Creating Meaningful Connections
During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Merijn te Booij,
Genesys Chief Marketing Officer

It seems that, in an instant, everything has changed. The
COVID-19 pandemic — and the precautions we’re taking globally to stop the spread
— have replaced socializing with social distancing, in-person outings with
virtual check-ins. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still find those moments
connected. We just have to find different ways to make them.

A friend of mine recently celebrated a birthday. Instead of
throwing a party or inviting friends out for a drink, she biked throughout the
city to do a “birthday cake-fueled drive-by” past friends’ homes. Maintaining a
safe distance, we all shouted, cheered, held up signs and wished her a happy
birthday from our porches. Learning to pivot, think outside the proverbial box
and create those connected moments in new ways during these times actually
created a more meaningful experience than she would have had otherwise.

In these times of isolation, we need to come
together now more than ever for our families, employees and customers. Enabling
your employees to continue to work safely from their homes while still giving
your customers the personalized, caring and empathetic experience they want makes
all the difference. At Genesys, like many companies, we’ve
gone fully remote
with many more meetings occurring on Zoom video.

The power of technologies like cloud and
artificial intelligence (AI) are further empowering people around the globe to
connect in ways that weren’t possible years ago. By relying on the speed,
agility and flexibility of cloud, companies can

— and securely — set up new remote contact centers
to meet the needs of
their customers and ensure business continuity. While it’s not “business as
usual” in the true sense of the word, being there for customers — listening,
knowing their situations, giving them a one-on-one personalized experience and
answering their questions — during their most critical moments offers comfort
in this time of upheaval.

In This Together, Helping One Another
The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought our attention to organizations that
might be feeling more of a strain than usual — organizations that, day in and
day out, help those in need. And now, more than ever, the numbers of people
needing their help is growing.

The Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Inc., helps feed hundreds
of thousands of Indiana residents each year. Gleaners supply items to hunger
relief agencies and schools throughout 21 counties in central and southeastern
Indiana. However, during this crisis, the Gleaners Food Bank was receiving tons
of calls from homebound seniors and quarantined residents in need — and that
was overwhelming not only its supplies but also its hardworking volunteers and
its phone systems.

When the Genesys Indianapolis office team learned that the
demand on the Gleaners pantry had tripled in less than three weeks, they stepped
in to help. The team hosted a Virtual Food Drive for Gleaners, which allowed
Genesys employees to remain at home without risking their health or the health
of others — all while raising over $10,000 in just 24 hours.

And assistance for the food bank went beyond monetary. To
manage growing demand within the community, Gleaners deployed the Genesys CloudTM
. Within five days, the food bank performed a soft launch with
Genesys Cloud — and it’s currently evaluating how to manage incoming requests
with only one employee and a couple volunteers helping to call back those in
need and log orders.

I’m astonished with the fact that one moment — learning that
a single organization is in need during this time — can connect an entire
community. During this time that many are calling “the new normal,” it’s
encouraging to see people going above and beyond to show empathy and offer a

What’s Around the Next Turn
While it’s been disappointing to see events being canceled and postponed,
including the Olympics, the Indianapolis 500 and numerous happenings, there’s
still a lot to look forward to. And many of those athletes and artists affected
are using this additional time to hone their respective crafts.

As you might know, Genesys
has teamed with IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe
. James’ focus, courage and empathy made him a perfect match with
Genesys. And we know he’ll be ready to hit the pavement at full speed once
we’re beyond this. We’re incredibly excited to watch him.  

While no one is certain when it’ll happen, we will overcome the
COVID-19 pandemic and return to the “old normal.” But one thing that is certain:
The “old normal” will be anything but that. Most of us will be able to resume
life as usual — commuting into an office for work, running with friends,
playdates for our children and visiting with family. But beyond this, things likely
will be vastly different.

I’m hoping that once we reach the other side of this, we’ll
all carry a lesson learned as regular life resumes: Take the time to appreciate
the little things you might have taken for granted before this “new normal”
took hold. Slow down. Appreciate each other. Practice empathy. Help each other
out when you can. And, of course, wash your hands. Remember: We’re all in this