Electronic Chat with Brad Epker
Staff Writer | April 28, 2020
Brad Epker is Chief Revenue Officer at Prompt.io (formerly Chatbox), a text messaging provider that allows businesses to transform text messaging from communication to action, empowering an instant end-to-end customer experience. The Prompt.io Messaging Suite helps businesses provides delivery, speed, volume, and quick response, empowering them to do more through text messaging from communicating to closing business.
Your background includes positions in sales and management for a variety of tech firms, including cloud specialists and GIS. How does your background help in your current position at Prompt.io?
My background has emphasized the commercialization of emerging technologies. In particular, I have focused my skills on technology that is disruptive to existing commercial markets. As an example, DocuSign introduced eSignatures, moving people from traditional pen and paper. During that time, I led the introduction of eSignatures to the insurance industry by working with Amica as DocuSign’s first Insurance customer. Tier3 and BlueBox introduced cloud computing solutions that moved companies form internal data centers to the cloud. At Prompt.io we are empowering organizations to deliver highly effective and engaging customer experiences via text messaging. These engagements are now being used in every form of customer communication including sales, marketing, and service. Understanding how to introduce innovative technology to improve current processes is helping Prompt.io grow.
How did you first get involved with the company?
In late 2018 I decided to try to spend more time home in order to do the things I love, like snow skiing. So, I quit my job and took on some consulting opportunities. One day I got a call from Tom Gonser, the founder of DocuSign, and he mentioned that I should take a look at this company who is doing some very unique work in the field of business text messaging. Having a great deal of respect for Tom’s business visions, I met with Phil Gordon, the founder and CEO of Prompt.io. After numerous conversations with Phil, I learned how valuable the Prompt.io messaging platform would be in reducing customer service calls in markets like insurance. I see this opportunity as a game changer for most businesses. Prompt.io gives our customers a significant communications advantage and a chance to fundamentally change the way people do business, which is very reminiscent of the opportunity I saw at DocuSign. While so far, the market has seen some basic business messaging solutions, there is nothing close to the speed, configuration and deliverability, and that is what makes a winner, and doesn't everyone love a winner?
Please provide a little background on when, how, and why the company was established.
Six years ago, a team of very talented engineers set out to build a solution that would help all organizations communicate more efficiently and effectively with their customers. We believe that customers want to interact with organizations in a convenient, mobile-friendly form, on their own terms, with as little hassle as possible. No one really wants to call on the phone (much less wait on hold), and email is tremendously ineffective. It was clear to us then as it is today, the best channel for conducting business is messaging. Because we have built a platform that can address any of the workflows that are typical to phone conversations or email, we are now able to offer marketing, sales, or service, the channel of text messaging as a tremendously effective, efficient tool that delivers a significant savings and return on investment, while improving overall customer experience.
How does Prompt.io work and what is the main benefit for insurers using it?
There are three components to Prompt.io Messaging Suite, with each element providing unique benefits for insurers
- PromptMessaging focuses on business communications. If you communicate with customers on their terms, the ability to engage and conduct business, complete surveys, or any form of data collection is much greater. Text messages have a 98% open rate, and can see response rate of 45%. This is astronomically higher than traditional channels such as email which see response rate in the 2-5% range. And phone calls are both a high cost and low engagement with 80-90% of consumers now stating they ignore calls from unknown numbers. Prompt.io gives you a fast, effective, compliant way to reach customers via text both through broad outreach, an agent driven experience or dynamic response and automation. Led by the millennial generation, 83% of consumers now say they would prefer to be able to work with businesses via text.
- PromptExchange is all about enabling customers to work with businesses via text, such as updating records, filing claims or signing up for new policies. Text messaging improves communication but generally can’t gather structured data or integrate with systems in a way that constitutes “doing business.” PromptExchange allows insureds to seamlessly move from text to a mobile forms experience that can both present existing information and collect structured data that is then integrated with existing systems. This solution allows insurers a way to dynamically serve policy information or handle claims in one mobile experience. Moving the end-to-end customer experience from a bifurcated process that can include email, websites, and phone calls to one fast mobile experience. This significantly increases effectiveness and reduces overall costs, all while offering the customer a modern experience and increasing customer satisfaction.
