USAA employee Tanisha A. shows a photo of her grandmother, who passed away last year. Tanisha says the loss of her grandmother gave her a new appreciation for the impact of USAA's survivor relations team.
The impact of grief looks different from person to person and, unfortunately, the world continues to turn despite the heartbreak. Fortunately for our members, the survivor relations team is continuously committed to helping them navigate such a difficult time.
“We are here to guide our members through one of the most difficult times in their lives,” explains Tanisha, USAA's survivor relations senior representative. “This is often when they need us the most.”
Tanisha says the loss of a loved one impacts each person differently.
“There are different stages of grief and each call is different,” she says. “It is up to us to gauge the member’s mood, time and interest and the call appropriately based on how they are feeling in that moment.”
Following the loss of a loved one, Tanisha says it can take a lot of courage for a member to pick up the phone and call to handle their financial affairs.
“Sometimes they don’t even know which questions to ask,” she says. “We are here to guide them and make sure there are no loose ends.”
Tanisha says she gained a new appreciation for the work of the survivor relations team after she lost her grandmother last year.
“It gave me a new appreciation for what our members are going through and how important our team is to help them,” says Tanisha. “In those days after she passed, it was difficult to make even the simplest decisions. Having someone there to guide you through such a difficult time is invaluable.”
The survivor relations team undergoes specific training to help them understand the stages of grief and properly guide members through the process and has ongoing coaching and support.
“Our leadership gives us the tools and resources to handle those calls and encourages us to also take care of ourselves,” she says. “It can take a toll on you.”
When taking a call from a member who has recently lost a loved one, Tanisha says it is important to acknowledge their loss and be understanding.
“You never know what that person is dealing with,” says Tanisha. “Be patient and understanding. Express condolences and let them know that we have a team at USAA who wants to talk and can help them.”