On a typical day in the Avenue Living Communities' (ALC) Call Centre, Resident Experience Specialists work across two monitors, with up to four applications open at any given time. As the COVID-19 pandemic forced office workers to find alternative remote working environments, ALC's Call Centre had to adapt, and have found these working conditions have taught them just how strong their team is.
"COVID taught us that we do have the ability to adapt and pivot on the fly," says Jon Enslen, Resident Experience Manager at ALC.
"The applications that we work with are all web based, so you don't have to be in one particular location to have access to them. That was our saving grace, because we were able to relocate our teams back to their homes where they were safer."
While safety has been a high priority across ALC throughout the pandemic, Enslen sees these changes as lessons we can take into the future. One of those being how well his teams have worked remotely, with our In It Together culture still prevalent.
"We have such a remarkable team," says Enslen. "The first five Specialists working from home were our pioneers and they encountered some of those initial technical issues. We were able to learn from those situations. It's amazing how our team rallied around each other."
Aside from learning and adapting from one another, the Call Centre teams utilized chat software to troubleshoot any issues that may arise with residents and software. This included a complete list of frequently asked questions and guides on how to work from home.
Other aspects of working remotely has provided ALC with the flexibility to ensure residents have agents to talk to. Cover can be provided quickly if a Resident Experience Specialist is sick.
While internal communication has been the biggest challenge, the team has worked delicately with residents' issues, using empathy to create solutions. This is where they have truly shone, displaying a high level of Duty of Care as the first point of contact for current and prospective residents of ALC.
"We make sure we are respectful and empathetic to our residents. I had an expectation that we would see an increase in handle times as a result of working in a different environment," says Enslen. "But the reality is that it was very minimal, and it's quite amazing how our team adapted."