It ultimately chose Twilio Flex, a fully customizable cloud contact center platform. Cover was an early adopter of the Flex platform, which Twilio launched in 2018.

Based on an internal survey of its advisers, Cover developed a list of features and capabilities to build into the platform and tasked its product team with designing the custom user interface. Installation took a couple of months, as Flex had to be integrated into Cover’s other systems and the platform customized for the desired performance.

“We were looking to be able to modify every aspect of our contact center to be the right fit for our business and our customers, and none of the other solutions we looked at were very customizable,” Aneesh recalls. “We’re more of an insurance concierge, where customers can simply text if they want to make a claim and complete the transaction through SMS and images, or a phone call. Twilio Flex makes this easy.”

Twilio Flex currently supports a number of channels, including voice, SMS, email, chat, video, and messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. It also includes agent routing, analytics, reporting, workforce optimization, and quality management capabilities.

The majority of Cover’s customer communications take place via text using Twilio Flex’s Salesforce CTI (computer telephony integration), a customized instance of Salesforce integrated with Twilio Flex.

When a call or text comes through the platform, Flex automatically populates all of the data that advisers need and syncs the information from the call into Salesforce.

Twilio Flex allows real-time feedback between Cover’s sales managers and customer service advisers and provides key call metrics.

The platform also enables Cover’s advisers to serve more customers in less time, helping the company deliver on its mission to provide a seamless, personalized customer experience while offering the best insurance rates.

Once the Twilio Flex platform was running, the results were dramatic, according to Aneesh. Since making the switch, the company has seen a 57 percent faster response time and an 8 percent higher resolution rate. Agents are spending 50 percent less time on calls and handling 2.5 times more calls per day than they were before the change.

Based on its success with Twilio Flex, Cover is hoping to add Twilio Autopilot, a platform for building conversational, artificial intelligence-powered interactive voice response systems and bots that work across web and mobile chat, SMS, WhatsApp, and contact centers. The company is currently experimenting with the Autopilot platform and hopes to roll it out in more detail soon.

The Payoff

Since adopting the Twilio Flex platform, Cover Financial has seen the following results:

  • a 57 percent faster response time;
  • an 8 percent higher resolution rate;
  • a 50 percent reduction in total call handling time; and
  • agents handling 2.5 times as many calls per day.

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