Like most companies, COUNTRY Financial had to adapt quickly when COVID hit in order to continue to provide a high level of service to its clients.
Virtual meetings with financial representatives, a texting tool and a virtual claims tool were all underway with the help of forward-thinking leaders and employees in the organization. However, all three tools were implemented sooner than expected for clients to stay informed and connected as the pandemic persisted.
In addition, a payment extension was offered from March until June and COUNTRY’s eligible auto insurance clients received a 15% refund for two months of auto premium, totaling almost $31 million.
“It (COVID) really forced us to take a look at ourselves as a company and think about how we could do the work that we have to do every single day and yet do it with a distributed workforce,” Jim Jacobs, COUNTRY Financial CEO told the RFD Radio Network. “It forced us to change and get better very quickly, and I think that we’ve done that.”
But COUNTRY’s efforts to serve others has reached beyond its own clients and into local communities through programs like Operation Helping Heroes.
Through Operation Helping Heroes, COUNTRY Financial Representatives have the opportunity to support first responders, such as firefighters, police, emergency medical technicians and medical professionals. To date in 2020, COUNTRY and its representatives have donated more than $2.5 million.
“The program was available before COVID-19, but was particularly useful during the pandemic, as these professions needed the additional support,” said Andrea Thorpe, COUNTRY’s executive vice president and chief experience officer. “We were able to shift money from events that we couldn’t have and put it toward helping local heroes.”
“Not only are our representatives impacting the heroes that are on the frontlines, but in many cases, they are partnering with county Farm Bureaus to do so,” added Tim Harris, COUNTRY’s executive vice president of agency. “In addition, they have been able to support some of their small business clients significantly impacted by the pandemic and other organizations in their communities.”
The #BetterTogether fundraiser, announced last spring, raised $60,375 by selling shirts. A total of 18 representatives and five employees were then selected at random to donate a portion of the funds to a charity of their choice.
At the end of the day, through a year like no other, COUNTRY is there for its clients.
“We’ll always be there for our clients, it’s what we do,” said Thorpe. “From a global pandemic to unprecedented weather events and wildfires, 2020 was a difficult year for everyone, and we really showed the value we provide by supporting our clients through whatever came their way.”