USAA has specific objectives around customer service and simplifying the consumer-facing loan application process. The bank’s priorities heading into 2019 are to continue to provide an end-to-end digital experience for members to find and finance cars.
“As a direct lender, we facilitate the process from research to enabling that member to apply online, decisioning that member real-time, and ultimately funding that member,” Renee Horne, USAA vice president of consumer lending, told Auto Finance News.
Customer service tools are also being optimized based on data analytics. Specifically, USAA is “putting the right instrumentation in place and understanding where we’re running into either fallout in the [loan] process or friction, and taking member feedback,” she said.
These insights help the bank understand what causes a member to abandon an application and improve the cycle time from “application to ignition,” she added.
For direct lenders, customer experience takes on an even more important role in the financing process, Horne noted. “We ultimately invest and place talent to meet member demand and, more recently, it’s been around experience,” she said. “It’s important to focus on the product but, in this day and age, especially given our operating model of being direct, and digital first, we’re making sure we’re providing the right experience.”
Changing consumer expectations and the millennial demographic will also influence USAA’s omnichannel strategy going forward. “Whether it’s a boomer or a millennial, it’s about being relevant and showing up where they prefer,” Horne said. “Be it social media, digital, or traditional avenues, we’re really omnichannel. For us, that’s what’s most important.”
Check out the exclusive interview below, which is part of a special video series sponsored by White Clarke Group.