Customer Service Manager
Mike Fosselman was in the interviewing process with Root Insurance Company, an app-based car insurance company that determines individual pricing primarily on the customer’s specific driving behavior, prior to the pandemic hitting Ohio. As Customer Operations Manager at Root Insurance Company, Mike leads forecasting and scheduling of all customer contacts, analysis of the data, process creation, continuous improvement, and managing the customer service technology stack. Mike started his new job there on March 31, just two weeks after Ohio was put on quarantine.
Here are Mike’s answers to our questions about what it’s like to start a new job during a pandemic:
Q: How do you onboard when you can’t go to the office and meet your new colleagues?
A: My onboarding was completely virtual through Google Meet and Zoom Meetings. I picked up my laptop and other supplies at the front desk the day before my start date and that was the only face-to-face interaction I had with anyone. The biggest challenge was not being able to see the entire customer service operation functioning in front of me. There is a certain buzz in a call center. Not being able to see the screens of front line the customer service reps and overhearing all of the conversations created a challenge to overcome.
Q:What process did you use to meet each member of your team?
A: Root had an extensive on-boarding schedule in place. I met everyone through video meetings. With my direct reports, we have a daily standup, weekly team meetings, one-on-ones and a virtual happy hour on Friday afternoons where we talk about anything that’s not work related and sometimes play Fibbage 3, virtually. We have also started inviting other groups to our happy hours. When needed, we never hesitate to schedule a quick meeting or place a call through Slack for impromptu conversations. The same applies for my peers and boss.
Q: Tell us about your job – is it a job that can be done easily from home?
A: My job can easily be done from home for two reasons. First, Root was already prepared for employees to work from home because the systems they built are cloud-based. Another reason for success in working from home is that the mindset of all employees has been to embrace the situation and learn new ways to accomplish the same results.
Q: What was the biggest challenge in working from home each day?
A: I don’t think there is much of a challenge. I enjoy it and have embraced the new “normal” of working from home. I really want to meet my team and peers face-to-face someday. The only people I’ve met face-to-face so far are two of my peers, and that was during the interview process. Everything else has been virtual. The virtual support I have received from everyone has been amazing.
Q: Has the company set a time to actually return to the office?
A: Honestly we haven’t wasted much brain power even thinking about it. But, the company has set a date for a voluntary return to work. They have been very transparent in communicating the plan and I feel there isn’t a rush to get everyone back in the office. The company is performing exceptionally well
remotely. The primary focus has been on the work and not a specific date to return to the office.
Thank you, Mike, for sharing your story. We hope our spotlight stories provide encouragement and insight for those who are going through a job transition.
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