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Enhancing Farm Bureau Customer Communications with Smart Communications

By Eileen Potter, VP of Insurance Marketing at Smart Communications 

Farm Bureau organizations, which play a pivotal role in supporting farmers and rural communities, face the complex task of managing insurance operations efficiently. They hold conferences each year for different business areas, including underwriting, claims, operations, and actuaries, bringing together subject matter experts from all over the country to foster collaboration and exchange experiences and ideas. Smart Communications works with Farm Bureaus throughout the United States, helping these insurers streamline processes and improve customer interactions. 

I recently attended The Farm Bureau Claims & Litigation Conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Our customer, Mountain West Farm Bureau (MWFB), hosted the conference this year. It was a great opportunity to see many of our existing customers and to learn more about what Farm Bureaus are focusing on with respect to improving claims processes.  

I was also honored to participate in a panel discussion, Enabling a Delightful Claims Settlement Experience, moderated by Tim Hayes, the CIO of MWFB, along with Marc Fredman from CCC and Alicia Purpur from One, Inc. The discussion focused on technology that is driving the future of claims automation from using data, AI and images to improve the overall process, enabling better communication through customers’ preferred channels, and how insurers can deliver fast, secure, digital settlement payments.  

Delivering Improved Outcomes through Better Customer Experiences

Farm Bureau organizations are dedicated to advocating for agricultural and rural policies, providing insurance products, and offering various services to their policyholders. These services range from crop insurance and property coverage to liability and health insurance. Given the diverse nature of their clientele, from large-scale farmers to small rural households, maintaining clear and effective communication is essential.  

This is where Smart Communications steps in, providing a suite of tools designed to enhance customer communications at every moment in the policy, billing, and claims lifecycles. Smart Communications can benefit insurers through: 

  • Improved Customer Satisfaction. By providing clear, personalized, and timely communications, Farm Bureau organizations can significantly enhance member satisfaction. Policyholders feel valued and informed, which strengthens their loyalty to the organization.  

  • Operational Efficiency. Automation of routine tasks reduces the administrative burden on staff, allowing them to focus on more strategic activities. This efficiency translates into cost savings and improved productivity.  

  • Compliance and Accuracy. Ensuring that all communications are accurate and compliant with regulatory requirements is crucial in the insurance industry. Smart Communications helps Farm Bureau organizations achieve this by standardizing communication templates and automating workflows. 

Driving Business Efficiency and Customer-Centricity   

Streamlined Policy Administration

  • Personalized Communications 
    Smart Communications allows Farm Bureau organizations to tailor their communications to meet the specific needs of their policyholders, creating personalized policy documents that are easy to understand, ensuring that customers are well-informed about their coverage options and any changes to their policies.
  • Efficient Document Management
    Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable going paperless, and the platform enables the creation, management, and distribution of documents in a digital format, reducing reliance on paper, accelerating delivery, and ensuring quick access to important information.
  • Timely Notifications
    Smart Communications automates the creation of documents throughout the policy lifecycle, including renewal notices, policy updates, and others, enhancing the overall efficiency of the organization. 

Enhanced Billing Processes

  • Clear Billing Statements
    One of the main pain points for customers is understanding their bills. Smart Communications ensures that billing statements are clear, concise, and easy to understand. This transparency helps in reducing disputes and inquiries related to billing.

  • Multi-Channel Delivery
    Recognizing the diverse preferences of their
    customers, Farm Bureau organizations can use Smart Communications to deliver billing information through multiple channels, so policyholders can receive their bills in the format they prefer.

  • Automated Payment Reminders
    The platform can automate payment reminders, ensuring that
    policyholders are notified well in advance of upcoming due dates. This proactive approach helps in reducing late payments and improving the overall cash flow for the organization.

Simplified Claims Management 

  • Real-Time Communication
    During the claims process,
    timely and accurate communication is vital. Smart Communications enables real-time updates to be sent to policyholders, keeping them informed about the status of their claims. This transparency builds trust and reduces anxiety among policyholders.

  • Streamlined Documentation
    The platform
    facilitates the collection and management of required documents for claims processing. Policyholders can submit documents electronically, speeding up the claims process and reducing the burden of paperwork. 

  • Automated Acknowledgements
    When a claim is
    submitted, Smart Communications can automatically send an acknowledgment, confirming receipt and providing an overview of the next steps. This immediate feedback reassures policyholders that their claim is being processed.

I’m already looking forward to attending the Farm Bureau Underwriting Executives Conference, which will be in Albuquerque, NM July 21st-24th. If you’re going to be at the conference, please feel free to set up some time to meet – or come by and see us at the vendor showcase. Smart Communications will also be at the Farm Bureau Operations Conference in Charleston, SC this October.  

We’re proud to partner with the American Farm Bureau Federation to improve insurance operations and customer experience. If your organization is not currently using SmartCOMM or SmartIQ, reach out to me – or set up some time for a demo 

We welcome the opportunity to show you how Smart Communications has helped other Farm Bureau organizations increase customer satisfaction, streamline operations, and maintain a competitive edge in the dynamic world of insurance – and how we can help you too.  

About the Author 
Eileen Potter has more than 25 years of insurance and insurance technology experience with both Property & Casualty and Life, including insurance operations on both the agency and company levels. She has worked in independent agencies and MGA operations in a variety of roles, including commercial marketing and underwriting. Her software background includes systems marketing, sales support, and implementation roles with organizations such as ABBYY, Appian, One, Inc., and Duck Creek Technologies.