Since launching Purchase Protection, I’ve had a lot of questions thrown my way about it. Everything from “why do it?” to “how long did it take?” and “What’s in it for me!?”
So I decided to take the questions I kept getting in my inbox, and even from Regpack team members, and share the “Story of Purchase Protection” with you!
Is Purchase Protection really FREE?
Yes! Purchase Protection costs you NOTHING. Period.
What sparked the idea to begin building Purchase Protection for Regpack?
As you know, we build solutions and features based on the challenges, needs, and requirements of our clients. That is how we have created a software that is exactly what people just like you need. And we are continuing to do this all the time.
Like any other feature or solution in Regpack, the idea for Purchase Protection started when I was talking to one of our clients. I try to talk to at least 2 clients a week to connect and understand their needs. As a side note, they mentioned how frustrating it is that they cannot predict their profit for their programs.
I obviously asked why can’t they predict their profits, especially since they are setting up a venue for a set time. They all said: cancellations!
They explained: “When participants cancel at the last minute, due to illness, for example, we don’t want to refuse a refund to them since we want them to spread the word about us and come back happy! But by giving refunds, we lose money.”
I then started asking every client I talked to if they have the same issue.Every single one confirmed they also face this dilemma.
A week later I ordered flight tickets for a long needed vacation with my amazing wife. At checkout, I was offered the option to “protect my purchase” in the case I have to cancel my reservation at a later date. As we were going on a long flight that was expensive, I obviously bought it. And then it hit me… this is exactly what Regpack clients need! A way to protect themselves and a way for their applicants to protect themselves due to an unforeseen situation.
Once we found our insurance partner we needed to offer the Purchase Protection plan properly, we started the process of integrating the needs of our clients, the end user and the vendor together. Nothing less then something totally seamless was acceptable.
The result is Purchase Protection!
What are the results of the Beta phase of Purchase Protection?
We already have over 25 organizations using Purchase Protection in the private beta stage and the results have been amazing!
- 62% of applicants (in the camp, events and course fields) want the service and purchase it!
- Claims are accepted within 5 days and paid out.
- Organizations using it have seen a 32% rise in client satisfaction.
What were some of the biggest challenges implementing Purchase Protection?
After my vacation with my wife, and with the idea of what Purchase Protection could mean for Regpack’s clients, I started looking for something like this in the registration software market. None existed for events, camps, and trips. Nothing! I was seriously shocked.
I started going to insurance companies to see what they might be able to offer. They all answered, “No, we don’t do that!”, or “It’s not possible”, and “Oh… that will not work…” Talking to these companies felt sometimes like I was in the 18th century. Not fun!
I was not going to give up! At this stage, I went to the source – to Lloyds – the biggest marketplace for specialized insurance in the world. After a lot of trips, talks (and frustration) I eventually found the company that can do what our clients need and it turns out it is one of the largest in the world!
I needed to go to the company that insures the insurance companies to make it happen.
But that’s how we are at Regpack – if it is hard, we can do it. If it’s impossible, it just takes us a little bit more time to do it!
What is the biggest benefit of Purchase Protection to applicants and to the organization’s Regpack works with?
The most important benefit to our clients is the ability to predict their profit and operational costs to the dollar, since there is no unknown anymore!
For clients who have an existing refund policy, this is great news for their cash flow!
For clients who do NOT offer any refunds, this is a great way to offer them without losing any income. Instead of unhappy customers, bad reviews, and losing business – they get all the benefits of offering refunds, without any hassle or expense.
As for the applicants who purchase the plan, they have the peace of mind knowing that if something comes up and they need to cancel, their purchase is protected and they can expect a reimbursement if they file a claim.
Why did Regpack get in the “game” of Purchase Protection anyway?
As corny as it sounds, it’s really about building features for Regpack that our clients really need.
Purchase Protection adds value to our client’s organizations and helps them be better at what they do. It allows them to grow and allows them to have happier clients.
I think it is also connected to the fact that I don’t believe in the “features” game so many software companies play. I believe in bringing real solutions to real problems.
I saw a real problem here, a business problem that a lot of our clients have. We have the ability to solve that problem for a lot of organizations by implementing something. That is a major reason to try and do it.
I remember talking to fellow founders and developers and they did not get it. One of their claims was “this is too hard for only one feature.” That too sort of pushed me to do this… It is not about features, but about solutions to real problems!
How long did it take Regpack to build Purchase Protection?
The idea started in October of 2016. We released Purchase Protection in December 2017! So it took about 14 months from concept to release.
First, there was the search period that took about 3 months. After finding the right company to partner with on the offer, it took another 2 months to work on the agreement. I am sure that someone that knew the insurance field would have done it faster but I was learning as I was going. I also know that if I was from the insurance field I would have never thought of this or would have pulled it off eventually!
After pulling out all of my hair (I’m bald, btw!) for 2 months, I eventually brought in a good friend that is in the insurance business for more than 20 years. He finished the negotiations in 1 week and I got exactly what I needed and they got what they needed. Lesson learned: if you don’t know the lingo, bring someone that does, it will speed things up. We just were not talking the same language and needed a translator.
After that started the implementation. I have run a lot of implementation projects in my 20+ year career, but this one was by far the most complicated. The implementation reached the core layers of Regpack. It touched nearly every part of how Regpack works. At some point it reached such basic actions that the devs knew that only I could touch Regpack’s code, since a simple mistake could be devastating. Unfortunately, I have a few more responsibilities, like being CEO… so it took some time.
The most complicated part was working with people that are used to doing things on a one to one basis compared to software that is more general. Every time we finished the implementation, we thought of another end case, which meant I brought it up with our partners and they answered: “Oh yeah, that needs to be taken care of but we can do that manually”.
Since I know that manual equals mistakes and slower service, we went back to coding and implementation of the end case into the system so it was automated. This is a known issue in programming when implementing complex solutions and I have gone through this a million times but this time was harder than usual.
Remember, my goal was totally seamless integration, there was no other option! A high standard for something never done before. But we are like that at Regpack 🙂
Lastly, there was the testing, the QA, the work with the beta organizations, the legal team, and compliance. Yep, it was a lot!
But I think it is worth it. It is just bringing such a unique and valuable proposition to the market that it makes the effort worth it.