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10 Takeaways: How USAA Delivers Exceptional Member Experiences

10 Takeaways: How USAA Delivers Exceptional Member Experiences

Read how USAA made a culture shift to put member experiences at the center of everything they do. The result is USAA now offers omnichannel services to their insurance policyholders to gain efficiencies and increase loyalty.

At Dreamforce ‘18 this year, I had the pleasure of interviewing Herry Stallings, Vice President of Technology at USAA, and Harry Datwani, Principal at Deloitte Digital. USAA is a financial services company that specializes in achieving financial security for the military and their families, offering a full suite of financial services products for insurance, banking, and investments. Deloitte Digital, a digital consultancy and global strategic Salesforce partner, collaborated with USAA to implement Salesforce and embark on a digital transformation journey.

Herry and Harry sat down with me to talk about why USAA made the shift to a culture that puts the member experience at the center of all they do, and how that’s enabled them to offer omnichannel services to their insurance policyholders, drive efficiencies, and increase loyalty.

Here are the top 10 takeaways from our discussion. To hear all of their insights, check out the full video of the interview from Salesforce Live at Dreamforce ‘18.


Top 10 Takeaways

1. Customers expect the same convenient customer experience from their financial services companies that they enjoy with consumer companies like Amazon. They want to be able to contact a customer representative or purchase a product on any channel, at any time.

"In an omnichannel world, it is very important that we meet our members wherever they are so they can transition seamlessly from channel to channel, and with context." —Herry Stallings


2. Insurers are in a digital arms race.

"10 years ago, we were talking about making the shift from products to being more consultative. In the last 3-4 years, it’s all been about customer experience. What’s differentiated today becomes table-stakes tomorrow due to the pace of innovation." —Harry Datwani

Contact center initiatives drive top-line growth as much as cost efficiency.

“[Insurers need to] bring the pieces together — deliver great customer experience, but do it in a way that’s cost-effective and scalable." —Harry Datwani

4. Glean insights from customer journeys.

"From a contact center perspective, it’s important for us to know where our customers are in their financial security journey, and make sure we have product and services that meet those needs wherever they may be along those journeys." —Herry Stallings

5. Shift your mindset from “point solution” to engagement platform.

"In the contact center, what we’ve been seeing with clients is that they’re looking at Salesforce not as a point solution but as a platform that could solve a variety of problems." —Harry Datwani

6. Identify your cross-functional teams, ensure that they are co-located in one work space, and get users involved early.

"We’ve adopted agile methodologies, we co-locate with our business partners, we do our quarterly planning, we align on business outcomes, and then use technology to enable those outcomes. At USAA, we have an MSR Lab (member service representative lab) where we have IT, business, and actual MSRs co-located. As we roll out new capabilities, we’re constantly testing them with our stakeholders, getting feedback, and understanding what the member and MSR experience is. We deploy with everyone participating." —Herry Stallings

7. Data is the foundation of the engagement platform. In order to deliver on a great customer experience, you need to bring together data, CRM, and UX.

"It’s important to be thoughtful on how data is organized, how it’s governed, and who owns it so that when you’re layering on new technology capabilities, the insights you’re delivering are actually meaningful to end users. Speaking of user adoption, one of the worst things that can happen is that you promise insights and automation, but it’s on bad data." —Harry Datwani

8. It’s not just about the technology.

"First, we start with the strategy and the business outcomes. Second, we make sure we’ve designed our processes. Next, we make sure our people and talent are well trained. And then we come in last with the technology." —Herry Stallings

9. AI will provide deeper insights into life events.

"I have aging parents. And they face tough questions for their insurer and health provider. Bringing AI together with a device in their house so they can ask their insurer those tough questions really opens our eyes to other use cases that will improve the lives of customers." —Harry Datwani

10. "Collabo-competition" — otherwise known as “coopetition”, a dynamic in which the synergies between partner companies far outweigh the downside of competing — is the new reality in insurtech.

"On the one hand mature insurers may feel threatened by emerging technologies, but on the other hand they could be inspired by them to pursue partnerships and build ecosystems." —Harry Datwani

For more information about how USAA is creating exceptional member experiences, watch the entire Salesforce Live interview from Dreamforce below.




This blog was originally posted as a LinkedIn article on September 30, 2018.



Jeff To

Jeff is currently the Global Head of Insurance at Salesforce, partnering with top financial services companies and innovative solution providers to re-think digital experiences for employees and customers. Jeff founded Salesforce's FinTech Garage to work with emerging companies in AI, IoT, Blockchain, Telematics, RegTech, and process automation, and was recently named one of ACORD's Top 10 InsurTech Leaders.

More by Jeff To

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