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Managing High-Touch B2B Client Experiences Virtually

As industry experts, we are placing a heavy focus on helping our clients navigate during uncertain times. 

Navigating client interactions during a not-so-subtle shift in event culture

The exhibition halls of conferences echo cheery exchanges:

“Hello!”

“How are you?”

“It’s so good to see you again!”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you — so-and-so has told me so much about you!”

In the evening, venues around the convention center are abundant with corporate happy hours and socials. On weekends at home, you may expect to go for a round of golf or attend a sporting event with a few clients and prospects. Though they may have started as clients and prospects, you’ve begun to refer to many of these familiar faces as friends and eagerly look forward to socializing with them at events, conventions, and in-office visits. Those were the days, right?

Before the pandemic, it was exciting to plan and host interactions with clients. Today, however, B2B companies are all asking the same question: How on earth should I interact with my clients and prospects during COVID-19?! The perfect answer is unclear. Client circumstances, proximity, and safety must be taken into account and will vary from business to business. Here is what State National Companies is keeping top of mind when it comes to mid-pandemic event planning.

For Group, Client, and Prospect Events

Why don’t we just host all of our events online through video chat platforms like Webex, Zoom, and Skype? In enters Zoom fatigue. I would not be surprised if this phase became Merriam-Webster’s 2020 word of the year. Virtual events can provide value, but high-quality and relatively low quantity is important to avoid further burning out your already Webex-weary clients. When you host a virtual event make it worthwhile for your attendees who may have already been sitting in the same chair in their home office for eight hours before attending your virtual event.

Some noteworthy ideas to increase event value include:

  • Deliver Grubhub or Uber Eats to your clients when visiting virtually during lunch and dinner hours
  • Send a gift straight to their door
  • Hold a raffle at the end of your event
  • Bring in virtual entertainment by hiring a celebrity or comedian to “zoom in” to your event
  • Bring an event activity to your client virtually by hiring a chef or bartender to teach your clients a new recipe over video chat (this is also a great way to support local restaurants)
  • Provide exclusive industry insights and white papers for attendees

For One-on-One Client Interactions

State National Senior Client Executive Dawn Johnson provides excellent insight and inspiration for maintaining client interactions from a distance. She says that while logistics are difficult, there is definitely an appetite among her clients for B2B interactions. While she has not been able to visit most clients in the office, she puts effort into to finding creative ways to reach out. Wine and custom chocolates are some of her favorite go-to gifts, and recently she was able to meet up with a client for a socially distanced park picnic. Although not all of her fabulous ideas have come to fruition, Dawn is utilizing her network and vast knowledge of Seattle’s restaurants to incorporate safe, socially distanced experiences.

Other forms of one-on-one client interactions include written letters and a good old-fashioned phone call.

Above All Provide Value — and Recognize Times Are Tough!

A recurring conversation I hear among our sales and service teams is to be patient and recognize that, just like leaders in businesses of all kinds, credit union, bank, and finance company leaders have a lot to navigate right now. They’ve had to not only change how they interact with you as a business partner, they’re dealing with learning how to successfully operate in a radically changed environment when it comes to their customers, employees, business processes, technology, and many other factors.

It might be a while before some of them have the bandwidth to socialize, online or otherwise. To offer our support to leaders who are in this position, State National is working closely with industry experts, our client partners, Filene Research Institute, and our parent company Markel to produce high-quality content, including surveys, webinars, and white papers, to help them navigate these “unprecedented times.” We hope the insights we are able to provide are of help as they adjust to a changed world and build a whole new way of doing business.

Catalina Uriarte
Catalina Uriarte
Catalina Uriarte is a part of State National’s marketing department. With her tagline “Creative innovation designed to inspire action,” Catalina describes herself as a curious creative who looks forward to taking on new challenges. She earned her B.A. in Public Relations from the University of North Texas and she plays an essential role in planning and executing State National’s corporate client events.

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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

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