Opening milestone reached as Sympany becomes first partner to move into Swiss Post branches
The new strategy for Swiss Post’s network is taking shape. Health insurer Sympany will be the first partner to move into Swiss Post branches from September 2022. Sympany will be present under the Swiss Post umbrella in eight municipalities in German- and French-speaking Switzerland, and Swiss Post staff will be responsible for arranging consultations with Sympany for interested customers at a further 90 branches. A gradual expansion of services is planned afterwards. The strategic partnership between Swiss Post and Sympany marks the beginning of Swiss Post branches evolving into service centers, where the focus will be on providing customers with physical advice, even in a digital age. Swiss Post is in talks with various partners, and will be able to announce the next partnerships in the coming weeks and months.
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Swiss Post has systematically expanded and rebuilt its network in recent years, with 1,264 branches with partners, almost 1,855 home delivery services and over 940 service points in the form of terminals and bring-and-collect solutions for private and business customers. Its aim has always been to respond to the changing needs of people and companies in Switzerland. Today, Swiss Post offers over 4,800 access points throughout Switzerland, which is more than ever before. The heart and backbone of the network are the self-operated branches in the cities, agglomerations and rural areas. Swiss Post has now stabilized their number at approximately 800. Around 4,050 Swiss Post staff serve more than 320,000 customers at counters every day. “Our own branches will continue to be the main pillar of Swiss Post’s services in the future, covering the entire country and remaining accessible to all – in keeping with the aim of public service,” says Roberto Cirillo, CEO of Swiss Post.
Sympany CEO confident about the new partnership
Swiss Post is continuing to develop its network to ensure that branches remain relevant to the Swiss population in future. It wants to open its branches up to businesses and public authorities and, in the long term, transform them into regional service centers with partners, where the focus is on physically advising customers, even in the digital age. By doing so, Swiss Post can continue to provide a solid public service with its network, which is a stated goal of the “Swiss Post of tomorrow” strategy. The company is now taking action to achieve this goal.
Swiss Post has agreed a strategic partnership with health insurer Sympany for a three-year period, which means it has reached its first milestone. From September 2022, Swiss Post staff will be responsible for arranging consultation appointments with Sympany for interested customers at around 90 branches throughout Switzerland. Sympany is present in Swiss Post branches in Baden, Bienne, Dietikon, Frauenfeld, Geneva, Lausanne, Winterthur and Zug with its own staff, and offers free consultations. A gradual expansion of services is planned in future.
Michael Willer, CEO of Sympany, is confident about the new partnership and the related concept. “We want to bring Sympany even closer to our customers with our presence in Swiss Post branches. Talking to people face-to-face allows many queries to be answered. Similarly, many people appreciate personal contact with trained and trustworthy advisors – especially when it comes to health insurance. That’s why I’m delighted that Sympany will be the first cooperation partner to provide consultations in Swiss Post branches.” (See Sympany press release)
Personal contact and advice is still important
For Swiss Post CEO Roberto Cirillo, the new partnership with health insurer Sympany is proof that opening up the network meets a genuine need and that Swiss Post is on the right track with its “Swiss Post of tomorrow” strategy. Thomas Baur, Head of PostalNetwork and Member of Executive Management, adds: “Many companies want to offer their customers physical contact, even in the digital age. And many customers appreciate personal advice.” This has been shown in various market tests with different partners and services since 2020. He is confident that Swiss Post will be able to capitalize on its greatest strength even more with the opening up of its network. “We are present throughout Switzerland, our employees in the branches are close to the customers and enjoy a great deal of trust,” says Baur. “Private customers and business partners can easily carry out several transactions with us under one roof”. That’s because many people don’t want to or cannot manage everything digitally, he adds. And by opening up the network, Swiss Post is securing jobs and ensuring that it can continue to offer a dense network of self-operated branches. This means Swiss Post is strengthening the economy in the regions and preventing the emergence of service wastelands in Switzerland.
Swiss Post in ongoing discussions with potential partners
The strategic partnership with Sympany is the first in a series of collaborations with future business partners from the banking, insurance, health insurance and healthcare sectors and with public authorities. Thomas Baur, Head of PostalNetwork, is delighted: “The interest is there, the new strategy is taking shape.” Swiss Post is continually in talks with various partners with the aim to collaborate, whether regionally or nationally. “We’ll be announcing even more partnerships in the coming weeks and months,” he adds.
Erich Goetschi, Swiss Post Media Unit, 058 341 37 41, firstname.lastname@example.org