- PromptPlatform ties the first two parts together and offers more advanced integration and developer tools to offer even greater capabilities. This could include customized solutions such as integrating voice into PromptExchange or integrating existing front-end systems to existing businesses processes or to maintain workflow.
Do you have any real-life examples of insurers who have used the product to streamline their customer experience process?
While we have quite a few examples, the one that sticks out to me is from the ITA Winter Meeting in NYC, where I met Ward Brokerage. Since then, Ward Brokerage has now enabled prospective life insurance applicants to use Prompt.io to submit their applications. Their prospects can now complete this process when and where it’s convenient for them with a text-first communications solution. Imagine completing your life insurance application while sitting on the bleachers of your child’s baseball game between innings versus in your agent's office!
What aspect of insurtech are you especially passionate about?
I get very excited about improving customer service and, more importantly, customer experiences. By introducing a truly modernized text messaging platform like Prompt.io, not only can insurance companies and brokers significantly reduce their overall customer service costs, but they can delight their customers. After all, as a customer by using a text-based customer service option, you remain in control of the time and the cadence of your conversation -- no more sitting on hold while waiting to either speak to an agent, or while the agent gets more information. I once read that the average person spends 43 days of their life on hold waiting for customer service. Just think of all of the things you could do with 43 days of your life. The idea that we can deliver huge savings to companies and they can give their customers back something as precious as time makes me especially happy.
- A Digital Wildfire Creates a Burning Platform for Digital Insurance Business Transformation
- Digitalization, COVID-19 Spurring More IT Investment in Cybersecurity
- Electronic Chat with Michael DeGusta, CEO, ClarionDoor
- U.S. Consumers Significantly Underestimate Flood Risk, New Survey Finds
- The Future of Insurance: Opportunities in Ecosystems
- Electronic Chat with Todd Greenbaum, CEO, Input 1
- Majesco to be Acquired by Thoma Bravo
- The Evolving Role of Managing General Agencies
- Electronic Chat with Char Hu
- Electronic Chat with Allan L. Egbert, Jr.
- Electronic Chat with Christopher Tramontano and Zbigniew Gawienczuk
- Data Science is Gelato
- Insurance Innovation: Alive and Kicking
- Independent Agents Divided on Digital Experience, New Survey Finds
- Electronic Chat with Michael Jones
- Electronic Chat with Paul VanderMarck
- As Auto Insurance Premiums Shrink, Insurers Need Mobility Ecosystem, New Study Finds
- Property & Casualty Insurers Raise Digital Games as COVID-19 Elevates Customer Expectations, J.D. Power Finds
- Electronic Chat with Bobbie Shrivastav
- Meet the Board: Marissa Buckley
- Big Data and Insurtech: A Carrier Perspective
- Traditional Insurers Need Open Ecosystems, Partnerships to Remain Competitive, CapGemini Report Finds
- Electronic Chat with John C. Siegman
- 4 Ways AI is Empowering Insurers During COVID-19
- 6 Big Changes to Insurance from the COVID-19 Crisis
- Electronic Chat with Christopher Ewing
- Independent Agency Staff Morale High During COVID-19, New Survey Finds
- Electronic Chat with Brad Epker
- Tapping AI to Improve Policyholder Experience
- Electronic Chat with Manisha Bhargava
- ITA Pro Magazine, March/April 2020
- COVID-19 a Game Changer for Workers’ Comp
- Electronic Chat with Steve Comer
- COVID-19 Pandemic Forces Cancellation of ITA LIVE 2020
- Leveraging Digital Resources in the Time of COVID-19
- Electronic Chat with Robert Hartwig on COVID-19 and Insurance
- Celent Study: Most Small Businesses Still Unclear on Importance of Cyber Insurance
- The January/February 2020 ITA Pro is here!
