As we collectively move into unchartered waters, it can be a challenge to identify and factor in all the moving parts that make our teams’ and customers’ experiences smooth and seamless. Alltel has managed this transition by understanding that first and foremost, we needed to continue to deliver best in class standards in supporting our customers.
We also needed to collectively understand that many of our customers were experiencing unprecedented stress and uncertainty around their own businesses. Here’s how we made the transition to remote work:
Alltel has had a distinct advantage in managing the challenges presented by the current situation. We already use the business phone systems and telecommunications options that we’ve been offering to Australian Businesses for over a decade. This allowed us to quickly and efficiently move to a work-from-home proposition in a matter of days.
Before adopting a remote work strategy, we did remote troubleshooting on backend configurations. We’ve made license changes that would best fit the situation of our remote working team.
Ahead of remote work implementation, we first laid out policies about this setup. These policies were well-communicated in writing to our employees. Additionally, we had set a strategy with our workforce to ensure there would be little to no disruption to our customers during remote work. Such protocol strengthened our team collaboration and engagement as well as supported the culture of successful remote work.
- Document expectations and goals, which includes the following:
- Frequency of communication with the team and with the team leader.
b. Availability during regular work hours.
c. Accountability for completing the required deliverables.
- Define boundaries between personal and work life.
- Empower the team to be productive and collaborative during regular work hours, especially when other team members are unavailable or indisposed.
- Institute efficient collaboration and meeting etiquette by using live video team meetings, which can help foster a communicative and open relationship.
As our teams are working around the world, coordination was crucial. The service arm of our business responded magnificently, mostly due to our ability to quickly configure our communication settings to allow our team to work from their homes. This was possible through the use of our Unified Communications mobile app, which allowed our team to answer and transfer calls remotely with only an Internet connection.
Alltel also made use of inbound phone routing capabilities to set up call overflows to go to specific teams at specific times which has kept response times low. We knew also that our Live Answering operators would be on hand to take messages should our calls surge at any given time.
Though we’ve transitioned to remote work, our customer service levels have maintained at Alltel’s usual high standards. Our wait times might have increased slightly, but the difference of eight seconds is not much when you consider the challenges of remote connections across various geographical zones.
In fact, quality around interactions with our customers has improved with the team taking a more personal approach with customers over the phone. The teams chat is also an invaluable tool in keeping real-time connections to all our customers. On top of that, we have a QA specialist who monitors all channels and departments to ensure all our expectations are met.
We’ve also been busy making configurational adjustments to get our customers very quickly and efficiently working remotely and ready to respond to their new working conditions. As such, we’ve had no complaints from customers since working remotely, and one customer had even gone as far as praising us after we successfully resolved his issue.
“I was going to give you a 10, but now I give you an 11.”
We’ve been very mindful of the change in environment for our people and the isolation remote working can bring. So, we’ve been careful to ensure team leaders are checking in daily with our teams. We’ve also put in place exercise programs and fun activities to replace what we normally do in an office environment. Through technology, we have continued to communicate continuously and clearly with each other while also meeting “face-to-face” online to keep a sense of normality.
Strong processes, strong leadership and an agile culture have also assisted Alltel to rise to this challenge. For our customers to continue operations and work from home, we’ve been quick to offer new technologies and product solutions.