Ever since the coronavirus kicked in, “the new normal” seemed to be less painful for technology providers. Number of representatives of this business were seeking for an opportunity in it to gain new clients or enhance their market position. However positive it sounds, even FinTechs were punched with the new reality and summarily had to get the grips with challenges, that no one was prepared for. Digital transformation was accelerated greatly and entities that have never before provided services online were painfully affected by the Covid-19, right at the beginning of the pandemic.
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LiveBank Team vs Lockdown
The outbreak of the coronavirus in Poland posed the challenge of running a business and meant one thing – a change in the way LiveBank Team works. We create and deliver collaborative solutions for leading banks, enabling them remote customer service through video, audio and chat communication channels. To ensure safety, productivity, and resilience to the fallout of this situation, we implemented a brand new operating strategy. Working hand in hand, joint meetings, from which our team drew a lot of energy and satisfaction, were quickly replaced by remote work.
Thanks to the fact that Ailleron enabled employees to work in this format for years, the complete transition to work from home was very smooth. Obviously, this almost instantaneous shift in working conditions had also made LiveBank Team deal with challenges, especially those regarding communication. Every day, we are the one who facilitates a seamless contact between banks and their clients, with video and chat channels in online and mobile banking. In the face of remote work, the priority was to build an effective communication system within our team (between developers, business managers, and salesmen) with the assurance that customers’ experience will not suffer. Our team worked hard to maintain efficiency, meet prevailing market conditions, and not succumb to the crisis.
– Our priority was to introduce LiveBank employees to the remote work model, which was completed with dispatch, thus we were able to successfully continue our work. We applied various co-working models, like weekly planning sessions, working in pairs on the topics, which foster relationships, engagement, and mitigate the risks of isolation. – says Bartłomiej Szymański, Senior Business Consultant at Ailleron. – We also knew that banks would be forced to change the customer service model, which resulted in increased interest in our solutions and LiveBank is a product that guarantees a smooth transition to remote customer service, without the need to visit a branch. We might observe such drivers like maintaining business continuity in times when banks came up with restrictions in branches in terms of on-site meetings as well as how to provide efficient remote customer service and still generate revenues for the bank.
Soon after switching to remote work, the LiveBank Team joined in surveys measuring the level of satisfaction, which allowed for the introduction of facilities improving remote cooperation. In addition, the company provided training on effective remote work, maintaining a work-life balance, and effective communication between colleagues.
How we work?
Switching to the remote work was not such a big challenge, as it might be if our company did not react so quickly and make every effort to maintain continuity of work. LiveBank Team operates globally for years and has worked out efficient ways for hybrid cooperation (remote and on-site meetings). Nevertheless, change in the style of work influenced the contacts with our potential new clients – banks or FinTech partners – which so far were held mostly face-to-face. All meetings need to be done remotely, in such a way that the client could understand the system operation as much as possible. Sales meetings and workshops conducted in this way have shown that distance is not a problem. However, this pandemic period raised a bar.
Nowadays we conduct all meetings and workshops fully remotely, in different time zones. We learned the lessons on how to run these meetings efficiently, where some of them take even 2 to 3 hours. We observed that we’ve to put attention on preparation and rehearsals to keep things smooth. In addition, we made every effort to improve our presentations, focusing on visualizing our product values, business use cases, and best practices. For the LiveBank Team, 2020 has been busy from the very beginning. Numerous inquiries, requests for contact, or demo meant that in the middle of 3Q Managers of LiveBank have up to 5 online meetings per week with potential clients or partners. Working from within hasn’t changed much. The team responsible for the product development works according to the Kanban system, which allows them to define tasks and then verify their progress. Moreover, our programmers take advantage of Scrum methodology. In terms of product and business development, tasks that were once performed individually are now split between two/three people to strengthen relationships and increase work efficiency.
The confirmation of the fact that the LiveBank team has found itself well in the new reality is the work on two very large projects for the banking industry, that will certainly mark out as a milestone in LiveBank’s operations. It is worth emphasizing that the LiveBank team is dispersed between Boston, Poland, and Singapore. That means not only remote meetings are a test of strength but also adjusting the working hours, bearing in mind that each of these regions has a different time zone. In addition, there are active discussions with potential customers around the world concerning digital banking and remote communication, and product development work is underway with existing customers.
A quick peek to the future
We are aware of the fact that the coronavirus and a crisis it caused are a real earthquake for many companies, especially those operating in the financial industry. Providing customers with modern, disruptive services is a priority of ours. Nowadays, when the digital transformation hits a different level, we continuously believe that solutions such as eKYC in digital onboarding, or video, chat channels are priceless, and they give the opportunity to capture the market share, not to just stay afloat.
We operate in an innovative industry, showing an upbeat approach to changes, and absorbing them properly. The Internet environment we work in, allowed us to escape from the difficult adaptation to new realities or building processes from scratch. Working remotely did not slow us down, we have noticed that this is a new standard that will stay for longer, so instead of looking for the end of the “work from home” period, we effectively use our potential. We also believe that in the future, the hybrid work model will prove the best. Some employees like to work remotely, while others prefer to work from the office, so combining these models will bring our team the greatest efficiency.
Currently, we are implementing several projects, constantly looking for new challenges. We attach great importance to the continuous development of LiveBank as a virtual banking branch and communication bus, knowing that both banks and their clients expect it. We strive to constant product improvements to make for the banks the sales process, digital onboarding, and whole customer service much easier and convenient. The way people interact with their financial institutions have changed permanently, thus financial services providers also have to switch towards contactless banking, if they haven’t already done so. LiveBank Team’s job is to make it much easier and anticipate these expectations.