CCC News & Insights

October 25, 2023

The Future of Customer Experience

CCC's Creators & Innovators blog series features members of our team discussing what excites them most about the work they're doing and how they're contributing to CCC's growth and success. This month, we're featuring a Q&A with CCC's Associate Manager of Design and Informatics, Tom Seiple, on the future of customer experience.

How long have you been with CCC, and can you tell us about your career background?

I've worked at CCC for 5 years on our Product Design team as a people leader and informatics expert. Informatics is, essentially the field of data visualization. It's tempting to simply refer to that as analytics, but informatics is specifically focused on how people make sense of data visualizations and then convert that into meaning and understanding. This is, in essence, the cognitive crossroads between mathematics, design, and psychology that allows people to communicate exceptionally complex concepts with simple graphics and language.

Like many people in the software and UI/UX world, I have had a meandering career. I have an undergraduate degree in environmental science and sustainability and a master's degree in urban planning. In college I worked as a technical writer at the US EPA, a demographer for a grant-funded public health project, a toxicology researcher for Proctor and Gamble, and a land use planner for a small design firm. While these roles were diverse, they all have a common thread in communicating complexity using design, statistics, and language.

After my schooling, I moved to Chicago where I worked for an architecture firm by the name of Perkins and Will. In my 3 years there I spent a lot of time working in data visualization, space planning, cartography (the field of map making), software development, computational and parametric design, and hydrological research.

CCC's recruiters reached out to me in 2018 after seeing some of the work I was doing in data visualization as a part of Make Over Monday, a public data/art project. I joined CCC as a business intelligence developer where I helped our team build out our analytics products but moved to the product design team in in 2022.

What excites you most about the work you're doing for CCC?

The insuretech space is one that is full of complex and thorny problems. As a product designer, I get excited about tackling these tough problems and collaborating with customers and stakeholders on creative solutions. When people think of UI or UX they usually think of menus, buttons, or drop downs.

Product Design is so much more than this, however. As a design team we do a lot of work to ensure the products we create exceed the expectations of our users. We conduct extensive user research to build better understanding of our users and their pain points. We also, facilitate design sprints where teams spend a focused time in cross-functional, collaborative teams thinking outside the box through fun design exercises. Furthermore, we're also involved with our technology partners, learning how to better integrate best-in-class user experiences with the latest technologies. CCC is supporting and expanding our role in the creation of software, and I love that every single day, I get to solve complex problems that make the lives of our customers easier.

Where do you see digital claims headed in the next 5 years, and what role do you see customer experience and product design playing in that?

Artificial Intelligence has become a part of the zeitgeist in 2023. AI products are emerging all across various technology sectors and it seems like every company is looking for ways to inject AI into their solutions. The way I see it, when done correctly, AI can dramatically reduce or eliminate repetitive tasks within the workflows of our customers. This should free people up to do more important tasks and get their customers back out on the road quicker.

But let's also be honest with ourselves, AI is not just magic. You can't just sprinkle a little AI onto your software like salt on your food. Our users are going to need the right software solutions, tools, and interfaces to engage these solutions and leverage them effectively. Now and in the future, we are going to be looking at many ways to better engage with AI; specifically in a manner that empowers users and to also closes the gap on difficult or time-consuming tasks.

What's your favorite thing about working for CCC?

My favorite thing about working at CCC is knowing the work I am doing is actively changing the lives of people for the better. Car accidents are inconvenient at their best, and at their worst, they can be life altering. Every time CCC improves the claims process with new technology, we make the process a little bit better for people. I love knowing I can materially improve the lives of people by making a challenging situation a little bit easier, a little more straightforward, or a little more proactive. We all know that feeling we get when something "just works the way it should"; I'm obsessed with giving people that feeling.