Where do I start?

One important aspect of building engagement and loyalty with your customers is providing solutions and products that contribute in a meaningful way to their financial well-being, such as insurance. However, finding a third party marketer that you are comfortable with entrusting your customers and their information to can be a challenging process. Here are 5 key questions to consider when you are looking to work with a third party marketer:

1. Do you know what their creative process entails?

When evaluating your third party marketer options, request an overview of their creative review and approval process. Understanding the processes that the vendor implements internally when crafting pieces will show their commitment to best practices and marketing excellence.

As a part of the process, the vendor should be able to demonstrate that they comply with all insurance and marketing regulations, including:

  • Individual state insurance laws
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Model Regulations
  • Federal laws and guidance relevant to insurance marketing charge authorization including FDIC, BCFP, and UDAAP standards
  • Carrier and client style/brand standards

When the vendor is able to demonstrate that they adhere to high creative standards and regulatory requirements, then you can know you have one less thing to worry about.

2. Do you know how often your customers are being messaged?

Is your third party marketer providing a projected marketing calendar for your approval? In order to protect your customers from messaging fatigue, you want to work alongside a vendor who is willing to craft a unique calendar that complements your strategy and addresses your customers’ needs.

3. Do insurance marketing events build up your bank’s brand –or do they build up the third party marketer’s own brand?

In 2017, banks produced an all-time high score for the industry in customer satisfaction (*Results from 2017 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Finance & Insurance Report). Those strong results are not surprising, since banks have invested significant time and resources in creating a positive customer experience that establishes the foundation for customer trust. Never diminish your bank’s trust and brand affinity by sending out direct mail that highlights a third party marketer’s brand rather than your own.

Many vendors use marketing opportunities to promote their brand with creatives that reflect their values and guidelines. By ensuring creatives reflect your values and brand promises, your customers are more likely to appreciate and engage with those opportunities since they are coming from a brand they know and trust.

4. Are you confident in the quality of your third party marketer’s customer service?

One of the most important aspects of evaluating and managing the vendor relationship is ensuring that the touch points they will have with your customers are reflective of the high quality of service you provide them. When a customer reaches out to a contact center to ask a question about their product or to file a claim, they should have a customer experience that will not only meet, but exceed their expectations. For example, let’s consider some key areas for evaluation.

4 Key Areas for Evaluation:
  1. Training –The vendor should be able to demonstrate that the contact center associates receive training, including specific instruction in customer service, product knowledge, compliance, industry trends, and client standards.
  2. Quality Assurance –The vendor should be able outline the quality assurance plan their contact center operations has in place. High quality call monitoring should include recordings as well as more in depth evaluations to assess gaps, areas of improvement, and training opportunities.
  3. Security –In order to protect your customers’ personal information, the vendor should be able to validate numerous security features and policies.
  4. Benchmarking –By evaluating their contact centers comparatively to other centers, the vendor demonstrates that they are willing to evaluate their center by certain objective standards.

A contact center’s ability to demonstrate that robust processes and procedures are consistently followed is integral to your customers having their questions answered appropriately and claims inquiries processed promptly. When you partner with a vendor, you want to know that your customers are treated as well as if they were calling you directly.

5. What will the partnership look like?

When partnering with a vendor, your bank should always know when your customers are slated to receive an insurance offer.

Does the vendor have a team to generate a unique marketing calendar? Do they seek to discuss and gain your approval on every marketing campaign each year?

Are you going to receive feedback after each mail drop to truly understand the campaign’s performance? Does the vendor offer to make suggestions and reevaluate future campaigns, based on the feedback and analysis of the previous one?

In Conclusion

Evaluating a third-party marketing vendor is not easy. Considering these particular areas will assist your bank in assessing and evaluating whether the vendor will be a committed partner in meeting your marketing needs in a way that reflects your values and brand promises.