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There Is No Such Thing As A Stupid Question

Questions give credit unions the opportunity to solve issues they never imagined and better serve their members.

Like the old adage says, there is no such thing as a stupid question, and many questions can help you better serve your members.

When you introduce a product or service, rarely do things go exactly as planned and without a hitch. Usually when you begin training staff and educating consumers, you are bombarded with challenging questions. Many questions may seem strange but they give you a unique opportunity to solve issues you never even imagined.

Over the past few months, Transamerica Financial Solutions Group has toured the country training financial institution staff about the benefits of RoadSecure. During each trip we have received questions that challenged us but also helped us, because we dug deeper into the meaning behind the question.

Some of these questions, while somewhat silly at the time, also gave us a unique insight. It gave us an opportunity to find the true meaning behind the question and see if there were ways to create solutions to better serve you, your staff and your members.

Here are some of the questions that we heard, what was learned, and how we handled it.

Question 1

Will a member still be able to get roadside assistance if he orders gas to be delivered every week from RoadSecure?

At first, this question seems a bit eccentric. Who orders one gallon of gas to be delivered each week? But after asking follow up questions and digging a little further, it was determined that the trainee was trying to find cloaked limits or if one service may negate the availability of another.

So, for example, if a member needs gas delivered one day and then the battery dies, will coverage still be available?

Once the true meaning of the question was discovered, we were able to develop an answer that helped alleviate concerns.

RoadSecures roadside assistance is developed as a per instance service. Each instance is unique and has the same coverage and limits. Multiple instances that occur on a bad week do not count against the availability of future services and there is no required waiting period between services.

So by thinking it through, we were able to give a thorough answer that combined the true question and the actual issue.

And then adding a bit more information to the answer so it directly responds to the original question is also important.

So, gas can be requested weekly, or even daily without affecting other benefits. But remember, it is the delivery cost that is covered, not the price of the gas.

Question 2

You say you have nationwide coverage, but you do not offer RoadSecure in Washington state. If someone breaks down in Seattle, will the repair still be covered?

This question could have been a simple, Yes! But we understand why someone may think that if a service product cannot be sold in a certain state, that service may be more difficult to obtain.

The underlying issue was communicating the difference between being able to sell in a state and having the capability to service there. A simple yes may have answered the stated question, but may still leave questions in the mind of the asker.

So by thinking it through, we were able to give a thorough answer that combined the true question and the actual issue.

Even though RoadSecure is not available to be sold in all states, coverage is available nationwide and in Canada. So, if you have an issue in Seattle, Boise, Anchorage or even Toronto, RoadSecure coverage will still be available.

Question 3

You cover repairs, but is it just the part or parts and labor? And do those parts need to be aftermarket parts?

Even when trying to make a product easy to understand, sometimes there is still confusion. And when there are different versions of the product in order to meet different member needs that can add to the confusion.

In this case, the answer does not depend on the product chosen, which makes things a little easier. But it is concerning that some of the basic principles of the product are misunderstood.

This question triggered us to look at our material and see if we could clarify the terms. Initially we thought consumers would understand that repairs meant parts and labor and by not putting limitations on parts, that consumers would understand that OEM (Original Equipment Manufactured) parts could be used. Since we found that was not the case, we clarified materials and added the question to an FAQ for front-line staff members. And of course, we answered the question.

RoadSecure has a few different packages and each covers different parts. However, with each package, the repair includes the labor and the part charges. And we actually encourage the use of OEM parts because they usually are a higher quality and come with a better warranty than aftermarket parts.

So, when members ask you questions, dig deeper than just the words that they use and find the true meaning behind what they are asking. Try to see what your members really want to know and how you can better serve them. This lets your borrower know that you are really listening and want to help them no matter the issue. It also helps create a more member-centric institution that is continuously evolving.

Adam Yasneski is the training director for Transamerica Financial Solutions Group and provides training, consultation, and performance improvement analysis for financial institutions. Adams primary mission is to help educate bank and credit union front-line staff on the many benefits of their borrower’s protecting their loan payments. With more than 13 years of direct insurance agency experience specializing in financial institution support, Adam possesses an extensive background in training sales, soft skills development and coaching. He can be reached at Adam.Yasneski@transamerica.com

Transamerica Life Insurance Company (Home Office Cedar Rapids, IA) and affiliated Transamerica companies provide insurance products and services. Through the Life Protection division, the Transamerica companies offer a wide array of life and health protection solutions with a common purpose: to protect families and their dreams.

As part of the Life Protection division, Transamerica Financial Solutions Group caters to the needs of credit unions, community banks, and larger financial institutions. We offer specific programs for credit insurance and debt cancellation products including marketing strategy, training, marketing support, technology software, and related services.

This article is sponsored by a recognized solutions provider in the credit union industry. Callahan & Associates does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer, and the views and opinions offered here might not reflect those of Callahan. If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact the Callahan team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.
January 25, 2015

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