A Fresh Approach to Help
It’s not always easy to know who to turn to for help with French issues but one company has taken a fresh approach to providing just that and cooling down stressful French issues with a dedicated hotline.
Yannick Laboisse, co-Director at French Connections Gers tells us how this came about and what it means to those who want immediate help on any subject.
“Our experienced team includes people who have not only lived and worked here in France for years and are bi-lingual but, also, people who were born here”, he explains. “That means we understand the culture, working practices, the system and, equally importantly, the psyche of French artisans and professionals. We know the correct way to do things in France in order to make things happen and our clients benefit from that.
“Starting out as a property development company with a range of skilled, insured and willing artisans, we were amazed at how many requests we received from our own clients with regard to other aspects of their lives. We were pleased to help and word spread about our capabilities. Soon, we had French banks and, amongst others, insurance companies, asking if we could help their customers.
“This wasn’t just translation, this fresh approach to help transformed into making sure that the people we helped were able to achieve their objectives, and were given options born out of our knowledgeable, alternative viewpoint. It often meant that they saved money too.
“Growing up in France and with a network of rugby playing friends from all walks of life, we had already built a network of trusted artisans, experts and organisations that we could call on for expert, reliable products and services. That network is still growing and, with in-house experience of call centre operation, it wasn’t long before our Hotline idea became reality.
“Despite our name, the service is available throughout SW France. Our clients are not only those who are planning a move or have recently moved to France, but also those who speak some French but still struggle with the more technical aspects of certain tasks.”
With Ryan Wilson, a Gers local, at the helm and available 09:00 to 17:00, seven days a week, the Hotline is manned by experienced personnel who have one aim in mind; to ensure that, wherever they are in France, registered clients can request help on any issue, safe in the knowledge that they will receive a correct and appropriate solution to their particular problem. Yannick adds, “Sometimes this may be a quick chat with someone on the phone to explain a point or ask question, or it may mean making contact with an artisan or organisation to talk through an issue.
“Various packages are available as part of this fresh approach to help”, he explains, “from an annual service whereby we act as intermediaries and provide a concierge service, through to complete project management where we act for our clients who are billed by the artisans direct. We take a small commission from the artisan which is usually more than covered by the savings we have been able to negotiate on our client’s behalf.
First published as Buzzing Content in the July/August 2020 issue of The Local Buzz
Images: French Connections Gers and Shutterstock