Afterpay faced a surge of inquiries from their customers worried about whether or not they could pay for their goods as COVID-19 restrictions closed down large parts of the Australian economy. 

During the Zendesk Showcase last week, Yvonne Gilmour, head of service delivery at Afterpay said the surge in inquiries required the buy now, pay later business to adapt their channel approach and internal processes. 

“The world changed overnight and suddenly we had customers that were reaching out to us that didn’t before. We were able to kind of flex our channels to make sure that people didn’t wait too long, and to make sure that we could keep operational globally,” Gilmour said. 

“We had to adapt our channel approach and our internal processes making sure that we prioritise people that were maybe feeling stressed about the financial situation and the uncertainty.”

Gilmour said this current situation has given Afterpay a window to showcase that customers are at the heart of the organisation by displaying empathy and adaptability.

Like the majority of businesses, Afterpay needed to quickly adapt to new ways of working as the pandemic began to unfold.

Gilmour said they built a war room to deal with the crisis. Afterpay looked at their external suppliers and worked out a partnership with their teams to make sure everyone could get what they needed to work from home and then hit the ground running. 

“We started out using couriers and of course everyone around the globe was doing the same thing. So our adaptability meant that we lent on Uber, and we were booking Ubers and sticking laptops in the Uber and sending it into people’s homes,” she said.

“Our team has never been stronger. We all feel very connected. The tools that we’ve got at our disposal just make that really easy to deliver service for our customers,” Gilmour said. 

Afterpay also had to negotiate with its suppliers, including asking their Manila-based teams to work from home. 

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