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Bringing Partnership to Life

How State National’s Client Advisory Council Creates a Virtuous Circle

 

At State National, client experience is the foundation of everything we do. We don’t see our client relationships as static; each one is dynamic and evolving as a living, breathing entity. And it’s vital that we prioritize and nurture our client partnerships as we do with the other foundational pillars of our company. One of the most effective ways we do this is to collaborate with our clients. We talk to our clients, we ask them what they want, and we include them when crafting our business strategies.

 

We have always considered actively getting feedback from our clients as an integral and critical part of our strategic planning. It’s why we conduct our Annual Survey of Service Quality as well as other surveys measuring other aspects of our service delivery. Our #1 goal is to help our business partners succeed, so finding out what they want and need, and how we can better provide it to them, is always top of mind.

Taking the Quest for Feedback to the Next Level

In 2018, we went a step further and created the State National Client Advisory Council (CAC) to convene a group of some of our top clients to discuss issues that are critically important to them and to us. It’s a forum to share information, gain consensus on key topics, and collaborate with peers and partners to creatively pursue problem-solving strategies and growth opportunities for their institutions

CAC Mission

As I said in my last CAC blog, our intention in establishing the State National CAC was, and still is, to listen carefully to the voices and concerns of our clients, foster an atmosphere where collaborative insights can emerge, and allow our strategy and product development to be guided by those who will actually be using it every day.

CAC collage 5

 

Specifically Designed to Add Value — For All

Yes, the CAC is of great benefit to State National, because it gives us opportunities to deepen relationships with some of our closest partners, and align our organization more precisely with our clients’ perspectives. We get to hear both what’s working well as well as challenges they’re facing, not only in our area of expertise, but in all areas of their institution. As we’ve been known to say a time or two, we’re successful when our clients are successful — so anything we can contribute to help them grow and succeed ultimately contributes to our own success as a company.

But it’s definitely not all about us! Our council was created with a true desire to provide members with tangible, real-world benefits that not only make it more than worth their time but also add tremendous value they don’t get from any other partner. But don’t take it from us — here’s what some of our current CAC members have to say:

Mike Shockley
“By having open conversations about what’s going on in the marketplace with other credit unions who are going through the same things, I’m able to learn how others are attacking certain problems and I’ve absolutely taken some things back to my credit union and implemented them.”
~ Mike Shockley, VP of Lending, True Sky Credit Union, Oklahoma City, OK

John Cotner

“It’s great to talk about emerging technologies or other ideas we can bring back to our specific credit unions and share with our leadership team — ideas we might otherwise not have been exposed to. The volume of information at a very high level that someone can obtain by joining the CAC is wonderful."
~ John Cotner, VP Lending, Horizon Credit Union, Boise, ID

James Bolin

“When it comes to topics like innovation and technology and AI, I think I've learned more from the CAC than I have by going to conferences and things like that, because you can really have more intimate conversations with your peers at the council, and State National does a great job of bringing in great presenters that really position the topics well, so it's easily understood as we're reviewing certain new innovations.”
~ James Bolin, SVP & CMEO, Silver State Schools Credit Union, Las Vegas, NV

Steve McIntire

“One of the benefits of being on the CAC is not only meeting some of the participants from different parts of the country and having discussions, but I have also been able to take away two specific strategic business initiatives that directly impact the credit union that came about through my participation on the CAC, including one that is a multi-year strategic initiative.”
~ Steve McIntire, SVP, Enterprise Risk & General Counsel, SELCO Community Credit Union, Eugene, OR

Karen Hoeppner

State National is a great partner. I'm glad they asked me to join the CAC because it gives me an opportunity to keep that partnership active and very vibrant. And I enjoy the fact that I get to see what State National is doing and what’s on their horizon and how it’s going to benefit not only my credit union, but the credit union industry. So it’s been really awesome.”
~ Karen Hoeppner, Chief Lending Officer, My Credit Union, Minneapolis, MN

A Real-World Example of CAC Value

The council’s 3rd quarter 2021 meeting provides an illustration of the tangible benefits of this ongoing collaborative sharing of ideas and insights. The council met in August in Irvine, California, headquarters of Filene Research Institute. Filene is an integral thought leadership partner for State National, and that partnership further extends directly to our CAC members.

filene-logo

The business portion of the event was held at Filene’s innovative West Coast outpost. Dr. Bill Maurer, professor at UC Irvine, Director at the Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion, and research fellow at Filene’s Center of Excellence in Emerging Technology, conducted a working session called “The Pandemic as Practice for a Less-Predictable Future.”

Group discussion led to shared best practices on how credit unions can automate communication regarding the notice cycle, which improves their member perception of CPI. Participants also explored other risk mitigation strategies credit union peers are using and how they are approaching risk mitigation overall in light of the uncertainty and turbulence caused by the pandemic and other economic shifts.

