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It’s almost inconceivable. On the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that devastated Mexico City, it was rocked by another one. The city had just finished a commemorative earthquake readiness drill and then the impossible happened. Buildings shook; the ground heaved; It was happening all over again. But this time they were more prepared. For 32 years, the city had been training for such a day — but no one thought it would be on that day.
The 1985 earthquake killed thousands and injured even more. Infrastructure was destroyed and buildings were reduced to rubble. But the city learned a lot and, since then, put measures into place to mitigate future damage and loss of life. Buildings were reconstructed using modern techniques and annual drills were held to prepare for a future quake.
Although the quake on September 19, 2017 wasn’t the catastrophe of 1985, it was still significant. Norma Adriana Delgado, Digital Services Manager at Telefonica, the largest communications provider in Mexico, was a member of the company’s first aid team — devoted to aiding employees during a disaster. As the Telefonica building shook, she sprang into action, urging fellow employees to get under their desks and assisting anyone who needed help.
Once things calmed, Norma had a new focus. She realised that the customer service centre for Telefonica, which was managed by a third party and located across town from headquarters, was damaged. No contact centre agents were allowed in the building.
Norma assembled a group of executives and IT representatives and formulated a plan to get the contact centre back up and running. The contact centre building was inaccessible, so they decided to establish a temporary call centre in another building. Within hours, 200 agents were online ready to assist customers who were still reeling from the earthquake earlier that day.
“People have told me that I am a hero, but I don’t feel like one,” said Norma Ariana Delgado. “I feel I did what I had to do, and I gave what I had to give.”
But it was her actions, her quick thinking and her desire to help that ultimately makes her just that. Norma is a CX Hero.
As the damage from the earthquake became more widely understood, Norma had another realisation. Thousands of people were using Telefonica networks to reach loved ones, but the networks also could be used to aid in search-and-rescue operations. Norma suggested to Telefonica leadership that it open its networks to everyone, so that even people without call plans could reach loved ones. This would also allow search-and-rescue operations to use the GPS in phones to track missing persons — even without a call plan. At Norma’s urging, Telefonica opened the networks for any caller to use.
“I suggested to our Technology VP that we open our network so people could communicate with their relatives and loved ones, as an example, people who need to contact their relatives being inside of collapsed buildings or people who were in hospitals,” recalled Norma.
Empathy is a key ingredient in every CX Heroes story. Another ingredient is the willingness to find a solution. And that’s exactly what Norma did for the people of Mexico City.
Watch the Telefonica CX Heroes video. The Genesys Heroes program celebrates agents, just like Norma, who go the extra mile for their customers. Nominate your company and customer service representatives today for the Genesys Heroes program.
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