Brand Story – Oregon-based Comcast call center agent and supervisor Barbara Mejia gives insights on remote work best practices and effectively managing remote workers
Q: How long have you worked for Comcast? What are your primary responsibilities?
A: I joined Comcast as a call center agent over six years ago, and it’s been about two years since I was promoted to supervisor.
Q: What enabled Comcast to so rapidly transition all of its Oregon call center agents to work from home after COVID-19 hit in just under two weeks?
A: We’re in an unprecedented time when Comcast customers need critical services more than ever. We know how important good customer service is to those who rely on us and didn’t want to miss a beat. Comcast rapidly mobilized to transition all call center agents to be able to work from home by leveraging our company’s digital business expertise and collaborative team culture.
Call center agents were outfitted with the same equipment as we had at our call center. Laptops were configured with all the software, platforms, and digital tools we needed and were deployed with headsets, monitors, and docking stations. Plus, an internal IT helpdesk was launched to assist us in getting set up and running. It was a highly coordinated process of transitioning team by team with frequent communication from leadership and managers on what was happening and when.
Comcast’s collaborative team culture definitely played a big role in so quickly transitioning our call center operations to be 100% virtual. As call center agents, we work closely together in teams from the start of our shift up until the end of it. Our routine internal processes, like daily team huddles and one-on-one check-ins, coupled with video conferencing and digital chat and task management tools, helped maintain our functional team structure so we could continue supporting our customers. We felt connected right away despite all of us working remotely.
Q: What tools have proven the most helpful in operating virtually/remotely?
A: Open communications, especially through video, is really helpful. It’s great to see each other and connect over video conference on what’s happening, what’s new, where things are at, and how we can deliver better for our customers. Online chat tools are particularly useful, too, in checking-in, trouble-shooting customer issues, and determining promotions eligibility. Comcast’s order processing and payment tools, which provide encrypted security, have also worked well remotely.
Q: Are there any tips and/or best practices you’d recommend to others who are working from home?
A: Set up your home workspace to be functional, as well as comfortable. Keeping your workspace organized can also really help boost your productivity. If there’s space, put up a calendar and have task lists and basic tools you might need, like a calculator, colored pens, and notepads, handy. Try scheduling your day like you were working in the office. Stay focused on tasks and minimize distractions, while also taking a break or two, even if it’s just stepping outside for a moment, to remain fresh. Spending time to learn more about digital tools—what’s available and how to effectively use them, can be beneficial, too.
Q: What are the top lessons you’ve learned about working remotely?
A: Use digital communications tools, like video conferencing and online chat, to stay connected and build team culture. Holding meetings by video conference, where everyone can see each other, helps promote communications and collaboration and creates connection, too. Online chat can also support collaboration and enhance service delivery. Take a break from the screen, as well, to stay fresh and productive.
Q: As a call center agent supervisor, do you have any advice for managing remote work teams?
A: It’s critical to create connection and offer support. Maintaining open communications, like holding daily huddles via video conference, can help keep remote team members connected and engaged. Reach out on a regular basis to individual team members via online chat or phone. Be available. Let your team know when you’ll be unavailable. Arrange for someone to stand in for you, if needed. Working remotely can also be something of a learning curve so be sure your team has the support and skills they need to be successful.
Brand stories are paid content articles that allow Oregon Business advertisers to share news about their organizations and engage with readers on business and public policy issues. The stories are produced in house by the Oregon Business marketing department. For more information, contact associate publisher Courtney Kutzman.