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«&Go means I have to take the initiative myself.»

Daniel Franzen has worked as a customer advisor at Helvetia for 14 years. In this interview he talks about what a customer advisor must be like, how important the small, personal freedoms are, and what he thinks of &Go.

6 September 2018, author: Employer Branding, photo: Helvetia

A man leaning against a table in a white room
For Daniel Franzen it is important to try out new things and to draw conclusions from mistakes for the future.

Who are you and what do you do at Helvetia? How did you get where you are today?

My name is Daniel Franzen. I've been a customer advisor at Helvetia since 2004. I was a young man, customer advisor was my first job – and I've been doing it for 14 years.

Can you tell us what your job is and explain what you do in just a few words?

I work as a customer advisor. In this function I advise existing Helvetia customers, act as their first point of contact on everything to do with insurance – and I also try to recruit new customers.

What does your job do for Helvetia?

I see it as one of the most important jobs for Helvetia, because without its customers, it is nothing – and as a customer advisor I'm their first point of contact. Customers visit me or call me when they need advice, for example – but also when they want to make a claim or there's something else they need. I work with them to make sure we find the best possible solution, and that they're as happy as possible.

What does &Go mean for you in your day-to-day work at Helvetia?

What &Go means for me is that in the sales force, where I have a lot of freedoms, I must take the initiative myself if, for example, I see a potential customer or am assigned a task that I'm not keen on. I say to myself: &Go, I'll do it now! Because opportunities often come up that have to be taken straight away, that I can't put off until later. So I say: &Go, I'll give it a try – either it works or it doesn't.

Why is &Go important for Helvetia?

I sense that Helvetia is best known for being rather conservative. But I believe insurance companies must be dynamic in certain areas these days, and that's what we want to be. This means that now and then we have to say &Go, we'll try it. Not everything we try can be successful. But it's important for us to draw conclusions for the future from our failures.

If people want to work in the sales force, what must they contribute?

The most important thing is to like people. To enjoy being with people, not to hide away or avoid contact – to be open, to have fun spending time with people. You also have to be reliable. That's very important. If you give the customer your word, he expects you to keep it. I see unreliability as one of the worst characteristics in our profession. By working reliably we can contrast with other customer advisors at other companies. Technically you need good basic training, plus individual advanced training in whatever area you want to specialize in. One might focus on pensions, another on non-life insurance.

How would your area have to change for you to put &Go into practice?

It's important for everybody's freedom to be preserved, because there are lots of different personalities in the sales force. Not everybody succeeds in the same way. We all need a different &Go. To some of us it will mean a certain freedom in how we organize our working hours, while others need various tools or equipment if they are to work successfully. I have a feeling that it's important for there to be small personal freedoms in sales, and for people not to be too fenced in. There are nearly 700 employees working in sales in Switzerland, and they can't all be expected to operate in the same way.

What would you like for Helvetia in future?

I think what Helvetia needs most is stability and continuity, and we must also retain a certain modernity and dynamism. And in spite of the current buzzwords like digitalization, we must not forget that our customers are people. Many of them value having a personal contact to listen to them and take their concerns seriously.

&Go

&Go is Helvetia's current campaign to position itself as a first-class employer. Find more information on Helvetia as an employer.

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