by Sarah Van Wagnen
Within any company, understanding it’s customers and client base is a major factor to building a successful business. USAA is a unique company for how much they value the thoughts and opinions of their customers. Their employees are trained extensively regarding customer care and satisfaction. Not only does this increase business, but it creates very high customer loyalty. USAA’s service reps make up 60% of the company alone, much greater than other competitors (McGregor, 2005).
USAA holds itself to an incredible standard when it comes to their customers. They keep their membership and mission first, live their core values, are authentic/trustworthy, create conditions for people to succeed, include diverse perspectives for superior results, and innovate while building for the future (“USAA”). Their core values include: service, loyalty, honesty, and integrity. These values stem from the fact that the company was started by Army officers to insure each others cars when no other company would (Rohde, 2012). The tradition of former service members working for current service members has not changed. USAA still requires 30 percent of their employees to be veterans or military spouses (Shevory, 2014).
These standards align closely with both the foundational and relationship-based ethical perspectives within organizations. Within the foundational perspective USAA has a strong tradition of morals and how they treat their customers. They show their customers a great deal of respect and mutual trust; 98% of their customers USAA says they keep. Their company also uses the relationship-based ethical perspective when making decisions. They value open and honest communication with the public and their customers. Their goal is to build life-long relationships, they genuinely want to help people as a company and are less concerned about the “bottom-line”. Relationships with their customers always come first.
Every USAA employee goes through a very different type of training. They are actually emerged into a simulated 3 day boot camp, which is designed after the first few days of Army basic training. This allows employees to actually experience what their customers have on a day-to-day basis. When people go through even a small amount of training similar to what those in the military have, their eyes are opened to a completely different lifestyle. This lifestyle requires a different type of service and unique benefits for those in the military or service families. When employees are faced with a decision, their first ethical instinct based of their training is to do what is best for the customer and to help as much as possible. Employees attend seminars and base visits each year. Even executive officials have actually served in the military, all employees are trained to empathize with their military customers.
When designing a code of ethics, it is extremely important to consider the members of an organization. When asked if USAA puts customers first, 81% agreed that they do, which is extremely high for an insurance company (Fleurke, 2009). Customer and member satisfaction is essential to any group. An organization that plays a big part in my life is my sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. We have a creed that guides us ethically, but when creating a code of ethics I would include the following standards that I believe to be the most important to our sorority.
- Continue to strengthen personal character.
- Remain loyal, honest, kind and true.
- Always represent Alpha Delta Pi in the finest light.
- Build friendships through true sisterhood.
The most important part of our sisterhood is the bond we share. When a woman joins Alpha Delta Pi, she knows she is going to experience an amazing support system. Our chapter is full of role-models the younger members can look up to. Strengthening personal character and developing into the finest version of yourself is one of the main reasons our chapter is so successful; we grow together. We highly value loyalty within our sisters, we are a selective group and search for women of substance to help our society flourish. Being kind, honest, and true, to fellow human beings is something every woman should strive for in order to better become the best version of herself. When a woman joins Alpha Delta Pi, she is not only representing herself but the entire chapter and greek life as a whole. Every action could impact the society we have built since 1851, and that’s why it is so important to value our society when making decisions. Finally, without true bonds of sisterhood and friendship ADPi would cease to exist, we call this sorority our home because of the relationships we have created through our membership.
In order to learn these values members must be educated on them. We hold ourselves to high standards within education and our personal lives. Older members of the chapter must communicate with and guide new members around these values. Membership education sessions should always be held to help lead each member throughout her college experience. There would be standards consequences when our values are not upheld, however there is always a sister to help another through whatever she may be experiencing or struggling with. Alpha Delta Pi should always put our sisterhood and relationships first, without these bonds the society would fall apart at the seams.
Fleurke, X. (2009, January). Walking a mile in the shoes of your customer. Retrieved from http://www.corporate-ethics.org/walking-a-mile-in-the-shoes-of-your-customer/
McGregor, J. (2005, October 1). Employee innovator: USAA. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/53782/employee-innovator-usaa
Rohde, D. (2012, January 27). In the era of greed, meet America’s good bank: USAA. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/01/in-the-era-of-greed-meet-americas-good-bank-usaa/252161/
Shevory, K. (2014, September 1). Boot camp for bankers. Retrieved from http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/boot-camp-for-bankers/
USAA. (2015). The USAA standard. Retrieved from https://www.usaajobs.com/docs/USAA-Standard.pdf