How insurance companies can use SMS to assist and communicate with customers during extreme weather conditions

Extreme weather events, such as the widely discussed storm Hans, have impacted Swedish households in a manner seldom seen by Swedish insurance companies. Damaged homes, flooding, and lightning strikes resulted in thousands of claims from people across the country. Weather experts predict that this trend of extreme weather may increase as a consequence of the warmer climate. Given that Sweden's infrastructure is not adapted to these weather conditions, it is crucial for insurance companies to be able to act swiftly and effectively to support their customers.

Proactive Communication through Targeted SMS

The role of insurance companies during extreme weather events like storm Hans is crucial. To support and protect their customers, proactive communication is essential. As the storm approached, insurance companies heightened their preparedness by extending their service hours and sending targeted SMS messages to customers in high-risk flood areas. These messages included practical tips and advice on how to best protect their homes and belongings during storms and heavy rainfall.

SMS as a Communication Strategy in the Insurance Industry

The use of SMS as a communication channel can be the critical link to minimise damages and improve customer experience and satisfaction. By sending SMS, insurance companies can reach their customers in real time and provide valuable information and advice. There are many advantages to using SMS in customer communication:

🚀 Fast communication and immediacy: SMS reaches the customer directly on their mobile device, which is often within arm's reach, facilitating swift communication and immediate responses.

📬 High open rates: SMS boasts a higher open rate (98%) compared to email (20%). Therefore, SMS messages are almost always seen by the recipient.

🕒 Real-time communication and timeliness: By sending real-time updates about weather changes, risks, and advice, insurance companies can assist their customers in making informed decisions and taking quick actions.

📚 Expanded information: SMS can contain clickable links to web pages, documents, or resources that provide more detailed information. This makes it easy for customers to access additional information about safety measures, filing claims, etc.

🤝 Personalisation: By personalising SMS messages, insurance companies can build strong relationships and garner attention and engagement from the customer.

6 use cases for warning and preventing damage as well as managing damage reports

1. Weather alerts and damage prevention: Insurance companies can send out SMS alerts to customers in affected areas about expected extreme weather events. The information can include tips on preparing their homes to minimise damage, enhancing both awareness and safety.

2. Ongoing updates: By sending continuous SMS updates, insurance companies can keep customers informed about weather changes and the evolving situation. This can help customers be prepared for potential damage events and make informed decisions.

3. Damage mitigation and safety advice: If a customer reports damage, the insurance company can send SMS messages with specific actions that should be taken immediately to minimise further damage. This may include advice such as turning off electricity in flooded areas or providing links to government websites, safety guides, or contact information for emergency services. This can help customers gain a broader understanding of how to act during a crisis. In addition to preventive advice, SMS can be used for step-by-step instructions on how to handle a damage report, including what they need to document and what information to include in their report.

4. Damage reporting via SMS: Insurance companies can provide a convenient link or SMS code for quick damage reporting. Customers can report any damages by responding to the SMS or clicking on the provided link, reducing the time it takes to initiate the claims process.

5. Ongoing insurance claim updates via SMS: This reassures the customer, enhances their experience, and can reduce the number of incoming calls to customer service with fewer inquiries over the phone.

6. Net Promoter Score (NPS), feedback, and customer satisfaction: Once the insurance claim is settled or the customer has interacted with customer service via phone, SMS can be an excellent communication channel to gather feedback and measure customer satisfaction. Send an SMS survey to inquire about how the customer experienced the claims support. Provide an SMS link to a web form or send an SMS with a quick survey featuring SMS-based responses, such as a ranking from 1 to 10. This provides insights for potential improvements and demonstrates customer engagement.

These are just a few examples of how insurance companies can proactively communicate with customers using SMS. If you want to learn more about how LEKAB can assist your company in automating and streamlining communication and processes through SMS, contact us today, and we'll provide you with more information.

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