Building Credibility and Trust for More Than 20 Years
I wrote previously about relationships and how they are fundamental to any successful business. From the very beginning at guard.me we’ve made it our mission to build trusting and long-term relationships with our partner schools.
But the strength of these relationships comes from another important factor – credibility. Like the foundation of a house that holds up the rest of the structure, it’s impossible to build a lasting relationship without credibility. Instead of a solid home, you’d have a house of cards that can collapse at any moment.
With international student health insurance, credibility is even more important. We work with students who are thousands of kilometers away from home who may need medical treatment. In those moments, they need to know that their insurance provider is credible, and that they’ll deliver when they need them most. That’s why, at guard.me we consider it our responsibility to be reliable and trustworthy, and it’s a reputation we’ve built over 20 years of working with schools and their students.
Delivering on Promises When It’s Most Important
The most basic definition of credibility is easy to understand. It is doing what you say you’re going to do. It’s keeping your promises, building trust, and demonstrating that you’ll take the right steps to help someone when they are in need. For insurance companies, this means making a bad situation as positive as it can possibly be without adding extra frustration or difficulties.
While it’s easy to understand, it’s difficult to build. Credibility comes from years of consistently doing the right thing. It’s not something that you can just say – your actions must demonstrate it as well. And while it can take years to establish yourself as credible, it can take just one incident to bring that reputation into question.
Unfortunately, many people view the insurance industry in a bad light. Too many horror stories from friends and family about their insurance company not being supportive at a time of need – whether they take too long to process claims or seems to look for a way not to pay – have damaged the industry’s reputation. A recent IBM survey found that only 43 percent of people trust the insurance industry.
What does that look like in real life? Type “Are insurance companies” into Google. The first autocomplete result is “Are insurance companies evil.”
But with international student insurance, we recognize that credibility is critical. Students need to use the service in the case of a medical emergency or other serious situation. We’re relied upon to ensure that students, and their families, are taken care of. We understand that what we say and do in these moments will impact them, and potentially change their lives. It’s something we take very seriously at guard.me because to the student it’s not just another claim to process, it’s their own personal situation.
How Your Insurance Provider Impacts Your Credibility
The international education market is highly competitive, and students have a lot of choice over where they go to continue their education abroad. A big factor in their decision-making process is your school’s reputation and brand. How do you treat your international students? What is their experience like when they arrive? What services do you provide to make their time easier and more enjoyable? How do you protect them if something goes wrong?
While student insurance may not be at the top of their mind, you can be sure that if there are negative stories about your school it will impact your ability to recruit. At guard.me, we recognize that in these cases, your reputation depends on our ability to deliver on our promises. When a student files a claim, they’re dealing with us. But they also see us as an extension of you. After all, you chose to work with us. So, our credibility has a direct impact on your brand.
Emphasizing Credibility in Everything We Do
It’s easy to talk about credibility, but it’s another thing to actually earn it. For over 20 years we’ve emphasized the importance of having your back, keeping our promises, and going above and beyond when needed to make a situation right. No matter what your business is, credibility is extremely important to being successful. It’s the building block for a strong relationship. And at guard.me, it’s what we work to achieve every day.
Keith Segal is President and Co-Founder of guard.me