Remote Work | 5 Ways SnapEngagers Stay Productive And Connected

Company photograph

Written by guest author Savanah Eichfeld (Director of Talent at SnapEngage).

Required social distancing has redefined remote work. For some it’s a fairly easy transition and for others it’s requiring total transformation. Regardless, most of us are asking ourselves how we continue to crush it every day with wildly new conditions. SnapEngage has been a global organization from the very beginning. We’ve learned a lot about remote work along the way and would like to share some of those lessons with the world!

 

What does remote work look like at SnapEngage?

Two former software engineers named Jerome founded SnapEngage ten years ago. One Jerome lived in Boulder, CO and the other Jerome lived in Berlin, Germany, so SnapEngage began life as a fully distributed organization. Since those early days, we’ve operated on a partial remote schedule. Up until recently, this has meant that twice a week, most of us worked remotely. This has allowed us to take full advantage of our in office days while still allowing for the flexibility and focus that working from home provides. It also supports and enhances the foundational pillars that make SnapEngage special: trust, tools, transparency, virtual connection, and purpose. 

1. We focus on outcomes

Like we said, everyone gets to work from home. Trust is a key part of how we work from day one. We focus on the what, not the how, and encourage creativity and innovation. We set clear goals, discuss them frequently, and each one of our team members has specific measurables they are accountable for. In fact, remote work – even partial remote schedules – forces us to do this. It allows us to work seamlessly together without needing to be physically present in an office.  

2. We write things down

Today there are lots  of online tools that make lots of promises. At SnapEngage, we optimize productivity by ensuring we use the right tools for the job(s) at hand. There is process and accountability for subscribing to new tools so that we understand the problems we’re trying to solve before selecting the tools to address them.   We have a document-first mentality, recognizing that information not shared is information lost.  We have a process playbook, published meetings notes, and wiki resources. We have video technology that we all have access to and use exclusively (we do not use phones for internal communication at all). Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we use our Team Chat tool to communicate quickly and seamlessly on individual, group, team, and companywide levels. The changes in the environment might mean you are working differently or remotely. Team chat is included in every SnapEngage plan and we use it ourselves to stay connected.  

Building a chat support team? Tips from the SnapEngage Director of Client Success.

3. We are Open Book

We’re a small team that often feels like a family. Families share things! Our co-founders implemented an open book policy long ago, operating on a foundation of over communication and transparency. We give context, invite input and collaboration, and keep doors open. This constant communication, abundance of sharing, and real transparency helps us feel closer to each other and to the goals of the business, despite being apart.  

4. We celebrate virtually 

Historically, office events and celebrations were typically held on in-office days, however we’re well practiced at celebrating together from afar. Each quarter, both offices get together for our Quarterly Celebration. We celebrate milestones and goals achieved, recognize promotions, reflect back on fun events, and discuss exciting new initiatives for the next quarter. We enjoy refreshments in our respective locations but also get to see and hear each others’ questions and updates over video. We even use a community board to share kudos and fun life events and updates throughout the day. Between our Berlin and Boulder timezone, it’s rarely quiet. 

Now that we’re all remote all the time, we’re determined to continue the pattern of bonding and team building. Our recent initiative, “RemoteEngage” takes after our tradition of “WalkEngage” and creates an opportunity for chit chat, relationship building, and even Q&A despite the fact we can’t just ask that nagging question as we pass by a co-worker’s desk.  It’s a time to chat, enjoy coffee together, raise questions, or just listen in. As close to a casual walk as we can get.

5. We believe in what we’re doing

Finally, everyone at SnapEngage steps into their role each morning with a clear understanding of what our product is, how it serves the world, and how their role makes an impact. Now, more than ever, we see opportunities to help other organizations everywhere weather this storm and continue to operate under new conditions. It motivates us, enables us, and keeps us unified and working together, despite a new absence of social energy in our daily lives. We rapidly released the COVID-19 Symptom Checker bot to help our healthcare clients scale as quickly as possible. Our support team is also online and ready to assist clients 20+ hours of the day. 

We’re continuing to find creative ways to stay connected and use the tools we have to the best of our ability. Do you have ideas on how to effectively work remotely? Send them to us at talent@snapengage.com!

