Kristel Kos runs the customer service team at BuyBay with great devotion. Now from home. Within a day she managed to successfully shift her 7 team members and their operation to working remotely. “Our challenge is to make processes faster, more efficient and thus guide customers throughout their buyer’s journey, under every circumstance. I’m very proud of my team; they really did a great job in making the transition.”
Consider it done!
Everyone is doing really well in Kristel’s team. At a personal level but also in terms of results: service levels are high as ever. Kristel was totally prepared to move her operations away from their Amsterdam office. After the press conference in which the “stay at home”-request was issued, the call came. “Can your operation go remote, like now?” Kristel replied immediately: “No problem!” Next day, early morning, the first calls were answered from home desks, kitchen tables and attic rooms. Customer’s questions were answered as well as ever: mission accomplished.
Kristel explains: “Our team offers customer support 7 days a week. A service our partners rely on. During weekdays from the office through email and phone, and during weekends through email from home. We hadn’t yet switched our phone-system to remote use. But with the first COVID-19 cases being reported in The Netherlands I decided to prioritise that project. You never know, I thought.”
That turned out the be a smart move. Typically Kristel, who’s known to always be one step ahead. She set up the remote telephone system and had it tested just before the quarantine-call came. “All I had to do then was pull the switch.”
Closer than ever
The next step was to find new ways of working as a team. “You know, working in customer service is very satisfying. You have a customer with a question or a request. You answer their questions or fix their issues, which leads to happy customers. We learn on the go and continuously tweak the process. To do this, we’re in constant contact with one another while at the office. Because I believe we’ll find the quickest fix for our customers or the smartest upgrade of the process together. And it’s also important to vent. Because, as anyone who’s ever done this line of work will tell you: it’s good to share. Now we manage through plenary early morning video-sessions and during the day we keep in touch via internal chat programs. Every week I plan a call with every member of the team so we can continue with personal development. Additionally, our Senior Agent has regular 1 on 1 coachings with everyone and we have e-learnings they can do from home!”
Future proof (international) office
Kristel does look forward to a change once again. “We’re returning to the office gradually now. I’m very happy to see other team members again! However, I do think working remote is here to stay. I think a 50/50 ratio would be perfect.”
BuyBay’s international ambitions promise further change. Kristel explains: “We already provide lots of support in English, German and French, and this will only increase. Also, speed, flexibility, efficiency, managing of expectations and guiding customers through the process are very important. I’d like to keep my team the same size and work smarter whilst our business expands.”
Looking back at these past weeks, one of Kristel’s few worries operation-wise were the office plants. “Truly. Our team is so flexible and so well coordinated, I knew they’d manage. We worked hard the last 2 years to build our team on reliability and dedication to one another and that really shows! But how would the plants survive? I took my son to the empty office to water them every week. And when I really couldn’t; I made sure someone else would run by.” And just as her team, the plants continue to thrive.
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