Innovating under pressure with the equipment at hand
On March 18, when we'd secured internal sign-offs, identified the assets, and tested the IT infrastructure, we quickly began shipping out desktops, laptops, and uninterrupted-power supplies to agents so they could serve customers and protect their data.
By March 21, we'd created a business continuity war room with cross-functional teams and managers. We'd already performed failure analyses to mitigate the likelihood of systems or device crashes. Additionally, we instituted round-the-clock IT support to resolve any issues. We sent equipment to hundreds of agents in the city overnight and into the weekend – a Herculean effort by operations leaders, their support teams, and the customer-care leadership.
What a difference a day makes
On March 22, the new work-from-home operation went live, and within 24 hours a remarkable 80% of the customer-care messaging team – the group that interacts with customers via messaging apps – was up and running. These agents kept 100% of the customer-care service going while the rest of the team quickly got up to speed. That's a testament to everyone's commitment. And within three days, it was business as usual with a distributed workforce in new offices.
Though we knew that the outbound sales team would be making fewer outbound calls at this time, we also knew that the messaging team would see volumes increase. So, we retrained the outbound team to help, and it was ready to go by March 23, ahead of the government restrictions kicking in on March 25.
The teamwork the customer-care leader witnessed amazed him: "I've never seen anything like the humanity, ingenuity, and creativity the team drew on to design the solution."
And though business continuity was his main area of focus, he had concerns about how the warm and dynamic office culture would handle the shift. We introduced collaboration tools to support and enrich the team's interactions. We also ran town halls, employee-connection meetings, and rest-and-relaxation sessions to sustain agents' well-being.