We are kicking off our first episode by discussing a topic that is on the forefront of many of our clients’ minds in these uncertain times brought on by COVID-19: what should a call center-based business be doing to stay ahead of the curve in today’s unprecedented and unpredictable environment, and what does it mean for a business and its employees?
Stan speaks with Matthew Melzer, VP of Revenue at Presidio Interactive on what kind of strategies Presidio has employed in order to thrive, what this unprecedented shift means for companies going forward, and why the COVID-19 crisis has a silver lining in the insurance industry.
On managing remote work
Presidio has been operating fully remotely since 2017, so they know a thing or two about managing a remote organization.n
When speaking about maintaining work culture with a fully remote team, Presidio is “all geared towards the mindset of operating from a standpoint of over-communicating,” Matthew says. “Even though we’re all off in our own silos, we’re never really alone.” The company supports their staff and daily operations through daily huddles, outlining clear expectations, and using tools like Slack and Skype. These help maintain open communication lines, manage expectations, team collaboration, and goal setting.
How COVID-19 is a game changer
Matthew points out the fact that many jobs which have been historically done within the office have successfully been shifted remotely in a matter of weeks.
Presidio has been helping clients pivot their marketing campaign strategies to reflect the current environment, and Matthew acknowledges that it is a disruptive time for the insurance sales industry. While some agencies have managed to adapt and even excel in a post-COVID-19 world, others have had more difficulty, and have had turnover in their staff. Of course, having existing infrastructure in place to support a remote workplace definitely has given some companies a leg up.
Matthew has also noticed an interesting trend as of late. Some buyers have become noisier within Retreaver as they test different strategies for fielding calls, and have been inconsistent from one day to the next. At the same time, others have remained steady in their usage.
The silver lining
As we all stay home in observance of social distancing, there have been shifts in consumer behavior. People are spending more time on their computer and online, and may be thinking more about the protection they need for themselves and their families.
For the insurance industry, Matthew says that now is the time to provide that reassuring voice that consumers currently need. Now more than ever, people are looking for a human connection to talk to. Perhaps they were recently laid off and require different or more affordable health coverage, or maybe they are looking for additional coverage for their family. Whatever it may be, a real live person can help guide consumers through a purchase based on their unique life situation. Most agencies that Matthew has seen have been able to recognize and fulfill that need, and are currently doing quite well.
As a whole, without having a crystal ball into the broad economic and public health endgames that lay ahead, he is cautiously optimistic about the industry's prospects. Matthew had this to say to us:
“From what I'm seeing for our business and for our clients, the outlook is good. If your fundamentals are strong in terms of your technology, your operations, your consumer marketing efforts, and your balance sheet, there's a decent chance that you're going to come through this out on the other side ok. There's always going to be a need for insurance or health coverage products that consumers may not give too much thought to on a day-to-day basis, but are essential and they give a lot of thought to in times of crisis.”
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