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    • Turning customers into fans

      Sarah Büchel
      In order to be even more successful in the future, Helvetia wants to turn its customers into fans. Jan Kundert, Head Customer & Market Management, knows that every contact is an opportunity to inspire customers.

    Turning customers into fans

    Sarah Büchel
    In order to be even more successful in the future, Helvetia wants to turn its customers into fans. Jan Kundert, Head Customer & Market Management, knows that every contact is an opportunity to inspire customers.

    Jan, you moved from Europäische Reiseversicherung ERV to Helvetia. What's your mission?

    The basic mission of Customer & Market Management (CMM) is to develop the offering from the perspective of our customers. This starts with understanding the customer base and the market, and stretches right across from the needs-oriented development of products and services to the bespoke addressing of customers. The challenge is to develop a common understanding of our customers’ needs.

    What did you focus on first?

    First of all, it was important to me to get to know the people in CMM, to understand the challenges of the area and to bring the various teams closer together. Within the team, we then worked out action areas that reflect CMM’s future thematic orientation. In this process, the focus was on our common goal of further strengthening Helvetia's marketability from a customer perspective.

    Speaking of marketability: how is Helvetia perceived from the outside?

    If we take a look at our values: trust, drive and enthusiasm. We enjoy a very high level of trust, from both customers and non-customers. That's a terrific underpinning, and we have to take care of it. We are developing very dynamically, and people in Switzerland don’t see the full extent of that yet. In terms of enthusiasm, there’s still potential there that we can harness. We must see every point of contact with our customers as an opportunity to expand the relationship. We can achieve this by acting more empathetically and emotionally. For example, it makes a difference whether I write a neutral customer letter that only lists facts or whether I come across as someone who is relatable and ready to help. What sometimes get dismissed as “details” enhance the customer experience and thus the customer relationship. People are willing to invest in relationships.

    And how do you perceive Helvetia from an internal perspective?

    I feel a great willingness to change at pace throughout #TeamHelvetia. We have many initiatives that are bringing us forward, such as the introduction of the new CRM, the new front-end and the current cultural initiative. I firmly believe that the key to success lies not only in continuous development, but in our employees as well. I sense a great level of identification with Helvetia and incredible commitment in my day-to-day work. It makes me happy, and spurs me on.

    On the subject of change: you currently have a lot going on in the field of artificial intelligence, metaverse, etc. What are you particularly proud of?

    We can all be proud of the use of ChatGPT in our chatbot Clara. In a very short space of time, we managed to deliver a cross-divisional solution that is unique in the market. This gives us an edge over the competition. The question we now have to look at is: how can we maintain this advantage and implement it as quickly as possible in as many use cases as possible? There are a variety of potential applications: in marketing, underwriting, in claims triage or directly at the customer interface.

    If you could change one thing in the company overnight, what would it be?

    I’d introduce “flop budgets”: budgets with which teams could try out new things and experiment. Without any pressure that something useful has to come out of it in the end. I’m convinced we’d gain more than we’d lose.

    Would you like to address the younger generation more?

    Yes, this is a very important target group for Helvetia. There is no other age category where we can build relationships as well as we can between the ages of 20 and 30. This is because a lot changes in this phase of life. After 30, customer expansion tends to be much less dynamic. Our market share among young people is significantly lower than in other age segments. In order to build up our portfolio on a lasting basis, we therefore have to invest in the young.

    In summary: what is the most important thing in contact with customers?

    Keeping our promise: we’re there when it matters. Or, even better, always slightly exceeding expectations.

    What’s your vision for Helvetia?

    Helvetia becomes the insurer with the strongest identity and the best customer relationships. We are known for a personal, approachable service, for innovative solutions when it comes to self-service solutions, products and services. And because we are there when it matters, we enjoy great trust.