As the internet progressively becomes a larger part of our world, it’s no surprise that insurance companies are going digital in order to cater to the preferences of younger customers, some of whom may want to have their insurance questions answered quickly, and in a convenient manner.
Aside from having an army of financial advisors on standby to answer these questions, which is unrealistic, one simple solution is to employ the use of chatbots. A chatbot is a computer programme which conducts conversation with humans via text or audio method.
One insurance chatbot in Singapore is TOMI. Developed by Tokio Marine Life Singapore, TOMI is a chatbot on Facebook Messenger. TOMI aims to provide instant answers to simple question, so that potential customers can get their answers more quickly while frontline staff focuses on answering more complex queries.
We decided to have a ‘conversation’ with TOMI to find out just how much it knows about insurance, and how well it’s able to answer our questions.
TOMI, By Tokio Marine Life
We went to the Tokio Marine website and found TOMI right there waiting for us at the bottom-right side of the website.
Clicking it opens up Facebook Messenger. This means you need a Facebook account in order to interact with TOMI.
To start off, we asked a random first question that we think a clueless consumer may actually have in mind.
Question 1– Hi can I understand what health insurance is?
Instead of receiving a direct answer, we were given what appears like links to click on. We thought selecting one of the links will bring forth a longer more detailed answer. However, when we selected the links, only an emoticon reply was given.
We are not sure if we are using it right, or if this was a bug. Either way, we weren’t too impressed.
We tried asking another question.
Question 2– I am 30 and married. How much insurance would I need?
Again, TOMI didn’t really answer our question directly but neither were we expecting it to because truth be told, we asked an extremely generic question, which even human adviser will have problems answering to.
However, the reply it provided was useful enough for us to learn about the different types of life insurance plans. So, it’s still useful even though it didn’t answer our question.
Next, we tried a more direct question by enquiring about a product that we hope to purchase.
Question 3– Can I find out more about your critical illness plans?
What we received were a few choices on the type of critical illness plans that were available from Tokio Marine. This was precisely the response we expected since our question was a straightforward one.
We selected one of the plans and were given further options to choose from based on the areas we were interested to find out more about, such as coverage term and min & max sum assured.
We decided to end off the conversation with a simple request.
Question 4– Can I get an agent to contact me?
We were asked whether we wanted a human to assist us of which we replied “yes”.
Following which, we were given three options. 1) To be contacted by an agent, 2) to connect via email and 3) to be the one calling them. In order to avoid wasting anyone’s time, we choose option 3, since this was obviously just a test. We were given the generic customer hotline to contact, which operates from Monday to Friday, from between 8:45am and 5:45pm.
Chatbots Can Be A Good Way To Gather Information But You Still Need Human Advisers
Based on the few questions that we asked, which were, admittingly, not extensive enough for us to give a fair assessment of TOMI, what we figured was a chatbot such as TOMI is useful enough for users to quickly find the information they need, especially if it’s a straight forward question that they have.
However, human advisers are still important. As much as TOMI may try its best to answer your question, it’s still not sensitive enough (at least for now) to understand your needs or even question, and to give you proper advice that you are seeking.
This is where a platforms such as fundMyLife, which helps match your financial planning questions to the right advisers can help consumers get their questions answered a lot more quickly, and easily.
If you are keen to try TOMI, feel free to ask your question, and to see the response that you get.
(Top Image: Tokio Marine)
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