To Achieve Growth: Prioritize Customers, Partner with Leaders, and Connect to the Larger Business Strategy

Julio Estevez-Breton, vice president of member and market insights at USAA, shares that he’s found success in his career by combining his marketing, managing, and engineering experience in a way that prioritizes customers, while also connecting to the larger business strategy.

In today’s episode, Julio shares his experiences at this well-known financial services company that is focused on its niche of serving U.S. military and their families. Julio discusses how he organizes complex operations into simpler formats, doing so in a way that encourages business growth. He talks about the importance of creating and executing strategic plans, while also being a storyteller. It is this combination of right and left brain skills that he attributes to his success.

I encourage you to listen to this full episode as you’ll find a trove of valuable information from our conversation!

Julio Estevez-Breton of @USAA understands the importance of creating and executing strategic plans while also being a storyteller. It's this combination of right and left brain skills that he attributes to his #CX success. Share on X

Learn How to be Effective with Both Members (Customers) and Leadership

According to Jose, USAA has already had a customer experience strategy embedded within the organization. He sits in the center of the operation, across all enterprise levels of the organization. Having first joined the company as VP of market strategy, he learned first-hand the company’s approach to growth, long-term planning, and C-Suite partnerships.

Julio’s ability to effectively work with members and leadership has paved the way for his role as VP of member and market insights. He says that as VP of market strategy, he did the following two things, which have helped his career at the company:

Serve members better

By providing “exceptional member experiences,” Julio tells that he has demonstrated his ability to get to know their members. He says that by getting to know the members, through collecting feedback and being on calls, he has demonstrated his passion for serving and he’s helped drive a plan that accomplished business goals for growth.

It’s building unforgettable member experiences that makes USAA a beloved brand.

Understand Expectations

Julio tells us, “When you’re talking to people who are on the phones every day, you really understand where we are doing well, where we are average and where we may have opportunities. And if you do that for a couple of years with people who are on the frontline, you really get a good sense of how can we get better and where we need to invest to get better over time.”

Present Member (Customer) Data in an Easily Digestible Way for Leadership

Julio works very closely with the C-Suite and says that he measures the customer experience along three dimensions: channel performance, product performance, and end-to-end journey performance.

Channel Performance

By looking at the following, Julio makes specific assessments: how are they performing on a specific interaction at a specific moment in time on a channel, how are the phone calls, how are web sessions going?

Product Performance

Julio and his team assess how successfully a product is working with members. Using NPS, he and his team are able to understand how happy members are with pricing, features, and servicing of the product. This gives them more specifics.

Measure End-to-End Journeys

When it comes to dealing with compromised accounts—for instance, vehicle accidents, or compromised bank accounts, there is a full range of measurement from the time the experience is detected, reported on, then resolved. Julio explains that there might be various touch-points during this customer journey—whether it’s a webchat that leads to a phone call, or certain portions that have been handled first on the app, but these are all important parts of the journey. For Julio, it’s important to know how the whole journey was experienced and concluded.

Julio explains that these three aspects of the customer experience are a part of their voice of the customer feedback. Additionally, they have an analytics platform that they use to drop unsolicited feedback from members, which also provides more data for them to analyze. He shares that when they know a specific product might be performing poorly, they can look into the database and get a better sense of what people are saying or how they’re reacting.

As a CX leader, it's important to know how your member or customer's entire journey was experienced and concluded. This is especially important for those w/multiple touchpoints (app, social media, etc.) -- Julio Estevez-Breton @USAA Share on X

I encourage you to listen to this full episode as Julio shares plenty of great tactics that any company can leverage!

What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Then?

Julio says:

“I think there’s an element of simplicity that I try to advocate a lot now. Listen to your members, listen to your customers. That’s critical. And I cannot underscore enough the importance of that dimension. I think the focusing on the simple actions, right? Sometimes people are looking for the silver bullet complex plan, revamping the product, but when you go through the feedback, they may be saying, hey, it’s price, you know, you’re too expensive, or you’re too difficult to contact or you’re giving me too many folks that I need to contact right. So look for the simple solutions that are sometimes evident in the feedback that you get from your customer or your members. 

Also, don’t go solo, go with a crowd. That’s been more important for me now, as opposed to at the beginning of my career into space. I was going solo. I thought I was the only one.”

About Julio Estevez-Breton

Julio Estevez-Breton is Vice President of Member and Market Insights at USAA. He leads a team responsible for understanding the connections between members, the market and the competition, to better serve members, respond to their changing needs and address opportunities to improve member experience.

Julio joined USAA from Nationwide Insurance where he was Associate Vice President in the Marketing Strategy Group. There he was responsible for Retention Strategy thought leadership and problem-solving. Prior to Nationwide Insurance he was with Capital One Financial Corporation where he implemented a retail banking expansion strategy for Hibernia Bank in Texas.

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