USAA, a Fortune 150 financial services firm dedicated to securing the financial well-being of the people and families who serve and have served in the US armed forces. My new job is Executive Director of Community and Collaboration, and I'll be working with a team of talented people to lead and coordinate social media throughout the organization.
When the recruiter first called about this opportunity, I turned her down with little thought. I didn't feel anywhere near prepared to leave Forrester and hadn't yet accomplished everything I set out to do as an analyst. Then I got to know USAA and everything changed.
The people I met while interviewing were all incredibly genuine and committed to the company mission. As I spoke with them, I found this is a mission for which I can easily enlist. We ask a lot of the people who volunteer to serve our country, and helping each of them and their families to have a safer, more comfortable future is a great calling.
Also, USAA is a truly innovative company. It has been a progressive leader in social business; for example, USAA offers a "My USAA" tab on Facebook, allowing members to securely access their USAA information without ever leaving the Facebook platform. They've also been a leader in social customer service via their @USAA_help profile on Twitter.
But the thing that really made me pay attention is that USAA gets it--social, word of mouth and advocacy are already ways of life at USAA. As I wrote on the Forrester blog, "Social media success doesn't start with a strategy; it doesn't even start with an understanding of the audience. Social media success starts with company culture."
The tenants of social media are built into USAA's culture. Community is even mentioned in USAA’s strategy statement. This dedication to their community has resulted in 94% of USAA members saying they intend to be lifelong members, and USAA has the highest net promoter score of ANY company in the US, beating out Apple, Trader Joe's and Jet Blue.
What sealed the deal are the stories I heard, not from USAA but from others. A peer of mine whose father was in the military is such an advocate, she told her fiance that qualifying for USAA insurance was one of the benefits of marrying her. Another peer became a lifelong fan of USAA when her father decided he should move away from his insurance company of decades and use USAA; company reps evaluated his needs and advised he was better off maintaining his current coverage. Stories like that are the lifeblood of social media!
I knew it would take a special company to lure me away from Forrester. I found it (or rather, it found me).