The SwissLife Group has recently made a name for itself through the Covid’19 crisis by donating 165,000 masks to hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the cities where it is implanted. Its affiliate Ma santé facile, which specialises in social protection and has been a partner of Smartclic for more than five years, has completely reorganised itself to deal with this unprecedented crisis. Steve Pelotin, its marketing manager, explains how.
What impact has this crisis had on your business?
Our commercial activity has been strongly disrupted since March 17th and our habits have changed! The core of our business is based on the proximity and the offer of health, provident and retirement guarantees to individuals, self-employed people and small businesses. Today, no commercial prospecting is possible for our teams, since they can no longer go out into the field , trade shows and event operations planned for the spring have beena also cancelled. In fact, we had planned an action with Smartclic for Easter with small egg packets to offer. Even if we will end up distributing these chocolates, Easter won’t have the same taste this year…
How do you adapt to the situation?
All our teams and sales forces are teleworking. We have therefore chosen to maintain the activity by organising teleworking as much as possible in order to :
- Maintain the purchasing power of our advisors
- Ensure a business continuity plan
- Maintaining customer relationships
To make up for the temporary lack of commercial prospecting, we set up an extensive continuing education plan during the first week of lockdown. We have already scheduled a five weeks training with thematic e-learning modules to be completed each week. Twice a week, each team leader leads an open class to improve his or her skills via videoconference with the sales team, and each consultant must validate his or her knowledge at the end of the week via a quiz. At the same time, the teams take advantage of this exceptional period to work on building loyalty in their customer portfolio, make courtesy calls, make our customer database more reliable and prepare for the resumption of business.
How have employees welcomed these measures?
We are a small structure of about 170 people in France. Proximity and reactivity are something important to us, with our customers as well as with each other. We are partner of an annual solidarity operation “a daffodil against cancer” with the Institut Curie. The collection operation obviously had to be stopped temporarily, but we still organised our “Yellow Day” from distance, where each of us photographed ourselves in our teleworking environment. This continues to create a bond. Generally speaking, our plan was well received by the teams, who were relieved when they learned about the salary support set up and the maintenance of activity. After three weeks of confinement, everyone is playing the game and adapting rather well to this new situation. The aim is to change this period of confinement into a real opportunity.