Years ago, we recognized the cost of limiting our operations to Paystri’s physical headquarters in Massachusetts. Talented payment professionals live throughout the country and are not always able to relocate for new job opportunities. Therefore, we adopted a remote work model and invested in the systems needed to maximize workforce productivity. This allowed us to grow our business by recruiting A-players nationwide, across multiple time zones.
While competitors were scrambling to create work-from-home contingency plans, Paystri already had the technology and resources in place for our team to seamlessly communicate and execute from home offices ranging from Hawaii to Boston. The pandemic validated that our virtual office strategy is the right one. We know from experience that our employees deliver above-average results whether in the company office or at their kitchen tables.
Supporting our clients
As the pandemic unfolded, consumers were suddenly confined to their homes. Spending dropped dramatically and businesses struggled to keep the lights on. Some states were hit early and closed quickly, while others were largely unaffected until later in the year. But all regions eventually felt the pain.
Understanding the various geographic implications became imperative. To that end, we were able to lean on our agent channel who live and work across the country. Our agents provided the firsthand feedback we needed to proactively help customers weather the storm nationwide.
Early on, we recognized that our customers and partners were experiencing a dramatic change in their business models. Business began to move away from face-to-face interactions and toward curbside pickup, delivery, and ecommerce. And with that, payments shifted from card-present to card-not-present transactions. Our customers and partners needed guidance and expertise to assist with these transitions.
We quickly leveraged third-party hardware and software relationships to bring new ecommerce, contactless, and mobile options to our customers. Doing so allowed our merchants to adapt quickly to new consumer buying habits. On the Customer Success side of the house, we enhanced real-time communication by opening individual direct messaging accounts for partners and merchants. These channels create instant online access to our engineering and support teams, reducing time lags for support requests.
Also, we provide our partners and customers advanced data analysis on key performance indicators (KPIs) to help them better understand the impact of COVID-19 on cash flow and revenue. This gives them the information they need to make critical business decisions. It also helps illustrate that while business may be down, it’s not out.
Changing how we go-to-market
COVID-19 also encouraged us to rethink the way we go-to-market. Face-to-face meetings with prospects, clients, partners, and employees were suddenly no longer an option. We were compelled to become more strategic, deliberate, scheduled, and coordinated in our outreach. Our sales efforts can now be described as grassroots, meaning we do whatever it takes so our audience knows we are present and invested in their continued success.
We also reimagined our approach to tradeshows and conferences. Our participation is now fully digitized, allowing us to maintain interaction with attendees and prospects in a safe and effective manner.
Thriving in the new normal
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic taught us many valuable lessons. It gave us an opportunity to improve on our strengths and evaluate who we are as a company. We’re a more cohesive entity that cares equally about the experience of our customers, partners, and employees. We proved that the virtual office is every bit as efficient, effective, and collaborative as an office defined by a single address. COVID-19 also created an opportunity to add depth to our team. As many competitors faced furloughs, layoffs, and downsizing, we grew our staff by recruiting talented individuals.
To sum up how the pandemic changed Paystri’s corporate culture, I’d say it made us a better and more creative company. Our motto of “anticipate and thrive” is about being forward-thinking and having proven systems in place before an unexpected event upends the traditional model. By investing in technology, solutions, and people, we’re positioned for continued success throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.