At SpotHero, we support a collaborative work environment and encourage our colleagues to connect with departments outside of their own. To achieve this, we have company-wide Customer Connect Days twice a year, and we host one for new hires once a month. Employees sign up to shadow a member of our Customer Hero department for a few hours. There’s a brief presentation about the department and what their day-to-day looks like. We dive into how the Hero department interacts with each other and how they tackle tricky situations. This year was made trickier by the COVID-19 Pandemic, but fortunately, SpotHero was able to collaborate to create a fully remote Customer Connect Day. Customer Hero Emily M. gives us her perspective on leading a Customer Connect day, both remotely and in-person:
“Customer Connect Days have always been one of my favorite things. I really love getting to show team members from across the company what Customer Heroes do, and I love connecting with other departments. Coincidentally, the last thing I did in the SpotHero offices before we closed was lead a Customer Connect Day! That was one of the last really normal work days I had, and it’s such a pleasant memory.
When leadership announced they were planning a fully remote Customer Connect Day I immediately volunteered to lead one. I was so excited, but I was also pretty nervous. In the past, Customer Connect Days were completely in-person, and I wasn’t sure the experience would work as well over zoom; Hero volunteers would give a short presentation about what the job entails, then we would start taking real customer calls and let our coworkers listen in. It was a great insight into issues our parkers may be facing. After successfully completing each call, we would take a few minutes to debrief and let our coworkers ask any and all questions they may have. Engagement on Customer Connect Day is so important, so I wondered if doing everything remotely would affect everyone’s level of involvement.
I was thrilled to see that the experience wasn’t diminished at all. A few people even confided that they preferred doing it remotely, because they found it more accessible, and they weren’t afraid to ask the odd questions–though in my experience there is no such thing! We were also able to record the Connect Day sessions, something we never had the opportunity to do before.
I was happy to see that what I needed to do to make the day a success wasn’t that different either. The point of Customer Connect Days is to show other departments what a typical day is for our department, and I was still able to do that effectively.
One thing that hasn’t changed since we started remote work is that everyone comes into a Connect Day session with different expectations; some people are curious about how we handle certain scenarios, other people are just curious about what the Customer Hero job entails. I think something employees in other departments may not realize is that the Hero department is very empowered; we’re given an arsenal of tools and knowledge to solve issues quickly and efficiently for our customers, and most of the time we can resolve problems in a single phone call. This surprises a lot of our customers, but it also surprises SpotHero employees!
Something that never ceases to amaze me about Connect Days is how it invigorates everyone involved. Often Customer Connect Day leads to great conversations, as well as improvements in the department and the company. For example, someone from the tech side noticed that it took us a long time to pull up customer accounts. Immediately after this session, this employee made a change in user search to make it faster and easier. It’s also led to improvements on our parking passes, policies, you name it. One Connect Day session can lead to a lot of changes, I love that I get to be part of it, and I’m so happy we were able to find a way to bring back the program without missing a beat!”