Serving Northeast Agriculture, Commercial Fishing & Forest Products in 2018
Relationships in the Digital Age: A Balancing Act
Like many things in life and business, success is often about achieving the right balance. When growing crops, you need rain, but too much rain is a problem. Raising livestock requires adequate feed, but overfeeding isn’t good for the animals. Every spring we hope for a bumper crop, but we also know that high yields may lead to low prices.
At Farm Credit East, we aim to strike the right balance in providing a great customer experience, while also protecting your personal financial information and the cooperative’s assets.
To enhance your experience in doing business with us, we continue to rollout tools that improve your access to your information and allow staff to more efficiently serve your needs. For example, last year we launched Docusign so that many documents can now be signed electronically. This allows transactions to be completed quicker and reduces the risk of paper documents with sensitive information being lost or stolen.
We’ve enhanced FarmCreditEast.com so that you can access information about your accounts, exchange secure messages, complete balance sheets and view Knowledge Exchange reports and other information. Last year we added a text chat feature to answer quick questions and assist visitors in navigating our website.
Most recently we’ve made available single sign-on from our website to online banking for those customers that use this service to transfer funds and make payments. Where you previously had to log in separately to online banking and FarmCreditEast.com, you’ll now have access to both with a single login.
While improving customer access, we’re also cognizant of cyber criminals that may be trying to gain access to Farm Credit East’s systems. One way criminals try to do this is by stealing your login credentials and impersonating you in order to get access to your loans or personal information. Know that safeguarding your personal and financial information is our top priority.
That is why we have strengthened our customer authentication requirements. When we’re helping you gain access to your information or accounts, we want to be certain it’s you. Sometimes this may cause a delay while the local branch completes its authentication protocol, but know that it is in your best interest.
Farm Credit East has also invested in technology and staff to help us achieve that right balance of information access and security. Our technology provider Financial Partners, Inc. is a strategic partner in making sure our systems are safe and secure.
The investments we’re making in technology aren’t intended to replace the relationship Farm Credit East staff has with you and your business, but instead to enhance that relationship. By making it easier for you to do business with us, we aim to free up staff time to have the important conversations regarding your business needs.
Our customer relationships are at the core of everything we do, which is why you may be contacted by phone or email this fall to participate in our “Voice of the Customer” survey. We have contracted with Walker, a consulting firm specialized in customer experience, and you may receive an email from FarmCreditEast_VoC@walkerinfo.com requesting your participation. This is your opportunity to tell us how we’re doing and if there are areas where we can improve.
Along with our board of directors, I place a high value on your feedback, so if you’re contacted, we hope you’ll share your thoughts. Your feedback will help us to maintain that right balance in providing you with the credit and financial services you need.