About the Author: My name is Savanah and I am the Director of Talent here at SnapEngage. I am passionate about thoughtful leadership and creating an exceptional employee experience. I believe that happy, engaged people make good companies great.

How To Reduce Coronavirus Business Impact

Man on computer, secure chat

 

Coronavirus business impact has been swift, affecting all aspects of business operations. The downstream effects of this viral outbreak is sweeping across the globe. In most industries, budgets are tightening, and ways of working are changing fast. Every day thousands of businesses are banning travel and directing employees to work remotely. The right technology solutions can help businesses stay connected during uncertain times.

Outside of travel and restaurants, other verticals hit particularly hard by Coronavirus (COVID-19) include General CorporateHealthcare, and Government. These verticals are experiencing a tsunami of requests. An unprecedented number of calls and emails are inundating companies.

How business is adapting to limits on physical presence

 

Businesses are experiencing a significant increase in calls and emails from customers, patients, and citizens. Many businesses aren’t able to respond to incoming requests in a timely fashion. In addition, employees are being directed to work from home.

An intelligent mix of live chat and automation, like the SnapEngage COVID-19 Symptom Checker bot, is helping over-burdened staff address customer and employee concerns, thereby stemming Coronavirus business impact.

Moneypenny, a leading answering service in the UK and US serving over 50,000 businesses, has already seen the impact of Coronavirus on their clients. According to Joanna Swash, its Chief Executive Officer, clients are preparing to close offices and work remotely, and they are turning to Moneypenny for help with remote operations and agents.

“Coronavirus is forcing us to change the way we work at an unprecedented rate. With businesses making preparations to operate remotely, chat offers a flexible, real-time method for high volume communication. In fact, it’s ideal for homeworking because it’s cloud based, multiple team members can manage chats and the chat box can be hidden whenever they’re not available.” ~ Joanna Swash, CEO at Moneypenny

In recent months Moneypenny has experienced a 33% increase in chat volume and Coronavirus is now accelerating this trend. More and more businesses are also approaching Moneypenny for help with business continuity preparations – keeping customers away from telephone switchboards and instead triaging their questions quickly online. Swash believes this trend will continue, even after Coronavirus (COVID-19) stabilizes.

More government agencies are using live chat

Local and national government agencies are rapidly going through contingency planning exercises in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Their strategies are leading to changes in the way they operate. Government agencies are using live chat to handle increased inquiries from the public. Rather than coming into crowded government offices, these agencies are encouraging citizens to ask tax, utility, health, and other questions directly over chat.

“I have today asked our IT department to raise an order for additional live chat technology to allow us to expand our chat offering and flex some of our working arrangements.” ~ UK Public Sector Organization

Healthcare is leaning on tech to slow Coronavirus impact

There is no doubt that the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on healthcare is unprecedented. Hospitals and healthcare clinics are already challenged. The time factor with Coronavirus, especially for vulnerable patients, goes from general concern to life-threatening very quickly. Many healthcare providers are using live chat and bots to assist with rapid response triage, while building patient trust at the same time.

Triage: understand a patient’s situation before making an appointment

Automation and live chat can help providers quickly determine which patients need help right away, and which can wait. With SnapEngage, providers can create automated Pre-Chat and Proactive Chat dialogues that anticipate clients’ needs in this trying time and stretch the customer service ability of business staff.

Deaconess, a leading health system in the Evansville, Indiana, uses the SnapEngage proactive and Chatbot API features to offer a Coronavirus Symptom Checker. The chatbot offers a sequence of questions and answers to help patients understand their options.

“The ability to quickly identify patients in need of urgent medical care is more important than ever. The SnapEngage Guide Bot and other automation features can save healthcare staff significant time by answering common questions up-front.” ~ Sofia Rossato, CEO at SnapEngage

Trust: protect patients with HIPAA compliant chat

There are many live chat solutions on the market. Most are not HIPAA compliant. In a time of crisis, healthcare providers must answer questions quickly. It is frustrating for a patient with symptoms to be told that they cannot share personal information over chat.

