in Reviews & Random by Lacey Langford, AFC®
Heads up, this post is sponsored. Federal Trade Commission Disclosure: USAA was kind enough to invite me (yes, me) + 30 other amazing military influencers to San Antonio to visit and learn more about their company. They arranged and paid for all my travel, accommodations, delicious meals and a yummy snack bag. Not to mention they gave me some cool USAA swag that included a fidget spinner and a backpack. Both of which were commandeered by my sons. I’m also a USAA member and use them for insurance. For the trip, I did not receive cold hard cash (unless it’s in the mail. USAA?), but I did receive the benefits just mentioned. Even though I had a kick butt trip to TX for DigitalMilEx (on USAA’s dime), this article is still my honest thoughts and opinions on USAA. I’m telling you the same things I told my parents about the trip. When you’re in the career field of military & money, getting an invitation to visit USAA is a big deal. My initial RVSP for DigitalMilEx (Digital Military Experience) was “HECK, Yeah!” but I thought better and hit backspace. Instead, I went with the more “I have an upbringing” response of, “thank you for the invitation, I’d love to come.” By accepting the invite, not only was I given a two-day immersion into the inner workings of USAA, but I also had a chance to rub elbows with 30 of the biggest military influencers. I’ll admit I tried to play it real cool the first day (ok, and the 2nd) but I was doing a little happy dance on the inside (maybe in my hotel room too). My USAA experience was well-balanced. We visited different departments within USAA, had panel discussions with USAA employees and were shown not yet released content. I would have liked to visit more offices within the building but realize time and the sheer size of USAA were limiting. Plus it would have been awkward to try to squeeze 30 of us into a cubicle with employees trying to work. I get it. It would have been too much. I was happy to learn more than I already knew about the company. But from the whole 2017 USAA DigitalMilEx experience, I had a few favorite parts and one big take away.
“USAA’s mission is to facilitate the financial security of its members, associates and their families by providing a full range of highly competitive financial products and services. In so doing, we seek to be the provider of choice for the military community. We do this by upholding the highest standards and ensuring that our corporate business activities and individual employee conduct reflect good judgment and common sense, and are consistent with our core values of: Service, Loyalty, Honesty and Integrity.”Of course, they told us their mission and how it’s used every day. But you know how that can be sometimes, lip service. With each department, we visited and each employee we met, it was clear that it wasn’t just lip service. It’s a daily practice. Here are two examples that impressed me the most. First is the Member Service Representative Lab where teamwork is at it’s finest. They select USAA employees from a pool of volunteers to work in an area designed to “test concepts and capabilities that could impact Member Service Representative and contact centers.” They bring together customer service reps from different fields such as coding, insurance, and banking into one area. They work together to recommend and test changes to USAA systems and procedures to not only improve how employees help members but also to help make a better work environment for their employees. Second (and the most impressive), is their response to the hurricane season. Due to the devastation, many had to wait to look at the damage their homes sustained. Anticipating member needs, USAA Labs pulled together to provide not only members but anyone living near a USAA member access to aerial photos of their homes. Giving them the opportunity to see the impact of the hurricane on their homes from a computer. Amazingly, from the time of the idea to the time it was available online, was just 12 hours. Crazy! If you haven’t heard of USAA Labs before, here is the official description.
“USAA Labs provides members the opportunity to engage and provide feedback on new innovations, concepts and exclusive pilots. USAA Labs puts you, the innovator, at the forefront of innovation by providing a vibrant community where members can innovate for members.”They have Labs you can sign up to test. If you are interested, here is where to go. All the favorite parts of my trip were proof that they aren’t just talking about helping the military community, they’re following their words with action.