Eva: the virtual assistant that will redefine customer service

Eva, currently available to some Swiss Re clients, makes purchasing life insurance online a more personal and conversational experience.

It’s safe to say that shopping for life insurance isn’t something that people look forward to. As if confronting one’s mortality wasn’t hard enough, understanding different products and choosing the one that’s best for you can be complicated, particularly for online shoppers who can’t turn to a sales agent to ask questions or get advice.

In fact, 98% percent of people who begin the process of shopping for life insurance online quit before making a purchase. So, with more and more people gravitating towards online shopping, a growing number aren’t getting the coverage they need through online channels.

To increase conversion rates, iptiQ created Eva, a virtual assistant or “bot” that makes buying insurance online a more conversation-like experience. Eventually, Eva will be able to help walk customers through the process of selecting and purchasing insurance via their browser or mobile app, bringing a human touch to a complex purchase experience.

Eva’s timing is impeccable — in the last few years, Amazon’s Alexa and similar voice assistants offered by Apple, Google and Microsoft have been widely accepted by consumers. These virtual assistants are not widespread in the insurance industry. However, consumers are now comfortable interacting with bots to do everything from setting reminders, adjusting their air conditioning and purchasing household goods. So, insurance is the next logical step.

Today Eva is still a prototype within iptiQ, but in the future, we envision that Eva will be able to answer questions, inform customers about other types of coverage they may not be aware of, and make changes to policies on the back of important life events. In a next step, Eva will also be available as a chatbot and she will constantly evolve with the help of AI and state-of-the-art technology. If a customer stumps her, she can always refer them to a flesh-and-blood sales agent.

Eva is available to Swiss Re clients as a white-label app that can plug into existing systems, allowing them to dramatically improve customer service without committing to a costly system upgrade. She also helps reduce the cost of acquisition and improve online conversion rates because – unlike agents – Eva can have multiple conversations at once and is available to assist customers day and night. Eva’s vocabulary can align with a clients’ specific branding and products, and she can adapt to a client’s local culture.

Eva officially went live in Germany and she only speaks German for now, but soon she will be launched in the UK. Currently Eva is equipped to sell life and health insurance, but eventually will be able to help clients’ customers choose other types of insurance coverage, including property and casualty.

Eva may not have a pulse, but she is patient, empathetic and will act as the important digital “face” of iptiQ’s partner brands, answering questions in different languages and making the insurance customer journey a whole lot easier.