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Self-Service Portals vs. Traditional Customer Service
Aditya Kathpalia
Aditya Kathpalia Updated on Jul 18, 2024  |  4 Min Read

A survey indicates that 72% of customers are more likely to recommend your business to six or more people on the basis of their positive customer experience. On the flip side, 13% of unhappy customers will share their negative customer experience with 15 or more persons. This statistic is an eye-opener on how customer experience can impact your business. As such, customer service in insurance leaves behind a significant impact on the policyholder/customer experience. The quality of customer service fundamentally affects how customers perceive the company and whether or not they hold it worthy of recommendation. However, traditional customer service in the insurance industry is very manual in nature.

Traditional Customer Service in Insurance

Insurance businesses typically employ a massive task force to respond to customer queries over email, calls, social media, live chat, and voice. Due to the manual nature, high volumes, and high attrition, ensuring optimum customer experience often loses focus. With user portals, usual customer service pain points – long waiting time, staff availability, and huge spikes of customer tickets can be easily managed without impacting the customer experience. In this blog, we will explore how modern self-service user portals can improve the customer experience and drive digital transformation in the insurance industry.

Self-Service User Portals vs Traditional Customer Service in Insurance: A Brief Overview

The differences between self-service user portals and traditional customer service in the insurance industry are tabulated below:

Aspects Self-Service User Portals Traditional Customer Service
Accessibility Available 24/7 regardless of the location of the agent or policyholder Restricted to business hours; requires the physical presence of agent and/or policyholder
Personalization Personalized and contextual responses Generic and templatized responses
Response Time Minutes, if not seconds A few hours to several business days
Communication Channels Omnichannel, including but not limited to live chat, email, web, desktop, and app Phone, email, in-person

How Self-Service User Portal Can Enhance Customer Experience?

In the era defined by rapid technological advancements, self-service user portals have evolved as an important initiative of insurance digital transformation. They can redefine policyholder/customer experiences while addressing the limitations of traditional customer service in the insurance industry. Here’s how:

1. Better Accessibility

Self-service portals offer customers/policyholders instant access to information while freeing them from the constraints of location and time. Customers can use the interactive portals to access their accounts, policy information, and other essential details as and when they need them. Round-the-clock accessibility eliminates the need for traveling to physical locations, waiting for operating hours, and scheduling appointments. From tracking claims to reviewing policy terms, self-service portals empower customers with instant access to information anytime, anywhere at the touch of a button. This contributes to a more convenient experience and injects efficiency into customer service in insurance.

2. More Personalization

Self-service user portals enable insurers to gather and assess customer information. This data offers unparalleled insights into customers’ behavior patterns, claims purchase history, and preferences. Insurers can use it to predict future behavior, tailor recommendations, personalize policy options, and target communication. For example, a user portal may recommend additional coverage based on the customer’s lifestyle or send policy updates aligned with individual needs. This level of personalization not only improves customer engagement but also sets a new standard for customer service in insurance companies.

3. Giving Control to Policyholders

Self-service is an excellent way to empower customers. To that end, self-service is the hallmark of self-service user portals. The self-service approach helps policyholders/customers quickly find the information they need and perform automated tasks independently without the need for traditional support channels. Customers can use the platform to access policy details, file and track claims, make queries, and gain access to an array of other services. This offers more autonomy and speed in service while reducing manual intervention. It also maintains a high degree of transparency since policyholders/customers can track their requests or use tools like FAQs in self-servicing portals to understand the rationale behind organizational decision-making.

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3. Improved Communication

Self-service user portals serve as direct communication channels between the customers and the insurance company itself. As such, they can help transform customer service in the insurance industry. These portals encourage real-time messaging, either through two-way communication like chat or through broadcasts like updates and alerts. Customers receive prompt notifications regarding policy changes, payment reminders, or claim status updates. This transparency and immediacy in communication foster trust and reliability. Additionally, self-service user portals act as a platform for customers to inquire about any issues or seek clarifications. This proactive communication not only improves customer service in insurance companies but also fosters customer loyalty.


Traditional customer service portals have come a long way thanks to the underlying technological innovations. The digital transformation in insurance has led to the widespread proliferation of self-service user portals to meet the demands of a newer, more empowered customer base that is more aware and digitally literate. Such portals will continue to grow and develop, which will result in increased enhancement in the policyholder/customer service in insurance.

Case in Focus

A full-service life insurance company with operations spanning the globe lacked a unified customer portal. The disconnected policy management systems and traditional customer portal created data siloes and the lack of a single view of all policy and claims information impacted the customer experience. We helped implement InsureConnect – a self-service digital platform – that served as a unified portal to build a holistic self-service experience for customers. As a result, the insurance company was able to simplify new customer onboarding, enhance satisfaction, and optimize operations. To dive deeper into the specifics, refer to the complete case study.

Transform Customer Service With a Powerful Self-Service User Portal