Today, many life and health insurance companies are asking their prospective and current policyholders to not only fill out applications online, but to complete service, claims and other forms. But even with the most comprehensive Web site – and an increasingly Web-savvy customer base – personal interaction may still be needed.

Co-browsing technology provides a service alternative by allowing the policyholder and the advisor or customer service representative to literally be on the same page when a question arises. This personal contact, provided on an as-needed basis, increases first-call resolutions, enhances sales conversion, and improves customer satisfaction while decreasing call handling time and abandonment rates. This interaction allows agents to develop and sustain excellent relationships with their clients.

It works like this. When a Web site visitor selects a “CLICK TO SHOW” button, within seconds, the representative can view the consumer’s screen, keeping the agent and the customer, literally, on the same page. The advisor can then assist the visitor with the purchase process, guide the prospect through the application form, ensure the appropriate product choice and provide relevant cross-sell and upsell opportunities – all while helping to educate consumers about online self-service. This is done with comprehensive privacy controls in place, and provides access to only that information needed to complete the process.

In today’s Internet environment, consumers use quoting, carrier, and agency Web sites to make educated decisions. Then, because they have questions, or need additional assistance, they call the advisor or broker listed on the site.With co-browsing, these questions and concerns can be answered accurately and efficiently, in one call, preventing abandonment, frustration and loss of sales.

Over the lifetime of the policyholder relationship, co-browsing facilitates on-going communications between the insured and the insurance provider by establishing a track record of excellent communications. Additionally it increases upsell and cross-sell opportunities through personal interaction and a greater understanding of policyholder needs. Ultimately, co-browsing can help to set your company apart from your competitors by establishing a standard of service excellence.

Linda Ziemba is Executive Vice President for LiveLOOK, Inc. LiveLOOK was recently named one of the Forrester Research’s “Hot Insurance Tech Companies to Watch in 2010″ LiveLOOK is an innovator in visual sharing and real-time online interaction. For more information, please visit www.livelook.com. Ms. Ziemba can be reached at lziemba@livelook.com or (888)391-5111.