Tennessee Broadband Association (TNBA) Members Remain Committed to Customers During the Pandemic
The ongoing health crisis has disrupted our lives and caused us to change how we interact on a daily basis. Many small businesses have closed, employees furloughed, or reassigned to work remotely. Schools have taken protective measures that force many students to complete their schoolwork through distance learning.
But one thing this pandemic has taught us: Broadband is more important now than ever. That’s why our TNBA members have remained committed to their customers throughout the pandemic to ensure they have the services they need. They have donned masks and gloves, socially distanced themselves, and increased disinfection protocols to ensure customers remain safe while receiving the tools they need to thrive.
Karen Furman, chief operating officer at Telecom Management Services, which includes West Kentucky and Tennessee (WK&T) and Ardmore Telephone Company (ATC), says employees continue working to ensure that the customers they interact with remain safe and secure.
“Our main priority was taking care of our customers and making sure that we were able to do so safely for our employees,” she says.
After the World Health Organization deemed COVID-19 a pandemic in March, WK&T and ATC enacted new policies to ensure safety.
Both companies closed the lobbies of their offices and halted all employee time-off requests to ensure they maintained a high standard for service.
“In times like these, our members rely on us more than ever,” Furman says. “We took steps to ensure that they received the same commitment and high level of service that they have always counted on.”
Some employees at both ATC and WK&T worked remotely, and technicians responded to calls directly from their homes instead of reporting first to the office. Employees also were issued personal protective equipment (PPE) such as goggles, face shields, masks, gloves, and coveralls) for technicians making in-home service calls.
“We were proactive in getting the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for our employees working directly with our customers,” Furman says. “We never stopped installations or repairs that were so vital for our members during this time.”
WK&T added 16 free Wi-Fi hot spots to ensure everyone in the community had access to the services they need to work or study remotely, and both companies agreed to waive late fees and terminations for residential and small-business customers.
Trevor Bonnstetter, Chief Executive Officer at Telecom Management Services (TMS), praises the dedication of employees and the way they stepped up to take care of their customers’ needs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of just how vital strong and reliable broadband service is in times of global crisis,” he says. We are proud to be entrusted with the responsibility of providing these invaluable connections.”