By: Jeremy Clark
With 2020, a year like no other, finally behind us, I — like many of you — am excited about what 2021 has in store.
As an eternal optimist, I am expecting great things in the year ahead. However, I’m also a pragmatist, and I know that expecting is only half the task. Looking forward realistically requires reflection on what has come before.
Taking a good hard look at past performance is essential, whether you’re talking about personal success or a company’s success.
At State National, we define success by more than financial outcomes — we consider the quality of our relationships with our clients to be just as, if not more, important. Building lasting, solid relationships has been at the core of our business for almost 50 years.
That’s why it’s essential for us to reflect back on our partnerships each year to assess how successfully we accomplished that mission. We have several metrics we use to do this, and many are built directly into our business model, from our Annual Client Survey of Service Quality to our Net Promoter Score (NPS).
And although those scores have continued to rise year over year, we know that simply patting ourselves on the back and resting on our laurels won’t cut it. As long as there is ANY room for improvement, we want to find those opportunities and capitalize on them.
Drilling Down Into Marketplace Perceptions
To that end, in 2020, we wanted to take a deeper dive into understanding how we are perceived not only by our clients, but also in the greater collateral protection insurance (CPI) market. This goal led us to a partnership with the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, whose team surveyed a variety of stakeholders in the marketplace — not just our clients, but also those who currently use another provider.
Overall, the results reflected our prominence in the industry and largely validated what we already knew. It was great to see that lenders who are familiar with CPI recognize that State National’s commitment to innovation has led to us having the most advanced technology available — and by quite a large margin. We also ranked higher in the areas of service speed and borrower communication.
To be completely transparent, we are so proud of the superiority of our technology and the continual, substantial investments we’ve made when it comes to innovation that we’ve talked about it a lot! For years, our messaging has highlighted our technological advances and innovations in CPI delivery.
How State National's AI works to your advantage
Many of our marketing efforts as a company have revolved around telling the story of how our AI robots, VeriTrak processing system, and other innovative solutions make our programs tops in terms of speed, accuracy, and ease of use. And while that is all true, it means we may have neglected to tell another story that is just as important, and frankly, just as impressive — our service story.
More Benefits With Less Effort
Because our technology IS so seamless, our programs don’t require a lot of hand-holding. Our users have a dedicated Client Executive who is always available to provide whatever service and answers they need — but because the overwhelming majority of transactions go very smoothly, they don’t have to contact their CE very often outside of routine visits. In other words, it’s one thing to say that you were able to call up a service provider and they handled your problem for you, and it’s another thing to have things work like clockwork and never have had a problem in the first place.
We, internally, know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we provide better overall service than our competitors. It’s just a fact. We know it because we hear about it from clients who have transferred from other companies — including those who were with us, switched to another provider thinking “they all offer the same thing,” and then switched back after they quickly realized how untrue that really is.
We know that recorded calls immediately on demand in InsurTrak are not the same as having to make a specific request for a call record and then wait weeks to receive it. We know that offering our clients a turnkey text messaging program at no cost to them is not the same as giving them a 3rd party referral and a loan file and letting them handle it themselves. These are just two examples of how State National goes the extra step at every step.
We also know it because of our world-class Net Promoter Score of +86 that ranks us among companies known for their stellar service, like Amazon, Apple, and Tesla. And that score went up again for the fourth year in a row — during a pandemic!
Increasing the borrower experience through technology
Always Here for You, in Both Good Times and Difficult Times
Speaking of COVID-19, I am happy to say that our business partners gave their Client Executives an overall score of 4.9 out of 5 for how accessible and helpful they were in guiding their institutions through what was a difficult year by any standard. Our clients told us directly that our flexibility and expertise helped to provide them with a proven, stable, and reliable program in a time of uncertainty.
I know this may all sound like a lot of braggy self-promotion. But based on what we know to be true about actual service delivery, we deserve to be braggadocious! In the words of our boisterous and exuberant Executive VP of Sales, John Pearson, “I just don’t understand how we don’t have ALL the business!” In 2021 we are determined to shatter the myth that all CPI providers are the same, and will work to highlight our many distinct differentiators and exclusive benefits. When it comes to portfolio protection, State National is simply the best in the business.
That’s our commitment to ourselves, to our clients — and to our future clients.
Thank you, and I wish all of you the best in 2021 and beyond.
Sr. Director, State National