THE LOCAL APPROACH IN SWITZERLAND
25 October 2018
How important is it to take a local approach? We ask Inge Trompet, our Local Representative in Switzerland.
How long have you been working for Cigna?
I’ve been with Cigna since 2010. My job has evolved quite a bit over those six years. At first, I would visit organisations maybe three times a month. But now it’s almost every day.
I’m not only involved with our plan members; I also work with health care providers and with the HR departments or medical units from our different clients.
Does this higher frequency of visits help?
The more I’m at an organisation, the more likely the plan members know I’m available and the more they come to see me. There are even times when I have a queue of people at my door. And after working with certain organisations for so long, I know many of the staff so well they don’t have to explain their cases to me.
This develops a lot of trust. It’s better, faster and easier this way. Not just for the plan members. Normally, HR departments and medical units are asked a lot of questions. But because everyone knows there’s a Cigna office here, they come straight to me.
What type of questions do people ask?
You would be surprised how many of the questions have to do with the local situation. In all fairness, the health market in Switzerland is very complex. As you can imagine, this raises plenty of questions.
What if you don't know the answer?
I have wonderful support from everyone at Cigna and they’re very quick at giving me the information I need. I can usually answer questions the same day.
Can you describe a typical day?
Every day is different! My office is actually many different offices at the various organisations we serve. I’ll be here one day, there the next and across town in the medical unit of a different organisation the day after. Everybody knows when I’m around; they can see it on their intranet. My door is always open so people just drop by with their questions.
My time is mostly spent in these one-on-one sessions, but I also do other things like giving presentations to newcomers or visiting a medical provider.
Is it difficult to work without a permanent office?
You would think so but most of the issues are irrelevant thanks to technology. And because I’m working side-by-side with the client, it’s easier to see when they need updates or changes to their cover. If there’s something that isn’t in line with the local regulations, it’s easy for me to work with the Account Manager to suggest a change or an update.
Does it make a difference that you're there in person?
Absolutely! In Switzerland they like to work locally. And because everything is legally regulated, hospitals often have some uncertainties when it comes to insurance for anyone who’s from abroad or represented by an international insurance. A local representative is exactly what they need. They feel comfortable talking to me because I know how health care in Switzerland works.
What do you like most about being a local representative?
I love the diversity. I never know what’s going to happen. I also like meeting so many people with so many different nationalities. But best of all, there are people I’ve been able to help who have gone out of their way to thank me. And that really touches me. It lets me know I made a difference.