For those of us who live along the Front Range of Colorado, hail is part of our unique experience. Part of that experience can lead to a damaged roof and the headache of getting it replaced. I found myself in that category and was pleasantly surprised by a great experiential marketing experience where I least expected it. It was with my insurance company.
A couple of months ago, we got hail. And not just any hail. This was hail that, at my house, ripped up all of our window screens. The hail left the cushions on our outdoor furniture looking like a machine gun had opened them up. Our fence was riddled with hail marks and chips. The lattice on our pergola was left in pieces that were scattered across our yard.
So, we were naturally concerned about our roof, especially as all the homes on our street were getting signs placed in their front yard by local roofing companies. So, my wife and I called State Farm to see what we should do to open a claim. The first step was getting an adjuster to come out and take a look at the damage. Naturally, I was a little skeptical. I figured the last people who would ever take a fair look at our damage would be the insurance agency.
So, the day arrived for me to meet the State Farm adjuster at my home. I left work and drove home. During the drive, I was fearing a long, painful process of getting them to agree to pay for the damage.
When I pulled into my driveway, I was met by a nice man with a big smile and firm handshake. He told me he was actually running ahead of schedule and had already been on the roof and inspected around my house for damage. He said, indeed, that they were going to get me a new roof. He actually said that they were going to get me a new roof. He could have simply said, the roof indeed needs replaced. But no, he said they were going to do this. This immediately changed the perception of them being in this with you and taking care of it for you. Peace of mind with an ally.
But, that was not all. They were also going to get us new windows and paint as he found damage that would warrant such repairs. This was damage which, apart from our ripped screens and cushions, I had not noticed. Immediately my expectations of a frugal insurance adjuster got blown out of the water.
He said he was going to take about an hour and write everything up, plus cut me a check right there on the spot so I could begin to get the work done with my contractors. So, while I went in and began to do some work from home, he went into his truck and began working on our claim. He had a laptop, printer and digital connectivity all in his vehicle. This allowed him to do all he needed to do to process our claim, create estimated work orders and cut a check.
An hour later, he knocked on the door and we sat down to discuss everything he found, and put in his report. He took about an hour to go through everything, explain the process and answer all of my questions. He was very thorough and patient. Plus, he had my check there and ready to go. No waiting.
Obviously, to create this experience, State Farm has created a thorough experiential marketing process. They have trained their people on going above and beyond, to be friendly and how to answer questions. Plus, they enabled the experience with technology that allows their adjusters to process claims from their trucks. All in all, this creates an immediate and personalized experience, but also one that puts you at ease in the face of what could be a highly involved homeowner headache.
How to Use This Information
Great Experiential Marketing is not a coincidence. In the case of State Farm, it is clearly a planned effort that they take to heart as part of their brand. It is those “feet on the ground” experiences that make people want to share great experiences with others and help make all the difference in relationships. But, they take effort and investment to create and enable them. It requires planning, training, technology and ongoing evaluation.
At Webolutions®, a strategic Denver marketing agency, we continually study current marketing trends, including trends in Experiential Marketing. We can help make extraordinary experiences for your customers that make them want to tell others. Call us today at 303-300-2640 to learn more about experience marketing.
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