Plum is an employee benefits platform that provides group medical cover for organisations in India. It's helping employers take care of their people when they need it the most and fill their claims digitally.
Plum is a comprehensive employee benefits platform that provides group medical cover for start-ups, SMEs, and corporate organizations in India.
Bangalore, India 🇮🇳
In India, 70% of the population is covered by either public or private health insurance benefits. Of the overall private health coverage, only 5% is provided by an employer.
However, post-COVID, that share has been rapidly growing and shows a potential to reach hundreds of millions of individuals in the near future. Group health insurance is thus becoming a “must-have” product in India, with businesses realizing that one of the essential benefits they can provide employees is adequate health insurance coverage.
With the spurt in demand for group health insurance products, Plum saw an opportunity to transform the employee healthcare experience using a tech-first approach. Their team built a platform that helps employers take care of their people when they need it the most and fill their claims digitally with complete assistance from Plum.
Group health insurance is a highly complex product, and there's still a massive gap between companies, employers, and employees when it comes to understanding how it all works.
Plum understood that reducing friction in the claims process is a critical success factor for insurance companies and essential to elevate their customers’ experience. Its purpose now is to make the process of filing a claim seamless, efficient, and safe for its customers. But it wasn’t always like this.
Initially, we were dealing with this process via email. Whenever an employee needed to file a claim with the insurance company, we requested them to send us all the required documents to start their claim process for them.
The existing claims process on email was sometimes confusing for the end-users. There were too many manual steps, and the process often took a long time with a lot of back and forth. Shubhanshu and his team faced challenges in scaling it to maximum efficiency while also attempting to improve the overall user experience
The process wasn't scalable and we were spending a lot of time answering emails, which resulted in a lot of back-and-forth between our customers and us. We needed to make it easier for them to interact with us.
According to Statista, there are over 487 million WhatsApp users in India alone, making it the leading country in terms of WhatsApp audience size.
With WhatsApp’s increasing popularity and penetration in India, the team at Plum decided that the best way to get closer to their customers was to be where they already are - on WhatsApp.
The team was keen to be the first in the industry to capitalize on this and enjoy a first mover advantage. It meant creating a WhatsApp chatbot to serve their customer base, elevating, this way, the user experience and improving overall operational efficiency.
The challenge ahead of the team was clear - How to become the first player in the legacy insurance industry to quickly capitalize on the massive WhatsApp user base?
For insurance companies, gathering and entering data is a big task, and the tediousness of filing claims slows down the process. At the same time, when the tasks are manual, it increases the chance of errors and inconsistencies in records.
Automating the claims process is an excellent way to improve the efficiency of insurance companies. Plus, it gives workers more time to dedicate to other more important tasks, like personalized customer service.
The Plum team knew they needed to build a guided self-serve system where customers could upload the documents required to start a claim—making it easier for the operations team to access & review documents, initiating the claim process with the insurance providers, and eliminating emails from the picture altogether.
Plum's decision to use Landbot's WhatsApp automation platform for their messaging app was strategic. They wanted to save on development time and cost and harness WhatsApp’s popularity in India.
The first step in the action plan was to experiment with WhatsApp as a messaging channel, but there wasn’t an established player in this space or competitors in their industry using this as a solution, so they had to take the risk and start from scratch.
There were other solutions tried by the engineering and product team at Plum. However, iterating on them was painstaking, and the bot-building process wasn't easy.
We initially tried and evaluated a couple of other alternatives. But they weren’t as intuitive and were suited for larger enterprises, and customer support wasn’t as flexible and easy to get to. Another solution we tried was an open-source chatbot builder primarily used by developers, which meant it would require coding(and time).
The team at Plum needed to run a bot and send proactive messages to their customers on WhatsApp in real-time. When they found Landbot, they saw how easy it was to implement this using the intuitive drag & drop builder and extensive library of native app integrations.
Landbot not only checked all the boxes in our initial proof of concept with all the other solutions evaluated. It emerged as a winner.
Plum’s three pre-requisites were:
Proactive messaging for claim approvals
Easy integration with Plum’s phone number
Stellar customer support
The Plum team started by creating a basic flow for the claim filing process, where they would ask preliminary questions to the employees and collect their documents to be then sent to their insurer.
In this process, employees could decide for whom they wanted to start their claim (themselves or any family member associated with their insurance coverage).
For Plum, this required a solution that could quickly create, iterate, and capture data.
They found in Landbot not only a tool that would allow them to do this but also a flexible way to bring in the data to the WhatsApp conversations with the employees through Webhooks and APIs.
An API will relay the collected information and generate a claim in Plum's internal tool for the operations team to take forward.Now, when employees start a claim, they only need to reach out to Plum’s WhatsApp number. The Plum bot will immediately fetch their stored profile data from Plum’s internal database and start interacting with the employee personally - asking questions, collecting information and guiding the user in real time through the claim process.
Employees receive a link to upload their documents, and upon submission, our operations team reviews them. However, for any missing information, the Plum bot proactively sends a message to the employee to update it; be it a missing document or a piece of misleading or incorrect information.
What started as an app to improve Plum’s claim process has morphed into a full-fledged health messenger service with other allied services.
In an industry-first move, Plum is helping employees download their health cards over WhatsApp easily within seconds. It is a significant relief as most employees struggled to find their health cards and had to contact their HR representatives to get them, which typically happened over email or phone and could take hours during a critical emergency.
That’s not all. Plum has also integrated Telehealth services, giving users instant access to high-quality healthcare professionals over WhatsApp without downloading an external app.
Employees can also check their insurance coverage to understand all the benefits available to them as part of the insurance policy as shown below.
Landbot’s WhatsApp automation solution now makes it easier for Plum’s customers to file their claims on mobile via WhatsApp. It also helps Plum review claims more quickly, notifying both parties about pending decisions.
Once our team successfully submits the claim to insurance providers, the employees receive a message on WhatsApp informing them about the status of their submission and providing a claim number they can use to understand its progress.
Landbot’s proactive messaging feature using HSM templates has enabled Plum to keep users updated on their claims status, resulting in 85% of the total Plum bot users opting in for future communication because of how seamless the interaction has been.
The Plum team is now able to manage & mediate all communication between the insurance provider and the employee through WhatsApp, allowing the operations team to prioritize their work in a more meaningful way.
The team spent 4 to 5 business days reviewing and sending claim documents to the insurance providers when they primarily relied on email as a channel of communication. But with WhatsApp, in 2 days, all this information was accessible to insurance providers. Speed became a key differentiator for us.
As the world advances into the digital age, it’s become vital to adopt automation to create opportunities for businesses, the economy, and society. From customer support chatbots to automated inventory systems, businesses must pivot, adopt and apply new technologies to stay current or risk being left behind.
WhatsApp automation is helping digital-first companies like Plum become more customer-centric by simplifying a complex process and reducing the time required to complete repetitive tasks - saving time, money & reducing human error.
With over 2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps globally. Powered with Landbot’s no code drag & drop builder, it’s helping businesses acquire users, personally engage with their audiences, monetize and automate their processes.
Plum bot currently serves over 15,000 customers filing over 400 claims per month and 80% of these come from the WhatsApp app powered by Landbot’s WhatsApp automation. The team is constantly adding more features and the upcoming releases will provide users access to curated wellness events, education content and emergency support on the Plum bot.
Plum has set itself on a path to enable every company in India to provide their employees with a high-quality health cover in the most robust, simple, and efficient way.
We’ve seen the momentum and impact Plum has created so far, and we’re excited to see how they continue to improve the lives of people by providing faster and easier access to healthcare.