Relevant, Actionable Insights

Following Dr. Maurer’s presentation and discussion, CAC members and SNC directors formed working groups to discuss business challenges related to highly relevant credit union hot topics, including data governance, AI implementation, and digital automation, including mobile.

After a lively conversation and sharing of experiences, each working group was tasked with conducting further collaborative research into their group’s subject area. With their curiosity sparked, CAC members made plans to dive in together to produce real-world insights they can share with other decision-makers in their credit union. The groups will also present their findings at the Q4 CAC meeting in November.

Personal Connections

When the day’s work was over, members joined State National representatives for an enjoyable and relaxing evening outing. After the mental stimulation provided by the day’s deep dive into important credit union topics, it was nice to move to a casual setting on the water and interact on a more personal level, while enjoying excellent conversation and lots of laughter.

Then, the next day, it was time to head back to their credit union homes, bringing knowledge, insights, advice, and inspiration with them as they work on their findings and look for openings within their institutions to leverage what they’ve learned.

Discover More

Are you a curious credit union professional, always looking to grow and give back to your organization? Do you enjoy bouncing ideas off like-minded people in your industry and get a little thrill when you see these synergies expand what’s possible for you and for them? Are you a believer in true connection with those you work with and mutually beneficial partnerships with your service providers? Contact Heather Clyde, State National’s Client Advisory Council Program Manager, at HClyde@StateNational.com to explore the possibility of council membership.

SN CAC 2020 logo

“The CAC has exceeded my expectations. On a fun note, the group is great. My colleagues on the CAC and the staff at State National are all very enjoyable and very professional. State National does a wonderful job of putting the events together. They’re well thought out, well organized. I think it’s a great two-way relationship, the CAC. I think we’re benefiting State National, and they are certainly benefiting us.” ~ John Cotner, Horizon CU

 

“State National has always considered our clients as more than just clients — we truly do see each and every one of these connections as an authentic partnership. Our goal for client relationships is always more than transactional; we’re always going for a win-win situation and strive to evolve all of these partnerships to serve the long-term strategic business goals for both parties. Our CAC is growing to be a vital component of State National’s overall corporate strategy, and it’s very gratifying to see that it is already helping to serve the long-term strategic interests of our CAC members and their credit unions.” ~ Heather Clyde, Client Advisory Council Program Manager

CAC Q4 2021

 

Heather Clyde
Heather Clyde
As Content Marketing Manager at State National, Heather Clyde is an experienced digital marketer heading up SNC's marketing content team. From inbound and outbound communication, media management and SEO, to complete content strategy, Heather and her team are the ones making it happen. Heather is also the Program Manager of State National's Client Advisory Council.

