When did you start doing business with iA?
Chris Redcliffe (CR): iA courted us for a long time before we actually placed any business with them. That went a long way with regard to earning our trust and allowed us to develop a relationship with them. This led to us giving iA an opportunity in November of 2017 with one of our largest clients on Vancouver Island, for whom benefits and group retirement services are a really important part of their attraction and retention strategy.
Fast forward to 2023. How would you describe your relationship with iA today?
CR: iA is a key strategic partner of ours, primarily due to the quality of people iA has on their team. It starts with the people in the call centre and continues all the way through to the C-Suite employees. We really get the sense that everyone truly cares about their work and does it with a smile on their face. The most impressive thing for us is that it really feels like it is all about the stakeholder experience when we’re working with iA.
Is there a particular element that keeps you wanting to do business with iA?
CR: In our opinion, iA’s customer service is the best in the market. We try very hard to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace by providing first-class customer service and we expect a similar standard from our partners. iA consistently exceeds our expectations, most importantly with plan members.
In the past few years, you’ve worked with iA’s Implementation Team in both setting up Group Retirement plans and transferring existing plans from other providers. Can you speak to your experience with that process?
CR: iA has worked with us to develop a process and a product that we can easily position in front of a client that we’re meeting with for the first time. We have customized marketing materials and a team of people to support the launch and who we’re servicing. It’s a turnkey solution that helps us win more business and impress our clients. On transfers, iA is very competitive and they make the value proposition strong with their decumulation program, which is unique in the marketplace. They also have a great team of specialists who can support with more technical issues, such as on the investment or governance side of things.
In speaking with your clients, some of whom have been with iA for quite some time now, what are the main themes or comments that tend to come up when you discuss their experiences with iA?
CR: The overwhelming feedback we get from groups that are transferring over to iA is that they can consistently log into their account and speak to somebody at the customer service level without hassle. Both new and transfer groups appreciate the technology that iA offers; the online experience is really good. The ability to produce same-day statements is a huge advantage over some other carriers where plan members are only able to get a semi-annual statement.
From your perspective, how is iA different from other Group Retirement providers? What’s the edge that you gain by working with iA?
CR: iA makes us feel like we’re a part of their team and we feel like they’re a part of ours. iA collectively puts effort into building relationships in a way that we’ve never experienced with any other vendor on the group retirement side of the business.
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