There is no doubt that these past few months will go down in history as some of the craziest of our time. During the COVID-19 crisis, I’m sure we have all probably felt a multitude of emotions ranging from, fear, to frustration, to confusion, and hopefully even a little optimism. I know at least for the Solar Art employees and myself this is true.
While this pandemic is scary, frustrating, and confusing, we want to try our best and focus on the optimism portion. Solar Art might not be able to operate at 100%, but we are doing everything we can work-wise to help our customers, and we are spending the rest of our time focusing on who we are as a company and who we are as a team. We are working on strengthening our internal communications and how we operate so when this whole mess is over, we come out stronger than we were before!
During this quarantine period, we have started a training program for new employees, a training program for current employees on new sales and business development practices as well as created a place to document company policies and procedures through Trainual. I want to start by saying Trainual is awesome. You can create different training sections that can also be broken down even further into different lessons.
Breaking the content down into sections and lessons makes understanding and digesting that amount of information easy and painless. Not to mention, you can include GIFs, photos, and even videos to help break up the content and make it more fun for the reader. There are tests to complete once you finish a section, which is another cool bonus. As a company, our goal for this training process was to be as thorough as possible, so we decided to have sections for each of our departments and all of the different processes we have.
We have divided up the content to be written by team members in the different departments so it’s a team effort. We wanted to make sure that we have the appropriate people who are the most knowledgeable writing the different sections, to make it as clear as possible for the person reading it.
Since we want this program to be as thorough as possible, we have sections for any employee who might be joining our team, as well as for people who are already part of the team. For example, if you are an operations manager, there are sections on how to schedule an estimate and how to schedule an installation, which would be very beneficial to read through and understand. We came up with this idea as a team and feel it's an easy way to make the on-boarding experience and first impression of Solar Art a positive one.
As I said, our team has been working together to figure out how we can not only improve internally but how we can make our customer experience even better. We figured, what’s a better way than asking our customers directly?! Nothing! So, with that being said, we created a short six-question survey to get feedback on how our customers feel we can best improve as a business. We asked our customers:
We wanted to make the survey quick, so that it wasn’t a nuisance for our customers, but at the same time, incorporate it with questions that would help us strengthen as a company. We felt like the questions we chose successfully gave us the input and feedback we were looking for. The questions we included in the survey give us a clear view of what each customer’s journey with Solar Art was like from start to finish. If there are any areas that we could improve on, we can easily dive right into them and see what we can do to improve.
Solar Art started to incorporate WE TEAM daily Zoom chats with our entire team! It’s a quick video chat at 8:45 every morning to simply catch up and see each other's faces. Our goal of these is to strengthen the company culture, stay optimistic, and increase communication within the company.
Going from seeing your coworkers 40 hours a week to suddenly not seeing them for over a month, is a huge transition. It’s kind of weird if you think about it. You go from sitting right next to each other and being able to walk up and ask a quick question or chat about how their day is going to not seeing them at all and having to go completely virtual if you have a question.
We thought these daily Zoom chats would be a great way to get some of that back during this time of quarantine. We send out the Zoom link on our company Slack channel (which is another great way to stay connected during this time) so it’s easy for everyone to access. It’s just a quick chat to see how everyone is doing, give any updates on the company and what is going on in the environment, and just enjoy each other’s company.
We recently had a new hire who expressed how since he hasn’t had the opportunity to meet everyone in person, he loves having these meetings and getting to see everyone’s faces! Having these morning Zoom chats is a super simple way to strengthen our relationships and communication during this crazy time.
We are taking this opportunity to strengthen our internal communication as much as we can as a company. The daily Zoom chats are a great way to catch up and see how everyone is doing, which does strengthen internal communication, but we are taking it a step further. Our different departments are all coming together to see how they can best work together and implement some new strategies in the company.
For example, our sales department and our marketing department have been working closely for the past month. They have been brainstorming and coming up with best practices to implement in the company moving forward during this COVID-19 time. They have also been brainstorming content to put out there that would be the most beneficial for our customers. This is a challenging time, but we are doing everything we can to strengthen our teams and strengthen our company as a whole.
Finally, we have been thinking outside the box to come up with marketing campaigns and ways for Solar Art to help our customers during this crisis. This is undoubtedly a tough time for everyone and Solar Art is doing what we can to pay it forward as best as we can. We were just talking about how our sales team and our marketing team have been brainstorming and working closely together.
This new marketing campaign idea was a result of one of those brainstorming conversations. We are lucky enough to have an in house graphics department where we can easily print off graphics...so why not utilize that to our advantage?! Our marketing and sales team had the idea to offer complimentary signage for our customers who are still up and running.
We decided to create a few different options for our customers. The first option is a complimentary sign that lets people know you are still open and operating safely. If you are a restaurant, we also created a sign that lets customers know you are open and have takeout and delivery options. In addition to the signs, we created complimentary social distancing floor decal signage that you can install in your store. In addition to the complimentary options, there is also an option where you can create a custom sign.
Both the complimentary option and the custom option can be installed by our customers themselves. They simply stick onto the glass or the floor. Once COVID-19 has passed, the decals can easily be removed with no damage to the glass. The decals and signage are easy for Solar Art to print off and we hope it makes some of our customers' lives a little easier.
So there you have it! Don’t get me wrong, this is a challenging time. It’s a time that is going to go down in textbooks for generations to come. While it is challenging, there are things you can do to keep your optimism up, which is why we wanted to share a few of the things Solar Art is doing to make ourselves stronger as a company.
We are taking this opportunity to do everything we can to come out of this thing stronger than when we started. If you have any questions or comments about what we are doing, please feel free to leave a comment below or give us a call today! We would also love to hear anything your company is doing to get stronger during this time!
Corporate Location: 23042 Mill Creek Drive, Laguna Hills, CA 92653
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