SnapEngage was the world’s first HIPAA compliant chat platform. Patients can share personal information and rest assured that their data will be protected. Patients and staff can feel comfortable knowing that the communication channel is safe. Healthcare providers are increasing their use of HIPAA compliant chat to improve the patient journey, patient loyalty, and time to resolution.

“In the current climate, people need reassurance and the quickest way to give them that is by being available – from anywhere, at any time. Live chat is a product of our ‘always on’ world and now it’s facilitating continuous communication to keep people safe and informed. I’d urge any business to assess their current provision and act now.” ~ Joanna Swash, CEO at Moneypenny

How to scale communication during a pandemic

Businesses that can address customers’ needs the quickest in times of uncertainty will secure brand loyalty for years to come. Overloaded customer service staff manning the phones and emails simply won’t be able to scale. Many companies will experience a reduction in staff due to school closures, lack of home support, quarantines, and, unfortunately, illness.

Try these strategies for reducing the Coronavirus business impact. That means lowering time-to-resolution and scaling your support operations quickly.

  • Automate important messages with Proactive Chat
  • Guide visitors to the right location on your website quickly using Guide Bot
  • Outsource live chat agents with trusted partners like Moneypenny

Bonus: a quick way to stretch communications systems

How can you address your potential staff shortages? Here’s a quick change you can make today: include an option to chat in all of your emails for quicker support.

Contact SnapEngage to learn how we can help your business reduce the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Access the Help Center for detailed tips and tricks.

 

Anticipate Patient Needs with HIPAA-Compliant Live Chat to Gain Trust

Adopt Live Chat and Foster Loyalty

The patient journey doesn’t begin and end with an office visit. Ongoing care means accessible and effective communication. Adopt Live Chat to anticipate patients’ needs and personalize their experience.   

The core of patients’ needs lie in being understood. When your patients believe you’re familiar with their needs, you’ve won half the battle. Live Chat allows your agents to see what patients are typing before they submit their request.

Solidify loyalty by providing patients with options that respond to their situation. When you enable patients to connect with your agents online or by phone — without exiting the chat — you assure them that their needs will be met. 

Allowing patients an easy way to connect with the same agent gives them a sense of ease. They trust that you know who they are. Patient trust and loyalty are the driver for retention and growth.

Anticipate patients’ needs and respond in real time

Goal:
  • Connect with more patients more often to build trust and loyalty.
Why:
  • Build long-term loyal relationships with your patients to drive greater use of your products and services.
How:
  • Reward returning visitors or patients with personalized messaging. 
  • Answer their questions faster by seeing what they type before they submit their request. 
  • Give patients the option to call the same agent directly from within the chat.

 

Adoption toolkit 

By adopting these HIPAA-compliant chat tools, you can provide patients with an exceptional experience.

  1. Collect information beforehand with a Pre-Chat form. The form is extremely customizable. You can maximize the patient experience by collecting critical information before the chat begins. Eliminate misrouted calls and patient frustration. Give patients the option to skip the form and reduce patient wait times with Proactive Chat.
  2. Give your agents a heads up with Sneak Peak. Your team can respond more precisely if they can see what patients are typing before they hit send. Patients will see “…” while your agents are typing. If an answer takes longer than 60 seconds, you can auto-inform patients that an answer is in the works with Shortcut.
  3. Resolve complex issues quickly with the Call Me feature. Enable Call Me to allow patients to speak with your agents on the phone or online with a headset (speakers/mic) without closing the chat. Unlimited calls are allowed. Patients feel heard and agents can resolve problems quicker. 

Tools for success recap

Collect key information before starting a chat with a Pre-Chat Form
…but don’t require the form if they are about to leave  with Proactive Chat
Reduce patient wait times with Sneak Peek
Resolve complex issues quickly with the Call Me feature

 

Sample workflow

Adopt your Live Chat toolkit to build loyalty

SnapEngage offers a suite of HIPAA-compliant professional service packages designed to increase organizational efficiency, answer queries faster, and gain a larger presence with patients. 

Staff and physicians spend less time searching for patient data and routing calls. Patients are safe from being trapped in the accidental run around. 

The goal? Remove all patient obstacles in a less work intensive way. With chat support it’s quicker, easier, and more accessible.