Upgrade your compliant texting program: Insider tips from American Family

Upgrade your compliant texting program: Insider tips from American Family

At our recent customer roundtable, Josh Feyen, Field Digital & Social Media Administrator  at American Family Insurance, joined Leslie Leach, VP of Marketing at Hearsay to discuss lessons learned and acceleration levers for their Hearsay Relate program. Now in its third year and thriving, the American Family team has a unique view on the lessons learned and productivity boosters from their program that have driven the biggest impact on agent productivity and customer experience. 

Lessons Learned

Landlines are best

Provision a new number or port in an existing one? Phone number treatment is a key decision point when launching a field texting program. While porting in an existing landline is more labor-intensive up front, turning your field's office line into a texting channel has significant upside. This approach not only eliminates the need for two phone numbers, but also the need to update branded materials or communicate any change to existing customers. In fact, an internal Hearsay study found a 33% higher program adoption from firms that allowed porting of numbers.

Choose your attestation method wisely

In financial services, compliance is key—and with texting, consent is critical. Initially American Family chose to require completion of an online form by the customer indicating consent to communicate via text, which created a significant barrier to entry for the agent and the customer. After careful consultation with their legal and compliance teams, the firm determined that moving to an implied consent approach would not only offer a better customer experience, but could drive higher adoption, while still satisfying compliance requirements. Across Hearsay’s customer base, firms who shifted from opt-in to implied consent saw a 4x increase in average monthly usage.

Pro Tip: Josh shared a genius approach from an American Family agency that leverages the combined power of social media and texting. The agency launched a social campaign inviting followers to send them their favorite Halloween pictures, which the agency would feature on their social channels. The inbound texts leveraged the implied consent approach, and just like that, the agency increased their text conversations and opened up the ability to text with a new set of contacts.

Include the whole office 

American Family’s team approach to servicing clients meant that getting the entire office staff on board with Relate early was an important success factor. With Relate’s delegate capabilities, agents can invite assistants to text on their behalf and have the ability to direct incoming calls to a designated team member or landline. This approach enables the firm to put the customer first, increases customer touchpoints and expands the technology benefit to the entire agency staff. That’s not just something we’ve seen with American Family.  Digging into Hearsay data, we found 6.8x more messages sent from multi-user workspaces vs. single-user workspaces. 

Program Boosters

Put quicklinks at your agents’ fingertips

By nature, text exchanges are quick, easy, and informal touchpoints. Many American Family agents found that conversational texts would lead to a follow up meeting. Maintaining an easy, seamless customer experience was paramount for Josh when he enabled his field team to use persistent links. This feature allows agents to preload up to three URLs directly into the Relate app for easy insertion into client communications (for example, a calendar link, a personal Zoom link, an online agent review site link, etc.). 

Imagine your agent tapping a preset button to insert a calendar scheduling link via text. Once booked, the agent and customer can easily add the meeting to each of their calendars with the tap of a finger, AND the agent can instantly pre-schedule a meeting confirmation text to be sent to the customer a few days prior to the meeting. All this can be done in seconds, in the palm of your hand, to deliver a stellar customer experience. 

V-cards for the win

Let’s face it, in today’s world, any calls from unknown contacts are sent straight to voicemail. It may sound simple, but ensuring customers have the most current and relevant contact information for their agent is often overlooked. Josh employed the v-card functionality within Relate to make it simple for the field to share comprehensive contact information and for customers to save agent information right to their mobile phone. Making it easy for customers to save contact details increases the likelihood of connection. 

Avoid one-size-fits all training

Even with the simplest technology, training and education are key to success. American Family recognizes and celebrates that everyone learns differently and partners with Hearsay to create materials to fit those diverse needs.  Videos, printed guides, user testimonials, texting use case scenarios, live sessions, on-demand recordings—you name it, they’ve produced it. 

Josh’s thoughtful approach to training materials ensures that users feel confident and get the most from Relate. 

Thanks to Josh at American Family for sharing the lessons learned and acceleration levers that have helped fasttrack his team’s success with compliant texting! Watch this session—as well as the other sessions from our customer roundtable—here.

Marisa Ruffles
As Senior Director of Marketing, Marisa leads the product, customer and account-based marketing teams at Hearsay. When she’s not belting out karaoke tunes, you can find her in the zone, taking in Connecticut’s country roads on her Honda Ruckus.

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