Our COVID-19 Response Practices
Call Center Environment
Keeping our team socially distanced and safe is a top priority here at Direct Line. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, we provided all employees with equipment to work from home as long as they could be in a private location to keep up with HIPAA compliance.
We are currently operating at 99% remotely at this time. We only allow one team member to work in our office at a time. This has been our most significant success during this unprecedented time. We were able to keep everyone working at maximum capacity and successfully hire and train new agents who will also work from home. Since the pandemic, we have hired and trained over 12 new agents who are ready to answer your calls when you can’t.
We are always looking for suitable candidates, especially now that we can have employees work remotely. We have not changed the way we screen candidates. All screening is done virtually via Zoom. Due to the nature of our business, customer service and call center experience is preferred.
During the interview process, each candidate needs to represent themselves well verbally and in written communication. To be considered for employment, candidates need to successfully pass our pre-employment tests and screening. This ensures we hire the required skill set, personality, and work ethic.
Upon hire – if the candidate needs equipment to work from home, Direct Line loans, our agents a complete unit with the option to purchase the equipment after they complete their new hire period. To ensure safety for all staff and their families, the less contact, the better. The only person that they meet with is our Operations Manager, Kindra Fox. This only happens when agents need equipment. These meetings are conducted with all safety standards and protocols adhered to at all times. If an agent needs a replacement headset or a new camera, these are drop shipped directly from our vendors to the agent’s home.
Due to this new virtual environment, agent training has completely been reinvented. Our operations team has worked closely with our Training Supervisor. We all took the time to go through each category to ensure that we could train to utilize cameras and other video resources and valuable “in-class time.”
All training is done using Zoom or by Proxy. The time that our new agents use to shadow in person is also done virtually with enhancements for our training mentors. Mentors were all trained and provided tools to develop new remote agents, working one on one with an agent via Zoom.
We can now train more agents at one time than we have in the past more efficiently. For example, we typically had to wait three (3) months for a class to finish before starting a new one. If needed, we can start a new class one week after the last class has begun. This is a considerable improvement in our training efficiency.
We have always taken pride in our service quality, and our 19 years of winning the ATSI Award of Excellence speaks for itself. This pandemic offered a perfect opportunity for growth. Not only have we been hiring to meet our clients’ needs, but we also hired two (2) new supervisors—one Bilingual Training Supervisor and one Swing Supervisor.
This provided the opportunity to give supervisors scheduled administrative time outside of being the PIC (person in charge). They truly needed the time to build rapport and a culture of support for the agents in this remote environment. As well as complete their day to day tasks. Our Quality and Compliance Director actively manages call quality. She listens to each of our agents and provides them feedback through observations and call monitoring. She meets with every agent at a scheduled time and addresses any questions that they might have.