This week marks two months for me as Chief Digital Officer of Contact Energy, a role for which my family moved from our beloved home in Amsterdam to Auckland. As everyone knows, we find ourselves in a dramatically different and unexpected place than we were in February.
When interviewing for my role, meeting board members and future teammates, and touring the offices, I was struck by the consistent passion for Contact’s tikanga, or belief, to do the right thing for our customers and communities. It’s one thing to say when New Zealand and the global economy are humming, it’s another much harder thing to actually do when the going gets tough.
Here are some ways Contact is living up to its promise to its customers, communities, and employees:
- When lockdown started, we had many concerned customers contacting our teams to discuss bill payments and available resources, which led to long call wait times at businesses across New Zealand. As a testimony to the dedication to our customers and colleagues in the call centers, Contact mobilized to support. Staff from across the business helped answer calls and chat with customers online, we updated our app and website 24 hours a day to reflect the latest information, and for the first week reprioritized our digital delivery portfolio to immediately provide additional self-service options to our customers.
- There are many courageous kiwis on the front lines against Covid-19, and Contact is proud to be able to support a few of them. Over the weekend, non-profit ambulance provider St. John New Zealand shared that they’ll be receiving 6 weeks of free power. We’ve also teamed up with Women’s Refuge to help them in their mission to support victims of family violence.
- As NZ rapidly moved through its risk levels, we knew we’d be closing our offices soon. In five days Contact was able to shift nearly all its office staff from workplace set-ups to working from home. This meant many employees not on the critical worker list voluntarily handed in their laptops, which our IT team then reconfigured and distributed to our call service agents so they could work safely at home. It was smoothly executed, it was selfless, and it took only days for Contact to do what takes many companies years.
- As this crisis has shown, now is the time to accelerate Contact’s digitization, and I’m thrilled to say that we’re launching our program to redesign and digitize every step of the customer journey end-to-end. It won’t be easy, but now is the time to shift into high gear. My goal is to make Contact a leader in customer experience and digitization. Not just for the energy industry, or for New Zealand, but to be at the forefront of every industry everywhere. (If you’re interested in helping lead the change, apply for the role of Head of CX here.)
Contact Energy is an essential service in New Zealand, and we’re honored to provide that service to our customers during this difficult time.
I’m proud of my new home and to have the chance to experience the dedication New Zealanders have to each other. And I’m proud of my new work home at Contact, a company and collection of brilliant employees who live their passion for people every single day.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
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