Related Posts

How to Explain Collateral Protection Insurance to a Borrower

Equipping Your Staff At State National, we recognize that collateral protection insurance (CPI) is not a term every borrower knows. Here, CPI expert and Sr. Client Executive Kathy St. Clair shares her insights on how to educate borrowers about CPI and what to say if a borrower has questions about a CPI certificate placed on their loan. If you do not know what CPI is, we recommend first reading What Is Collateral Protection Insurance (CPI)?. Topics Covered in This Article Why your Client Executive is your expert navigator when it comes to CPI Being proactive and letting your borrower know about CPI when they sign up for a loan What to do when you don’t know how to answer a borrower’s CPI-related question Understanding InsurTrak Your Client Executive Is Your Expert Navigator When it Comes to CPI As a long-time client service provider for State National, I know that borrower satisfaction is vitally important to you, and to us. My mission in sharing this blog post is to help further inform you and your staff about how and when we recommend talking about CPI with your borrowers. When you communicate with State National, you are likely doing so through your Client Executive. You can think of us as your expert navigator, teammate, and guide for all of your collateral protection insurance program needs. Your Client Executive is always available to help you understand what your financial institution needs to do to ensure a successful CPI program. We understand that specific protocols will differ depending on your unique business needs, because no two financial institutions are the same. Your Client Executive is there to consult and collaborate with you as a partner. So while my explanation in this blog post can provide general tactics and strategies to strengthen your staff’s knowledge, the best methods to maximize your program benefits will come from working closely with your Client Executive and reporting any questions or concerns. Chances are, we already have a solution in our toolkit! Be Proactive and Let Your Borrower Know About CPI When They Sign Up for a Loan. When you communicate with your borrowers, it is best to be upfront, transparent, and informative. Some surprises can be great, but not all surprises are welcome! We always try to share with any staff members who work with loans how important it is to make borrowers fully aware that they are required to have insurance — and that they will see notices from you if they do not. By accepting a car loan, a borrower acknowledges that they will provide full-coverage insurance on the vehicle. Because of that, they need to ensure their insurance policy always remains active and up to date, and their agent or insurance company needs to list you as the lienholder. If that process works smoothly, they should never see any notifications regarding insurance. Your staff should also let borrowers know that if they receive a notice there are several ways to quickly and easily show proof of insurance. They should stress that notices regarding an insurance coverage lapse should never be ignored, but should be read immediately as they will give the borrower instructions on how to update their insurance to avoid having a certificate placed on their loan. Don’t Know How to Answer a Borrower's CPI-Related Question? We Have You Covered. Many of our partners have a hot button on their work phones. This button transfers a borrower’s call directly to our insurance verification department using your own custom 1-800 number that allows us to answer the call using your financial institution's name. You, or any member of your team who receives a CPI call, can let the borrower know they are being transferred to the insurance department for your CPI program. As an additional option, you can add a MyLoanInsurance link on your webpage so staff can direct borrowers to provide proof of insurance online. We want to take as much of the program administration off of you and your teammates as possible. If your team does not currently have a hot button that directs to our contact center or needs assistance with the MyLoanInsurance link, please let your Client Executive know. Your 24/7 Loan Insurance Status Assistant — InsurTrak! InsurTrak is the industry's only system built from scratch specifically for CPI. It is your real-time source of truth for insurance tracking, claims, and reporting, resulting in maximum ease, speed, and transparency. Your loan portfolio data is at your fingertips, accessible instantly, all in one place. Plus, your staff can access useful videos with quick and helpful tips in the InsurTrak Knowledge Center. We assign InsurTrak access to as many individual users as needed at your financial institution. This powerful, one-of-a-kind tool is your transparent and bird's-eye view into everything going on with your CPI program. With InsurTrak, you can quickly view a borrower's loan status and look at the transaction history to better understand why they are receiving notices or why a certificate placement has occurred. If InsurTrak shows that it is because of cancellation on their current insurance, you can ask the borrower if they still have insurance with that carrier or if they have changed. If the borrower has insurance, we need a copy of their current policy. You can let your borrower know that after they provide that proof, the notices they are receiving will stop. And if a certificate has been placed on their loan, they will receive a CPI refund once they provide valid insurance information.   How do you answer specific questions a borrower may ask? Next week, look for Part 2 of How to Explain Collateral Protection Insurance to a Borrower for simple answers to common questions you and your staff may encounter regarding CPI.  

Celebrating Our Partnership With Filene!

Innovative Research From Renowned “Think and Do” Tank Drives Real-World Results for Credit Unions With service as a core value, State National not only puts maximum effort into providing the best portfolio protection anywhere, but we also actively look for ways to help move the industry needle and be a part of a larger mission. This includes actively seeking to expose our clients to opportunities with leading organizations that explore innovative, growth-oriented ideas. What Matters to You Matters to Us The renowned research firm Filene is a credit union and consumer finance think tank headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. As an Inner Circle member and research sponsor, we provide support for their mission to connect credit unions with insights and innovations to change people’s lives. Their research ventures connect credit unions with the most impactful technology and drive forward-thinking business decisions. Through investing in organizations like Filene, State National further supports the credit union mission and helps our partners benefit from the latest insights into solutions to their industry's unique challenges. This partnership also gives us access to original research to better focus future advancements and technology innovations on collateral protection insurance (CPI) program improvements for our credit union partners. Keep Good Company At the start of 2020, State National joined forces with Filene by sponsoring their Center of Excellence for Emerging Technology, working with their industry experts to explore the future of digital financial services. This year, we are proud to also provide support for Filene’s new CoE, the Center of Excellence for Innovation & Incubation, which helps credit unions explore solutions to assist them in remaining adaptive and nimble as member and community needs continue to shift. Filene’s Centers of Excellence are identified based on the needs shared by hundreds of credit unions and created to empower them with the data they need to make decisions that will best serve their missions now and in the future. Filene's Center of Excellence of Innovation & Incubation — A Milestone Worth Celebrating All of Filene's Centers of Excellence are doing life-changing work to help credit unions — and their members — thrive. As a sponsor of the Center of Excellence for Innovation & Incubation and the Center of Excellence for Emerging Technology, we could not be prouder to support the amazing work Filene is doing to help credit unions succeed and to advance the credit union mission. We look forward to seeing these dedicated scholars and credit union advocates as they move into their second year of investigating ways to create, implement, and measure innovation in credit unions, identifying opportunities for credit unions to differentiate with innovation, and building a playbook of effective and consumer-friendly social innovation approaches for the future of all financial services! Check Out These Guest Posts From Filene Experts: Relationship Banking in a Digital Age Credit Union Digital Transformation in the Age of COVID – 19

10 Advantages of Partnering With SNC for CPI

There's everyone else — and then there's State National