Sepio Guard: Not Just Another Travel Product
Many new businesses are born when someone simply recognizes there’s a better way to do something that’s already being done. That was the case with Sepio Guard.
The more founders Chris Johnson and Bryce Beach learned about the market’s travel product options, the more convinced they became that there was a better way. A better way to offer the product. A better way to train a sales team. And, most important of all, a better way to serve clients and customers.
“The whole purpose for creating the company was to improve the process,” says Johnson. “The marketplace doesn’t need just another product. What the marketplace needs is something that goes beyond.”
A real-life perspective
Prior to forming Sepio Guard in 2018, Johnson and Beach learned first-hand what improvements could be made to the travel product offerings. Both worked for a leading preneed marketing company managing sales, marketing, and communications within its largest territory.
“We learned from the very best,” Johnson says. “Having sold preneed, being top producers ourselves, having met with thousands of families, and having trained hundreds of preneed agents, we know their needs from a real-life perspective.”
Johnson and Beach knew that this was a great product that should be offered to every family. They knew that families who purchased the plans loved them. However, they also knew they could improve the sales and delivery experience for families and agents alike. The key, they realized, was putting the customer experience first — even before the product itself.
That doesn’t mean that Sepio Guard’s plan lacks any of the features or benefits families want or need. In fact, the duo wanted to ensure their offering was second to none.
“We wanted to show that you don’t have to compromise on a great product to get the best customer experience,” Johnson says.
They started by establishing an exclusive partnership with a historic and highly-respected domestic and international mortuary shipping and cremation service National Mortuary Shipping & Cremation. Founded in Cleveland, Ohio nearly 40 years ago, the privately-owned firm is dedicated to shipping human remains and cremains. NMS performs thousands of cases each year, dealing only with licensed funeral providers across the globe.
“We already knew what type of people and organization they were,” says Beach of their relationship with NMS. “Knowing that they are managing the shipping process in an exceptional way helps us focus on our passion — which is the customer experience.”
Simple setup for all
Johnson and Beach understand that Sepio Guard effectively serves three sets of customers: the families who purchase the plan, the pre-planning professionals and agencies, and funeral homes who offer it. Each has unique, yet equally important, expectations of service.
Simplifying the setup and sales process for new Sepio Guard agents was imperative. Johnson and Beach created a process where agents can start selling in just a matter of minutes.
“We wanted to lighten the load for our partners and potential partners so they don’t have to wait around,” says Beach. “It’s a very simple process.”
The setup process is just as easy for the customers those agents are serving.
“The enrollment process for a customer is very quick and takes just a few minutes.” Beach explains. “Our user-friendly sales technology is easy to use and gives a new member immediate coverage.”
Sepio Guard’s fresh approach to training
Simple setup and easy sales process doesn’t mean that agents are left on their own, though. As soon as an agent signs up to represent Sepio Guard, they receive a welcome email directing them to a comprehensive library of step-by-step training videos. They supplement these videos with regularly-scheduled ongoing training webinars and the proprietary Sepio Guard mobile app.
“We’ve developed a mobile app with the preneed agent in mind,” says Johnson. “It’s really, really easy to use.”
When possible, the team will attend preneed organizations’ field manager meetings and meetings with funeral home professionals to conduct face-to-face training. During these sessions they “are very hands-on” and share their tried-and-true techniques for selling the Sepio Guard plan.
“We know how to sell it,” says Johnson. “We’re not here just to provide a product. We want to show and coach, and share our personal experience on how to sell it. We’ve developed our own sales techniques to assist the sales agent and easily complete the sale.”
Sepio Guard’s product, with its solid NMS partnership and commitment to service, is reason enough for agents to offer it to customers. However, the company also offers generous commissions as well as a unique referral program.
“Our proprietary referral technology means that a preneed counselor’s sales can continue even after the initial sale,” says Beach. “Our program makes it easy for customers to refer friends and family.”
Johnson and Beach know that at the end of the day, no one is going to sell or refer a product or company if they’re not being treated well. That’s why for Sepio Guard, every conversation and idea always returns to the reason for creating the company: customer service.
“The whole reason we created Sepio Guard was to create a better experience for everyone,” says Beach. “The preneed agency, the customer, the funeral home — we’re here to support them all. They can call, email, or chat with us on our website. We are very responsive, and go the extra mile.”