Are they heroes? They don’t think so. Are they willing to do their job to the best they know even in a pandemic situation? Just try to stop them. Meet some of the people in A1 Bulgaria who are making sure that our customers can count on our network and services anytime, anywhere.
Elisaveta Vasileva, Online Customer Service Expert
I had a lot of questions about home office in the beginning, but all doubts were gone soon — we organized everything fast and now continue servicing our customers with the same level of professionalism. In my case the customers don’t see any difference as we are communicating online. They are now more interested in our Digital Solidarity campaign and the services for their homes, so they are contacting us for support with changing packages, technical questions. The most emotional moments are when we support elderly people to reconnect with their friends and families. I hope we will all be able to go back to our normal lives soon — I can’t wait to see my family, friends, and colleagues, to travel and be free.
Petar Stanoev, Senior Engineer
Our job hasn’t changed much except that it is even more important now to keep our network running smoothly. The people need and use more voice and data services and are much more sensitive to any issues. Which is why we keep optimizing the capacity of the network and are ready to act fast if something happens. Yet, I really miss the contact with the colleagues — being able to sit together and find solution to any problem at hand quickly. Yesterday we met a colleague and we couldn’t do something as simple and natural as shaking hands. Distancing is hard…
Atanas Mihaylov, A1 Shop Manager
I try to distance myself from the negative effects of the pandemic. The important thing for me is that we still have our jobs and our customers, unlike others. The things that got me here — being motivated, goal oriented, and cooperative are the things that drive me now too. We’ve been through a lot, so this is not something we cannot overcome together. The TEAM is the most important thing right now and we are proving it — my manager, my people, we all work together to keep ourselves and the customers safe and to ensure our performance is stable. And to hear the sincere “Thank you!” of the customers for providing them a service or solving an issue for them — well, these are the most memorable moments of the day.
Betina Pavlova, Wholesale Manager
Luckily, our business is not affected as others are, because we provide vital services and the usage is increasing. We are not able to meet our customers personally now, but we are communicating with them much more often. Many new opportunities to extend our partnerships are arising due to the situation and I think we need to use them to strengthen our position as a trusted partner in any situation. In my area we see that our customers need to increase the capacity of the services they currently use, we are monitoring them on a regular basis and contact them proactively with offers for upgrade when necessary. After the emergency state is over I’ll keep working on full speed as we expect a new wave of needs and requests — we have to be ready and adapt. I also plan to travel — I have countries like Singapore, China, and Japan on my list.
Alexander Hristov, Senior Technician
For me things didn’t change much — my job is still the same, I’m not locked inside and I don’t have the limitations other people have. Some customers are a bit tenser, which is quite normal considering the pandemic and that we are entering their homes in this situation. We discuss the protection measures we have in place before the installation or the maintenance and we agree that they will use masks too and keep distance, if they want me to do my job. I’m not worried about possible infection — for me it’s more important to keep my focus on the work at hand. Like everyone else, I’m missing the social life, but I’m not complaining. The first thing I’ll do after all this is over is to get together with friends and celebrate.
Venelin Kolev, Senior Engineer
The mobile network requires a lot of attention and fast reaction, whatever the circumstances. Our job is mainly outside, traveling, entering residential and business buildings, and working in a team is a huge part of it, so we are usually in contact with many people. Due to the coronavirus situation we had to adapt our protocols to meet all safety requirements. We are professionals and we need to be flexible, that’s what our company and our customers need from us. Of course, we cannot ignore the risks, because we all have families and friends to think about. In this regard, I would like to say “Thank you!” to the team responsible in the company for the measures taken and for providing us protective gear, which allow us to keep maintaining the services for our customers. As for the times after the pandemic — there are many people whom I love and respect and I can’t wait to meet them in person.
Sofia Melamed-Mateva, Customer Service Specialist
After the initial shock, I now feel that my work atmosphere at home is not much different than in the office — I manage to stay focused on my tasks and in touch with my colleagues. The most challenging are my two small kids, who require a lot of attention. It is sometimes difficult to make sure the customers don’t feel any difference in the service, despite the kids crying somewhere in my background or asking mummy for a hug :) If they notice, they react with understanding and a smile (probably because most of the times I can hear children playing on the other side of the line too). I miss the office, the face-to-face contact, and my hectic daily routine — I don’t know why I used to complain about it. But now I have more time for my family and for many little things I never found time for before.
Ivelin Dimitrov, Senior Technician
I don’t think I’m some kind of a hero — I’m just doing my job. It was difficult in the beginning of the emergency state, but the atmosphere is much more relaxed now and the customers are much calmer. They react differently to the measures — some approve them, some don’t believe there is a virus, and some won’t let us inside their homes. The free access — not only in terms of my job, but in general, is what I’m missing the most.
Zlatoslav Zdravkov, Sales Consultant in A1 Shop
I honestly don’t see much of a difference now compared to the times before the emergency state, except for the protective measures. It’s not really comfortable to work with a mask and gloves, some customers are not very happy with the restrictions in the shop and don’t want to use protection, but we are handling it. I believe most of them understand that it’s for theirs and our safety. Otherwise, it’s business as usual — taking payments, supporting the customers with their devices, selling our products and services, etc. We are all quite motivated. The only thing I really miss is the fresh air and the walks in the park.
Of course, these are just few of our heroes. There are many more — working on the front line like them or supporting them to do their best.
Like the members of our Crisis Management Team who are making sure we are all safe and well and have all the tools we need to do our job. Like the colleagues enabling our customers to buy, pay and manage A1 services online and organize the delivery to their door step. Like the people supporting our corporate customers to digitalize and adjust their business to the new situation. Like those who monitor our IT systems and our networks 24/7. Like the colleagues who launched our Digital Solidarity campaign just one day after the emergency state was announced and keep upgrading it ever since. Like those who arranged A1’s donations to hospitals and engaged the customers in the process. Like the teams who are making sure all processes and transactions are running smoothly. Like the colleagues who are helping us all to keep learning online and become better every day. Like so many more.
»No heroes, actually. Just us, A1 Team, helping our customers to be the heroes in their own story.«