While most of us are working in the comfort of our own homes, around 5% of our employees around the world are still working on the frontline. They’re making sure services that customers and societies rely on are maintained during the coronavirus crisis.
Here are a few of the heroes working hard to help you #StayConnected…
Meet Panayotis, a Field Service Technician in Chalkida, Greece, who made one of our elderly customers very happy by visiting her home and fixing her connection, which helped her to stay in touch with her family and also to her speech therapist via skype to continue her sessions online.
Our colleagues in Turkey created this video of what they have been doing to help our customers during lockdown, including working in stores, sending out SIM cards.
Core Networks colleagues in Egypt have been working from our premises, at home and out in the field, day and night, during curfew hours to build capacity or upgrade the network to help our customers stay home and stay connected.
Paul Karsen has been ensuring full 5G coverage is maintained in the town of Bergen in Germany.
Adriana Mirza from the Enterprise Business Unit discovered a project with several people who wanted to manufacture medical visors and then distribute them to doctors. Adriana called all her business clients to ask for the necessary production materials. After she managed to collect the materials, she organised and distributed the visors to the physicians’ offices in Oradea area.
And when the doctors from the Marie Curie Hospital in Bucharest needed a solution to send out medical papers to their patients, Adrian Dobre from Enterprise Business Unit activated an SMS service for document encryption keys. His solution was successfully tested from the first attempt.
In Romania, our colleagues wanted to help our customers without them having to leave their homes for a simple SIM change. Alina Vilău, Segment Readiness Manager, set up a new framework and obtained all the necessary information to be able to deliver SIMs directly to those customers who cannot leave their homes.
Florina Huidan, Advisor, Customer Relations, implemented this flow and made sure that all the data was correct and that the SIMs were able to be dispatched as soon as possible.
Soon after implementation, customers called the store to send their thanks.
Gezim Kelmendi, a serviceman at VodafoneZiggo, usually drives hundreds of kilometres each week to remedy any hitches as soon as possible. Due to the tightened coronavirus measures, he has had to adjust his routine. Now he only goes to places if there is a really serious problem, “How I come to the door, has also dramatically changed these past few weeks. That is, if I come that far at all”.
Gezim still visits customers, but once he has arrived he first calls them from his car. They then explain the problem to him, “In this way I can determine how brief I can keep the contact. Less social, but safety comes first. If it turns out we can solve the problem on the phone or by video calling, we opt for that. If necessary, I lay a new modem or Wi-Fi booster on the doorstep and guide people through the installation procedure. I’m secretly turning all our customers into budding servicemen”.
Is Terwijn was also in for a surprise during a house call. When he arrived, he noticed a warning sticker on the front door stating there was an oxygen tank in the house. "The man of the house turned out to be a lung patient. In these times and with the risks of contamination, it meant I could not go inside, not even at a safe distance. His wife, whom I met at the front door, was very understanding. But I did see the helplessness in her eyes.”
So Chris thought of a way to help these elderly people: “Giving instructions on the phone proved to be too complicated. Then suddenly, the neighbour turned up. He regularly visited them as a caregiver and was therefore able to enter. Through an open window, I told him what to do. That ranged from checking the connections to replacing the cables. He did all that as a pro. We even managed to help them switch over from analogue TV to digital. A razor sharp image appeared. Happy and relieved faces. Never before had I felt such satisfaction when I left.“
Odion Belioso set off to an elderly couple in a nursing home. At first, he wasn’t allowed to enter, but after consulting the couple’s daughter on the phone, an exception was made: “I was helped into coveralls, put on gloves and face protection and set to work. These are crazy times. Where you normally have a cup of coffee during your visit, you now take yourself off as soon as you can. For your own, but also the customer’s health.“
Now that our technicians travel as little as possible, quick alternatives are needed to help customers. You can now easily solve your problems yourself with Jordi the technician’s instruction videos.
Surely, it sounds familiar: you’ve been using the TV and the internet at home a lot more since the lockdown. This can cause problems like a black TV screen or a faltering Wi-Fi connection. ‘However, VodafoneZiggo cannot visit customers for every request anymore due to the corona crisis’, says impact specialist Charles de Ridder. ‘That’s frustrating, but the health of our employees and customers is our top priority.’ As a result, customer service is overrun with questions.
VodafoneZiggo quickly came up with a solution to support its employees. “Before the corona crisis, technicians had already suggested making instruction videos for some simple problems. Technicians see quite a few technical issues at customers’ homes that could have easily been solved by customers themselves, in hindsight. This saves the customer money and us a ride.“
Different departments began working together from home and were able to turn an idea into a product in just two weeks. Are you having problems with the Internet, the Wi-Fi connection, the remote control or a malfunctioning TV picture? If so, you can get started yourself with the instruction videos. Maybe all you need to do is order a new cable to be able to binge watch in peace again.
Team manager Ralf Anema explains how VodafoneZiggo created a special working group to provide software, systems and tokens for all the departments of VodafoneZiggo. “In addition we needed hardware. Computers, monitors, headsets, mice, you name it. We got it all and team leaders even drove round in the weekends to deliver the equipment to our people. All that energy and the huge willingness to help each other, was really cool. Within two weeks, we managed to get all connections going at home. And thanks to the right preconditions it works even better than expected”.
“With the whole country staying home as much as possible, the servicemen of VodafoneZiggo only turn out for real emergencies. We can achieve a lot through phone, chat and email, but not everything can be solved quickly for our customers. Some problems therefore take some more time. A negative situation, you would say. But something strange is happening. Our marks for customer satisfaction are actually rising sharply. This just shows how extraordinary this period is. A time in which we all do our very best and in which our customers appreciate exactly that. In addition, if in spite of it all they need to wait a bit longer before an issue can be solved, they are utterly understanding. The sooner we get rid of corona, the better, but I hope that this mentality will stay with us for a long, long time”.
During the corona crisis, approximately 90 Vodafone shops, (as well as all the Ziggo shops) remain open to the public. Entering and shopping has become an entirely different experience, though.
Danny Rongen, cluster manager Retail at VodafoneZiggo: ”At the beginning of the corona crisis we had to shut down our 140 shops to guarantee the safety of our employees and customers. After a few constructive sessions with the shop employees, we decided on what would be needed to reopen. The result of this fantastic collaboration was the introduction of several measures including a hygiene package for each shop and a door policy to safeguard the social distance of 1.5 m, among other things. This has led to around two thirds of all the shops now being open again.”
Shop manager Giorgio Fasel was quick to implement the necessary changes in the Vodafone shop in Leiden. ”We worked hard to ensure a safe environment, following all the guidelines from the RIVM and our own company. Gloves, hand gel, disinfecting wipes are at hand at all times. We have had to remove all demonstration models for reasons of hygiene. The big empty demo tables have been moved and are now used as counter. In this way people know where to go.”
Every customer is served one to one by an employee. There are three colleagues in total in the shop, of whom one is at the door. Therefore, a maximum of two customers can be in the shop at the same time. ”In normal times we receive around 8,000 customers a month. In this unprecedented period we see 80% less people in the shopping streets.”
Thank you to our amazing employees who have been going that extra mile!
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