- Deloitte: New C-Suite Roles Mean More Opportunities for Women
- Electronic Chat with Pankaj Parashar
- Electronic Chat with Tara Kelly
- Electronic Chat with Chuck Wilson
- ITA, InsNerds Collaborate to Enhance ITA LIVE 2020 Content and Coverage
- How SMBs Can Compete in Digital Ecosystems in the 2020s
- 4 Ways Insurance Can Prepare for New Data Privacy Laws
- Brewer Lane Ventures Launches and Hires Insurtech Vet Martha Notaras as Managing Partner
- 2020 GIA Cohort Launches on January 14
- The November/December 2019 ITA Pro is here!
- Electronic Chat with Joshua Snead
- Electronic Chat with Wendy Aarons-Corman
- Simplifying the Move to a Third-party Print Provider
- Take a Business-Driven Approach to Continuous Improvement for Core Systems and Processes
- Electronic Chat with Ron Glozman
- Guidewire’s Data Guru Mike Byam on How Insurers are Using Internal and Third-Party Data
- Electronic Chat with Russ Bostick
- Electronic Chat with Rock Schindler
- Electronic Chat with John Siegman
- Electronic Chat with Martin Burlingame
- Insurtech Landscape 2019: Top 5 Takeaways
- Grinnell Mutual Tackles Massive Transformation -- in Stride
- A Candid Conversation with Paul Mang
- SageSure Insurance Managers Improved Competitiveness by Consolidating Payments to a Single Digital Platform
- Digital Does Matter in Insurance-- And Insurers are Missing the Mark
- The 22nd-Century Insurer: Taking a Cloud-First IT Approach
- The September/October 2019 issue of ITA PRO magazine is now available in digital format here:
- ITA Pro Magazine May/June 2019
- Spotlight on the 2019 IASA Conference
- ValueMomentum Selects Erie as Site of Regional Development Center
- Capgemini and Majesco Become Alliance Partners
- Electronic Chat with Dr. Dan Shoham
- Electronic Chat with Todd Greenbaum
- Martha Notaras: The “Outsider” with an Amazing Inside View
- Electronic Chat with Larissa Tosch
- Martha Notaras Will Join ITA LIVE 2019 as a Keynote Speaker
- Five Things to Consider When Evaluating Your Cyber Risk
- ITA Pro Magazine, January/February 2019
- Synergy Between Insurers' IT and Analytics Teams Key to Operationalizing Insights, Says Novarica
- Major Ransomware Attack Could Hit U.S. with $89B In Economic Damages
- ITA Announces 1st of Three Keynote Speakers at ITA LIVE 2019
- Electronic Chat with Jeroen Morrenhof
- Legacy Systems Are Dead. Really? Don't Count On It.
- Now Accepting Nominations for the 2019 ITA Bridge Awards
- It's time to register for ITA LIVE!
- Registration is Now Open for ITA LIVE 2019!
- What to Expect from a Digital Experience Platform Implementation
- ITA Pro Magazine September Edition is Now Available
- It's National IT Professionals Day
- Save the Date for ITA-LIVE 2019
- OneShield Software and UrbanStat Work Together to Improve Real-Time Analytics and Risk Decision-Making
- ITA LIVE 2019 - SAVE THE DATE!
- Insurance Technology Association Announces New Editor-in-Chief
- August 2018 Edition ITA Pro Magazine is Now Available
- Enterprise Architecture in an Agile World
- Top 10 Tips for Securing Your Mobile Devices and Sensitive Client Data
- Industry Insight: 4 Global Insurance Trends in Digital, Data, Content Services and Security
- Diving Deeper into Prioritizing Your Strategic Digital investments
- Why Content Rules
- How Mass Personalization Will Open the Small Business Benefits Market
- At Year End 2017, Will Your Organization Be Protected from Cyber Risks?
- Do Insurance Bots Dream of Mitigating Risk?
