Corona, People

“Things are gradually calming down at the Contact Center”

As a Customer Advisor at the Swiss Post Contact Center in Fribourg, Bastien Fellay has experienced some extraordinary moments while working from home during the coronavirus lockdown. Customers have never before requested as much information from Swiss Post as during this period. The number of queries was twice as high as normal on some days.

Marcel Suter

“The mood was very tense,” recalls Bastien Fellay, thinking back to the start of the anti-coronavirus measures, when nobody knew exactly how the pandemic would develop. He explains: “You could sense the fear, and I sometimes had to make a real effort to stay focused.”

As many high-street shops closed their doors, the number of online orders skyrocketed. Swiss Post had mountains of parcels to sort and distribute. Many customers contacted Bastien and his colleagues at the Swiss Post Contact Center by e-mail and over the phone to find out when their parcels would arrive. “Dealing with all these requests wasn’t easy,” he says. On some days, the Contact Center was inundated with twice as many queries as on an ordinary day before the coronavirus outbreak. 

Pleased to work from home

But Bastien Fellay was not just under pressure from work. He was also frightened of getting infected with the virus on the way to work or in his open-plan office. From 17 March, team members already equipped for working from home were able to do so. Remote access requests were made for the others, so they could also avoid commuting to the office. “That came as a huge relief, because I no longer needed to take public transport to get to work,” explains Bastien Fellay. He can work just as well from home as in the office.

But he believes it is harder to ask colleagues questions when you are not in the office. Usually, all he has to do is turn around and ask them. As the weeks went by, working from home also became challenging for team members living alone, because they could no longer see their friends and family.

“I aim to generate enthusiasm amongst my customers”: this is the ethos of Bastien Fellay, who served his apprenticeship behind the Swiss Post counter in Geneva and relishes customer contact. From 8 June, Bastien Fellay and his colleagues will partially return to their workplaces on-site. All of the premises have been reorganized to maintain safe social distancing, and this means that the number of workplaces available has been significantly reduced. They’re still extremely busy, though: the number of queries remains around 30% higher than the normal level.

written by

Marcel Suter