CMAR receives AFRC award for its "1er Accueil" CX project orchestrated with Activeo

« We decided to enlist the help of a partner for this project, and chose Activeo, whose approach focused on the customer and employee experience. »
Project Manager at CMAR PACA
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Paca, France
Public sector

LA Chambre des Métiers et de l’Artisanat Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur –(CMAR) is an institution that plays a crucial role in supporting and developing craft trades.

The CMAR – Chambre des Métiers et de l’Artisanat Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur – accompanied by Activeo, launches its ” 1er Accueil  ” project and obtains the second place in the final ranking of the “Palme Expérience Citoyen” delivered by the AFRC – Association Française de la Relation Client.

This ” 1er Accueil  ” project consists in the creation of a contact centre for (future) craftsmen in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

The aim was to make an essential change in order to place the reception of the public at the heart of customer relations by creating a contact centre that would meet the challenges and doctrines in this area, which would reshuffle the cards in terms of approach, culture and flows for the entire organisation. To carry out this project, CMAR was supported by Activeo and its teams.

CMAR PACA, acronym of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Chamber of Trades and Crafts, has a range of services that meet the current and future needs of local businesses, to improve their performance and profitability, expand their sales markets (national and international), and contribute to the economic development of the sector. CMAR has 13 agencies in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, nearly 1,000 employees and 6,000 apprentices spread over the 7 campuses of the Regional University.

Birth of the « 1er Accueil » project

[Marge Vandrendries] “The Chamber of Trades and Crafts of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region (CMAR PACA) offers services that are close to the needs of businesses. The craftsmen who use our services are very pleased with them. But what about all those who don’t know us, who don’t know them yet, or know them too little?  asks Pierre Bonnet-Bruna, Director and Rapporteur of the Economic and Territorial Development Commission. “With the disappearance of most of our regalian missions by 2023, and following the Covid crisis which has accelerated the importance of the quality of the remote customer experience, it has become urgent to take care of the several hundred creators and nationals who contact us daily.”

A project called ” 1er Accueil  ” was launched in the spring of 2021 with the aim of placing the customer reception at the centre of the approach to the various audiences. 

We decided to seek support for this project and chose Activeo, whose approach focused on the customer and employee experience won us over. Defining a new organisation based on the orientations and feelings of customers defined as proximity and efficiency, relying on reference systems and a market benchmark, then producing the channel matrix, all without underestimating the cultural change: a participative and inspiring project!” explains Marge Vandendries, Project Manager at CMAR.

A multidisciplinary interdepartmental working group brought together employees of all levels and statuses to design a reception service that is in line with needs and practices, while maximising support for an approach that is not always considered natural in public services.

In the first phase, the main aim is to bring front-line reception up to the current requirements of ‘consumers’. Incoming flows are analysed: telephone, electronic (email requests, web, social networks, etc.) and physical. A pilot is planned for December with a team of about ten people located at the Saint-Laurent-du-Var site in the Alpes-Maritimes.

In a second phase (2023), the project aims at organising outgoing flows to orchestrate campaigns (e-mails and telephone) within the framework of a uniform relational programme in support of CMAR PACA’s commercial approach. A pilot is planned for early 2023.

The global deployment, based on the first feedback, is planned for the first half of 2023 on two sites.

The new organization should enable CMAR to build customer and prospect loyalty, acquire new ones, and improve customer knowledge and satisfaction. «”We really designed our project with a global approach, impacting all the Chamber’s teams.”

This very challenging project gave us the opportunity to discover a new profession. That's also why we decided to enlist Activeo's help. Starting with an organization structured around departments that sometimes operate differently, and are geographically dispersed, we first had to obtain and understand figures that were meaningful and consistent. We are currently in the process of harmonizing our practices so as to be able to operate with a regionalized team, for whom the quality of response and processing will be paramount.

The initiative

During the first lockdown, CMAR was faced with the closure of its services, and the need to provide support to distraught business owners. A virtual contact center was set up as a matter of urgency to handle the large number of requests. This accelerated the thinking behind the creation of a permanent service to deal with the hundreds of requests arriving daily, with efficiency, proximity, humanity and simplicity as the watchwords.

Responding to basic concerns (picking up the phone, answering quickly… and well) but also personalizing the handling of each request to offer the most appropriate response, with a first-line resolution rate of around 75 to 80%, is at the heart of our challenges. Processes are redesigned to advise customers as closely as possible to their personal situation, thanks to a link with a Customer Relationship Management tool. The vision of what public service should be is extended: not only to provide customers with the advice or service they want, but also to take advantage of the opportunity to show them the range of expert services available to help their business grow.  In so doing, CMAR is reinforcing its ambition to contribute to the development of the regional craft economy.


The originality of the initiative probably lies in the desire to exploit the latest doctrines in customer relations, often thought of as sales techniques, and adapt them to public service missions.

To achieve a good mix of the two, CMAR mobilizes staff from all services, levels and departments to match observed needs and practices with methods that optimize advice and develop a more commercial approach, focused on customers’ reasons for contacting us. This leads us to question the reasons why customers call and the type of response they should receive, opening up the field of treatment to more in-depth support in the service of the company. We also plan to track contacts, so that we can get to know our customers better and advise them more effectively at the right moment.

The teams at CMAR’s future Contact Center will be made up partly of Chamber staff with expertise in the economic and regulatory environment of craft businesses, and partly of staff recruited for their expertise in customer relations.

"We're hoping for a good alchemy between form and content. A training program will bring together these different areas of knowledge, focusing on our business of advising companies, the posture we need to adopt towards our contacts, and the tools available to them (CRM, solutions, National Job Directory, website, etc.)".


The pilot launched in autumn in two départements (Hautes-Alpes and Alpes-Maritimes) will enable us to measure actual flows with a professional contact center, and to validate choices of organization, tools, training and management. Teams dedicated to outbound campaigns will then be set up, with the aim of multiplying the number of companies reached by implementing a coherent relational program.

Eventually, certification could be envisaged to underline the progress made and the work of the teams, and place CMAR in a logic of excellence.

An initiative rewarded by the AFRC

During the presentation of its candidacy for the Palme Expérience Citoyen at the annual event organized by the Association Française de la Relation Client, CMAR presented “1er accueil”, its project to create a contact center for (future) craftsmen in Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur.

In view of the quality of their application, the juries were delighted to congratulate them and award them second place in the final ranking of the Palme Expérience Citoyen. The awards ceremony was held on Monday October 3 at the Théâtre de Paris, and honors the most innovative organizations in terms of customer strategy.

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