PwC predicts the connected home market could be worth up to $150bn worldwide by 2020, so when embraced by homeowners, claim alerts and notification to insurers could be automatic.
One of the greatest frustrations for a property owner when making an emergency claim, is in the unknown. Is someone on their way to me? What time will they arrive? Will my repair happen today, or just the assessment? When will everything be resolved? As such, having a connected supply chain within the home emergency sector lends itself nicely to consumer app technology.
Often in our industry the process that follows a home emergency incident may not be seamlessly connected. Multiple suppliers and many lines of communication increase the risk of error and may delay the entire repair process. What’s required from home emergency service providers is a platform which tracks projects from claim to resolution, using real-time information to provide insurers, loss adjusters and claim handlers with a complete paperless audit trail – ultimately resulting in a faster response for customers.
Traditional call centres, while they excel in providing the human touch and reassurance for the homeowner, are constrained by a number of factors. One is time – receiving chaser calls from policy holders, chasing tradespeople in turn, and keeping accurate logs of the progress of a claim – eats up time. Another is monitoring the workload of repair technicians, understanding their progress without regularly interrupting them for updates. Building on the trend of the connected home, automation is the clear solution, but how could this work in practice?
The sequence of events could look like this: A claim is logged either through standard ways or via a connected home alert with a claims resolution supplier, and data is sent via a connected platform to a local specialist tradesperson. Through their smartphone app, they accept the job. When ready, they confirm they’re on their way – and the control centre is alerted in order to update the customer if required. The technician records their arrival time; undertakes health & safety checks through the app; takes ‘before’ photos which can be kept on file; and the job thoroughly assessed. If any parts or work are required, the technician can submit a request for instant approval by the control centre. At the conclusion of the job, ‘after’ photos are taken and the homeowner confirms completion – all through the app. Having everything logged electronically provides complete transparency for all involved.
The potential benefits of an integrated and automated solution don’t stop there, either. An ideal system would allow customers to stay in control of their claim, in the way that best suits them. As we’ve begun to see through roadside assistance, some consumers are happy to manage their emergencies entirely through their smartphone, without ever having contact with a human. Others would much prefer to speak to someone directly, especially in distressing situations where reassurance and an empathetic ear just can’t be provided by a device. The next stage in automating the home emergency claims process must then surely be a homeowner app, which allows them to log problems without phoning – but still allows them the choice to do so. Imagine a solution that would give policy holders a choice of time slot for their home visit – in the same way as internet retailers offer a selection of hour-long delivery slots. Receiving timely alerts on the technician’s ETA, they could plan their day accordingly while feeling informed and in control throughout their claims process. That’s great customer service.
Already significantly reducing home repair and claim time, CET’s app solution that connects their supply chain is SIMPLIFi that logs every aspect of a home emergency response visit, ensuring the problem is dealt with as efficiently as possible – and the next stage is their customer-facing app to further enhance the customer journey.