- Conditioned to Respond
- Managing & Mobilizing Insurance Data in a Connected World
- Race to the Finish Line
- New Tools, New Opportunities in Claims
- ITA LIVE: Reaching Insurance Industry Crossroads
- Advice to Insurance IT Leaders: Keep Your Eye on the Ball
- New Date, Venue for ITA LIVE 2017
- Guidewire Makes Major Push to Small and Midtier Market by Acquiring ISCS
- Insurance Disruption is Happening Right Now
- Insurity Adds Strategic Investment Partner, General Atlantic
- Beyond Transformation: The Convergence of Finance, Risk, and Actuarial Functions
- The Rapid Evolution of Consumer Protection Regulation
- Talent Hunt: Finding, Attracting, Retaining Top People
- Insurers Flexing Their Distribution Models
- Technology Driving Disruption in Insurance
- Fear of ‘Next Bubble’ Challenges Life, Annuity Carriers
- Technology Allows Commercial Lines Insurers to Stand Out
- Single Sign-on Viewed as Biggest Tech Challenge for Agencies
- ISCS Observes 20th Anniversary; Scurto Predicts Major Changes Ahead
- Policyholders and Their First Impressions
- Progressive Making Progress on the UBI Front
- High and Dry: Insurers Search for Disaster Recovery Plans
- Insurers Sign The (Un)Dotted Line
- Reflections of a Retired Insurance CIO
- Mobile Device Management Just One Answer to BYOD Issue
- Lessons from GEICO and Progressive on Winning the Critical Buying Stage
- You Are a Target for a Cyber Attack
- Web-based Systems are the Next Evolution in Claims Technology
- Gaining a “Wow” Experience from Web Users
- Time to Shift from Business/IT Alignment to Business/IT Alliance
- Healthcare Insurers Changing to Consumer Model
- Organization is the Key for Selecting Software Vendors
- Analysts Expound on the Needs of the Mid-tier Insurance Market
- Finding the Cure for Obamacare’s Website
- New Software Solutions Benefit Insurers on the Inside and Outside
- Products, Market Impede Investment in Systems for Life Insurers
- Combatting Cyber Threats: Predict, Prevent, Persist
- The Future of Telematics Heads Beyond Insurance
- The Shame in Cyber Security Lapses
- Building Policy Administration Systems for the Future
- Insurers Look Into The Eyes of Their Policyholders
- It’s a New Dawn for the ITA
INSURANCE IT NEWS
- Encova Insurance Launches New Suite of Personal Lines Products
- Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Expands Lines of Business on Majesco Policy for P&C
- One Inc Acquires Invenger Technologies, Including Invenger-InsurPay
- Hyland Releases Foundation Version of Brainware Intelligent Capture
- Guidewire Software Announces Promotion of PartnerConnect Consulting Partner
- Sapiens CoreSuite for Life Insurance Now Available on Microsoft AppSource
- OneConnect and Swiss Re to Partner on Smart Claims to Europe
- Auto-Owners Insurance Now on IBQ's Commercial Platform
The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
ITA LIVE 2020
ITA LIVE 2020 –SAVE THE DATE!
April 5th – 7th, 2020
The Diplomat Resort
Become a member today to receive updates – www.itapro.org/MR
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
The next generation of customer requires a digital platform and robust ecosystem that work together under one common platform across different core... READ MORE
Denise Garth of Majesco examines how insurance can tap into the synergy between companies and customers that helps meet the needs of all participants... READ MORE
You have surely heard it said that small businesses are the growth engine for America. Today, the phrase has a special ring to it for benefits... READ MORE
With stagnant growth and lingering low interest rates, the life insurance industry faces a challenging future... READ MORE
Finding insurance carriers willing to write commercial lines risks has always been a challenge for producers... READ MORE
As Guidewire Software prepares for the start of Connections, its 11th annual user conference that begins on Nov. 2, Brian Desmond, chief marketing... READ MORE