At Reason Global, one of our core values is all about getting out, putting in the miles and meeting our Moving and Storage clients face to face. As movement restrictions tighten for many of us once more, I wanted to share some of the positive lessons we’ve learnt from lockdown and how the Reason Global team is supporting our clients during these challenging times.
At the very start of the Covid-19 lockdown in March, we were extremely busy helping our clients in any way we could. From advising on laying up vehicles where possible for reduced premiums, to clarifying that cover would remain in place on properties even where unattended. We assisted in reviewing figures with clients who had renewals in April and May. Some insurers were very quick to respond to our clients and some a little slower, but we at RGI worked hard to ensure the best outcomes we possibly could for all of our clients. Throughout this time, we felt it was essential that we remained available to our clients who were experiencing more significant challenges. We were pleased not to have placed on furlough any of our staff throughout lockdown.
Of course, like many businesses, we experienced our challenges, an example being the decision to get all of our colleagues working from home. We initially embraced MS Teams as a way of talking and still seeing each other. We then looked at relevant alternative technology for talking to both clients and insurers. As a result, we’ve tried out nearly every video conferencing system available – from Cisco Webex to BlueJeans and Zoom and Google Meet. Still, Zoom became the clear favourite with both RGI and others. Meeting with clients via Zoom has proved surprisingly popular, with many clients enjoying the experience from the comfort of their own homes. Nevertheless, we know many of you are keen to resume face-to-face meetings again, and we will certainly make that happen as soon as the situation allows in the future.
Fortunately, the actions we had taken to modernize our business over the last two years, by moving our email and our insurance software to the cloud, meant that setting up remote working was much smoother than it would have been before 2018.
We shut the office down entirely at the end of March, and on a daily basis we are still working remotely, with the benefit of weekly video meetings between teams to ensure everyone is helping each other out. Office phone lines are diverted to individual phones, ensuring our teams are always available. While we have gradually brought the office back into the mix by allocating each team a dedicated day when they can meet in person, this is under strictly limited numbers, social distancing and other relevant measures.
As an unexpected bonus of this challenging period, our carbon footprint has reduced dramatically. Although our preference is always to meet our clients face-to-face, it has made us think long and hard about generating unnecessary emissions for short meetings and visits. We’ve held several office-based environmental friendly drives in the past, but moving forward, we will be much more conscious about our travel impact on the environment.
So, as we face another uncertain six months ahead, we will continue to look at the positives. Our teams are working hard, seeing our clients regularly, and we are looking forward to attending some of our first virtual conferences – being held by FEDESSA on October 6th and 7th and IAM on October 21st-23rd.
Although it looks unlikely that we will be “putting in the miles” this autumn; we will undoubtedly be putting in the effort and helping our client’s through these unprecedented times.
Malcolm Pearson, MD