In the third and final installment in this blog series, we focus on Momentum Telecom’s support team. Read on to discover how Momentum stood up a fully remote support team at a moment’s notice without sacrificing top-notch customer service and expertise.
Jennifer Jacobs, Momentum’s senior vice president of unified communications customer experience, already had a plan in the works for transitioning the Birmingham, Ala.-based support team to working from home when the coronavirus pandemic surfaced. Momentum would relocate its Birmingham office to a new location in late April, and the support team would need to work from home for a week as desks, cubicles and other equipment made the move. The pandemic, however, pushed up the timeline.
“I thought, ‘Okay, it’s what I’ve been preparing for!’” says Jennifer of her reaction when she received four hours’ notice one day in mid-March that Momentum was closing all of its offices and immediately transitioning employees to working remotely. “We had initially planned to move equipment out in stages, to ensure everyone had everything they needed,” she explains. “Instead, we all had to move out in one big group that afternoon. And we did not skip a beat.” The all-remote support team was up and running the next day.
A Solid Foundation for Successful Remote Support
The sudden move may have come as a surprise. But Momentum had in place well-established practices that smoothed the transition to remote support. “We have really good reporting,” notes Jennifer. “And we had already started daily operations meetings with all of the support managers. The managers also have stand-up huddles with all of their teams every morning.” The only noticeable change to this process was that instead of meeting in person, these huddles were now virtual.
Momentum’s support teams are also seasoned pros at collaborating with colleagues around the country via voice, video and chat. “In addition to Birmingham, we have teams in Cleveland, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Knoxville, Tenn. and Cartersville, Ga. A lot of us aren’t immediately aware of where people are located anyway,” says Jennifer. “Many of the support team members already were also using Momentum Mobility to communicate virtually with their pods [smaller groups within the overall support team] to constantly keep the communication going.”
Mobility Keeps up the Momentum
Momentum Mobility quickly emerged as the MVP technology for the remote support teams. Most importantly, says Jennifer, the innovative way Mobility came into play was initiated by the team members themselves. Almost immediately, pods began using the chat functionality within Mobility’s room feature to create conversation logs and wikis for questions and suggestions.
“Without Mobility being the other piece in keeping information flowing, it would have been tough,” offers Jennifer. “We would have needed to implement another solution to meet that function,” she explains, which would have taken up valuable time and resources during such a narrow window to transition. “Even when we go back to the office, we’re not going to be able to go back to ‘normal’ due to social-distance guidelines and other practices that will prevent several people from huddling together at a cube. Having these Mobility rooms open will help take the place.”
Ingenuity Blossoms from Uncertainty
The sharp pivot to remote support pushed everyone out of their comfort zones. But it also revealed a silver lining for Jennifer. “One thing I’ve learned for sure is how independently motivated our support team is, and it’s inspired me to rethink traditional notions I might have had in terms of how to manage how our team works,” she says. “Both our call and ticket volumes doubled from mid-March to early April, and we did not add to our headcount. And our team more than handled this increase from home without direct in-person management.”
Of course, many support team members can’t wait to return to the office, even though working from home has offered the opportunity to stay close to loved ones during an uncertain – and unprecedented – time. “I have people ask me daily, ‘When can we come back?’ They like the camaraderie, and if there’s one disadvantage, it’s that it’s hard to build morale remotely,” says Jennifer. In the meantime, Momentum Mobility is helping bridge the divide. Pods are hosting virtual happy hours and even family get-togethers, which has Jennifer’s endorsement. “I love that they’re using Mobility for professional and personal use,” she says.
Catch up with other posts in this series!