Article

4 companies talk CX, changing course, and managing expectations

By Leah Kidd

Published August 19, 2020
Last updated August 19, 2020

Despite best intentions, describing the state of the world right now as “the new normal” doesn’t actually make anything feel normal. We’re all still searching for a light at the end of the tunnel, for some sort of green light signaling our return to a post-Covid world. When will working from the office resume? When will we be able to travel, or eat at restaurants, or hug our loved ones?

On the flipside, while things might not really feel normal, businesses are pivoting to treat them as such. Expectations are being reassessed, targets are being moved, and leaders are instead asking an entirely new question: How can we make the most of this?

Expectations are being reassessed, targets are being moved, and leaders are instead asking an entirely new question: How can we make the most of this?

GoHealth & Virgin Pulse: Listen to your customers (and to yourself)

Spending so much time at home means usual routines have gone out the window. Taking care of yourself probably looks a lot different than it did pre-Covid, but it’s still an incredibly important habit to maintain.

For Virgin Pulse, a wellness-oriented program that helps employees create healthier habits, encouraging people to go the extra mile when it comes to self-care is business as usual. “We help people within companies start creating healthy habits—whether it's step challenges, or getting your preventive care, or making sure your biometrics are going in the right direction,” said Customer Service Executive Michael Pace.

[Related read: Stop for a CX moment—4 lessons from leaders guiding their teams through change]

With health and wellness top of mind, knowing how to get the most out of your healthcare plan is important too. GoHealth, a leading insurance marketplace, ensures its customers can do just that. “I'm very focused on making sure that our customers are ready to use their [healthcare] plan and that we can help navigate their journey,” said VP of Operations Henry Falter.

But when everything is up in the air, it’s hard to know exactly how you can stay in tune with what your customers need right now. “How do you ensure that your customer needs are being met in a timely way while also accommodating adjusted flexible working schedules?” asked Sarah Reed, senior director of global strategic events at Zendesk, the panel’s moderator.

“We're hiring quite a bit to backfill any gaps in schedules, so I think it's a hard problem to solve. But we've been able to solve it by just listening to both our customers and our agents as well,” replied Falter.

Hear the full conversation here:



Shopify: Cross-company collaboration is crucial

Shopify, a global e-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, has experience with following the sun, a support strategy that’s vital to supporting a customer base as vast and as global as Shopify’s. With support teams in Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand, employees are able to work with customers (and each other) regardless of what time it is, or where they’re working from—country, home, or office.

But when everything is up in the air, it’s hard to know exactly how you can stay in tune with what your customers need right now.

“We had really awesome collaboration with our internal teams and our vendor teams. Shopify is a 100% work-from-home environment for our support [teams], so we were able to use a lot of our squad leads and some of our other leadership to be able to really help with something that was new to our vendors. [It is] a lot of cross-collaboration, meetings, and sharing best practices,” said Jennifer Routledge, senior manager of BPO partnerships.

[Related read: Stop for a CX moment—actionable advice from industry leaders]

A strong BPO strategy can have a major impact on how your team is able to manage an influx of requests. Courtney Chartrand, a vendor manager, added, “It's important for us to work together and collaborate for our merchants. So regardless of where you are, we're doing the same job, we have the same end goal. And I think we feel that this work-from-home shift has definitely highlighted that.”

Hear the full conversation here:



Tymeshift: Embracing the unexpected, and why it’s a good time to be in customer experience

For Elisa Reggiardo, Tymeshift’s chief brand officer, a career in customer service was never her plan. She was classically trained as a ballerina, but when she suffered a head injury right before the end of her training, she was forced to reimagine her future.

“I went through some very dark times, right, because when you don't know what you are going to be doing—that's something we as humans always ask ourselves, ‘What am I supposed to do with my life?’” she explained to Reed.

[Related read: Stop for a CX moment—3 companies taking a human approach]

After years of training and discipline through dance, Reggiardo found herself in a position that she never thought she’d be in: working in a call center. Initially, it was an uphill battle, but when she joined a team that offered training and support, she really found her groove.

Reed had experienced a very similar path: “For the greater part of my career, I spent it in support, and it was not what I intended, but it actually turned out to be the best possible thing that could have happened to me.”

"For the greater part of my career, I spent it in support, and it was not what I intended, but it actually turned out to be the best possible thing that could have happened to me." — Sarah Reed

Reed added that even though a career in customer support might not be on the menu, it’s an incredibly rewarding path. “Regardless if you're an introvert or an extrovert, or if you're someone who [is] super competitive and wants to be at the top of every CSAT list, or if you're someone who just does it for your own internal satisfaction, a role as a frontline agent can actually be incredibly fulfilling for you.”

Hear the full conversation here:



Zendesk Live Stream: A CX Moment

It’s an upside-down world. Let’s talk things out.