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For insurance consumers, SHADE.ai helps them make the correct financial decisions, at their most vulnerable moments; by helping them better understand their options and make purchasing decisions with confidence. Following is the conversation that we had with SHADE.ai’s founder and CEO, Roya Bozorgnia, where she explains how the company works with insurance companies and financial services providers.
How is SHADE.ai positioned to bring a revolution for the InsurTech space?
We think of the 20th century as undergoing a communications revolution. And for many people it has done; most of our great-grandfathers did not have a private phone in 1900 but about 40 percent of us had a mobile phone by 2000. But the real communications revolution was laid back in the 19th century. In 1900, you could send a telegram. In 1805, news of the Battle of Trafalgar—21st October—was delivered to the admiralty on 6th of November. Just riding from Falmouth to London took Lieutenant Lapenotière 37 hours and 21 changes of horse.
After the intercontinental telegraph cable was laid in 1872 it became possible to send a message to Australia immediately. The railways, telegraph and telephone made messaging much faster—in some cases almost instantaneous. This was just as significant as the modern communications revolution, if not more so.
We believe that our omni-channel AI-Driven advisory and real-time engagement and management system would have the same impact in insurance industry.
In your interactions with CIOs of leading companies, what sense do you get of the challenges they face now in the Chatbot solution space and how is SHADE.ai effectively addressing these issues?
I believe that the biggest challenge that they have with customers is finding where to get started and what the immediate use cases are.. For us, we start on the core advisory and assistant so that the tasks s that the consumers perform more often, can be pre-deployed that into Facebook Messenger. This would be a first for many insurance companies who would be publicly launching to their 800,000 plus customers, and we at SHADE.ai have a number of other such production launches ready this year.
What are some of the trends that you expect to have an impact in the AI chatbot solution space this year and how is SHADE.ai planning to leverage these trends and evolve?
We make insuring proactive so rather than wait for someone to come and ask for something, using the data that’s available to push recommendations and to help them proactively manage their insurance
Our software solution will change the insuring experience in three areas. The first, it will simplify insuring, enabling customers to interact with insurance companies via simple natural language conversations, meaning the consumer can do his insurance operations in places the consumer has already spent time on, like Facebook Messenger, embedded into Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Secondly, insurers will be able to do more than just insuring—it’s good for insurance companies because they will be able to build a more a deeper, personal relationship with their customers, which is good for customers as it will help them proactively plan, and take action to improve their insurance needs. Finally, the solution will help prompt change in the operating cost model for insurance providers. We augment human customer care and insurance agents with AI, particularly addressing high frequency and relatively simple routine tasks, by moving that to software from humans. Why is what we do relevant? Well it is because we hit on the following points:
• Reducing broker/agent dependency and high commission and related costs.
• Reducing operational costs. Scale customer service advisor at low cost. 60-80% cost savings of conversational AI.
• Increasing operational efficiency and performance. PWC-2018 research says that the insurance sector is looking to have 40% of jobs automated within the next 10 years. While AI, VR, and robotics have high potential to reinvent the workforce.
• Increasing revenue by making the purchase decision journey easier. 42+ percent increasing insurance consumers experience.
• Increasing consumer attraction and retention. As they say, “time is money,” and we net 30,000+ vs. 16000 conversations per month. Let’s say 100 customer service advisors X 160 hours per month would be 16000.
• Better user experience and faster resolving issues—3 Minutes vs. 38 Hours.
• Informing and educating consumers 744H vs. 160H per month and 24X7X365 personalized advice, whenever, wherever, and however works best for them
How is SHADE.ai different than the other vendors?
Our market serves everyone from midsize to large insurers, meaning that we’re competing against established tech vendors like Watson and Geico and it is InsurTech players like us who are the key differentiators in that landscape. What we do, we extend only to life and health insurance and a lot of what we do works out of the box. We have built our entire stack, including our understanding of the entire machine learning and natural language application, insuring personalization stack specifically for life and health insurances and financial services. Our team is entirely dedicated to this use case that gives us a lot of more flexibility in terms of tooling, with a data model that is very specific for this that already includes hundreds of instances.
Unlike others, our software solution is more than a simple customer service chatbot interface. Insurance companies deepen their client relationships with personal advisories and insurance software. SHADE.ai re-imagines advising and insuring so insurance companies can engage with their customers on the customer’s terms— through simple, natural language conversations.
How will the next 12-18 months pan for SHADE. ai?
Our goal is to become the leading AI-powered conversational insurance technology provider. Some ask us whether we consider ourselves a disruptor or an enabler. We are definitely in the enabler space. We only work with life and health insurance and we white-label only. We like the disruptor side of things, but when we looked at this opportunity, we think that to be a really big player, we need to have a big impact at a global level, and work with insurance to leverage the things that they do really well around. These would include having lots of customers and data, to be able to deal with regulation and risk, and focus on what we do great. That’s the synergy we look to do and have a lot of success in.
I also think that insurers have this really big installed customer base. Subsequently we think about a world where data volume and quality of data is important, and insurers will have a very strong position to start with and that’s why we’ve decided to work with them instead of battling to take market share from them.