At ESco, we are closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We will be updating this page regularly with new information.
Here are some good ideas to help you during this challenging time.
Our Commitment To You
We know that some publishers are really struggling, and though the current situation may be a worry, we would like to reassure our partners that we are looking after all of your customers and keeping them safe through this uncertain time. We remain fully committed to the expert delivery of our services to you, as always.
Please do not hesitate to contact your Account Manager with any questions or additional information you may require.
Tuesday 5th January Update
Lockdown - the threequel
So Lockdown 1 was a shock, Lockdown 2 was no surprise, and Lockdown 3…a routine.
Not much has changed at our HQ, Trinity House, because we’d already put measures in place that were above and beyond Government guidelines. Our offices have (to date) remained Covid free throughout the entire ten month debacle.
All services continue to run in full, to their normal high standards, and all those staff who can work from home are doing so, effectively and efficiently.
As we have throughout the pandemic, we want you – our valuable clients – to feel confident and reassured that you have a dedicated partner in ESco. We will continue working alongside you, providing you and your customers with the high quality service that you both require and have come to expect from ESco - neither do we anticipate any interruption to this service.
If you do have any questions or concerns, or would like to have a chat with anyone at ESco, please do get in touch.
Thursday 4th November Update
Lockdown - the sequel
After the shock of Lockdown 1, we've had time to adapt our working processes, and master the best route to efficiency during these times.
So once again, we want to confirm that we are still providing a full service with approximately 50% of our workforce working successfully from home.
We want you all - our valuable clients - to feel confident and reassured that we are a dedicated partner working alongside you. There has never been a greater market for subscriptions, whatever your industry, there is plenty of opportunity ripe for the picking - especially as the country prepares for Christmas entirely through online shopping! We're here to support you.
If you want to have a chat with anyone, please do get in touch.
Wednesday 6th May Update
When lockdown began…
…the world as we knew it was turned on its head overnight. It has taken some adjustment both personally and professionally, but we're now in the middle of week seven of lockdown and we're all well into the swing of working in this new way!
We are still providing a full service with 75% of our workforce working successfully from home.
We want you all - our valuable clients - to feel confident and reassured that we are a dedicated partner working alongside you. The market for subscriptions has plenty of opportunity ripe for the picking and we encourage you to reach for it! We're here to support you.
One publisher stated "this is the subs marketing opportunity of a lifetime". Read more about that here…
Thursday 2nd April Update
Things are now, thankfully, settling into a steady pace as we adjust to our new routines
- Our new telephone system is up and running with our remote working team seamlessly taking Customer calls from the safety of their homes
- Our pre-recorded phone message is being well received with more customers choosing to switch from phone to online
- Daily video team meetings are in place across the company. Our team are busy and productive and spirits are high - well done to all of them, we have a truly wonderful bunch
- We remain stable and are functioning well. We shall continue as we are unless the Government guidelines change once again - hopefully with a full return to the office!
- Our Account Managers will be continuing their work with our Publishers, being creative during this current situation to tap into all potential revenue streams and assist in adapting their services where necessary
We are lucky to work with a brilliant bunch of publishers who are showing so much resilience, strength and creativity.
During this uncertain time, they have been adapting their service with the changes of the world to cater to the needs of their readers, offering:
- adapted publishing schedules
- increased digital offering
- discounted entertainment packages to keep spirits up
- ensuring that, through ESco, their readers receive a continuous and smooth service
It really is POSITIVE news that despite all of the changes we’ve had recently, all subscribers are continuing to have a smooth customer journey.
- We are feeling thankful and blessed at ESco
- We are still firing on all cylinders, albeit largely from a distance!
- As a service provider, our staff are our biggest asset
- Those who know us know that our people are everything to us and, during times like this, the strength we can see from our mighty team pulling together is outstanding
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we’ve got something really special at ESco. Thank you all.
Thursday 26th March Update
- We have invested in an upgraded telephone software system to allow our operatives to seamlessly answer calls from their own homes
- Our experience of discussions with subscribers so far is that everyone expects a disrupted/partial service. The most important thing we can offer is communication, nobody wants to be in the dark
- We have adapted our pre-recorded welcome message for all incoming Customer Service calls to request customers email or read FAQ pages on your websites where possible
- Where relevant, with the agreement of our clients, we are contacting subscribers to:
- Reassure them we are committed to continuing the provision of the best service possible
- Request that they only call our Customer Service team if it absolutely necessary
We are preparing for an enforced office shut down, should this need to happen. We will only be shutting our offices if advised to do so by the government and not before. It is highly unlikely that we would ever need to consider closing as a result of illness due to the preventive measures we have been taking - such as thorough office cleans, social distancing within the office and a skills pool that gives us very thorough back up cover in the event of illness.
We know that you will all be concerned as to what an office shut down would mean for the service we provide. This is what we know:
- Customer Service calls will still be answered
- Most queries will be dealt with in the same way
- Although credit card payments will not be able to be taken over the phone due to PCI compliance issues, customers will be encouraged to pay by Direct Debit, or credit cards/Direct Debits online and will be carefully guided through this process where necessary
- Amends to accounts, subscriptions etc. will be made in the same way
- Emails will be dealt with and replied to in the same way
- Websites/eCommerce platforms will all run as usual
- Back issues/single issues and books will be despatched once the office is re-opened
- Your Account Manager will remain contactable via email and mobile
- Our IT team will continue working remotely
- The physical production of renewals letters will cease until the office is able to re-open and machines can be run by our team again
- Issue runs will still be done in the usual way should they be required.
Further details of individual tasks can be discussed with your Account Manager should this situation arise.
Thank you all for your understanding during this time. We will continue to do our very best to support and protect both our staff and clients.
Monday 23rd March Update
Our commitment to do all we can to keep your customers happy is still at the forefront of our minds at ESco whilst also following the government guidelines and doing all we can to protect our valuable team. With this in mind, as of tomorrow, Tuesday 24th March we will be increasing the number of staff that work from home.
Our Account Management Team will be working remotely and you will still be able to contact them via the usual email addresses - their personal mobile numbers will be published on their email signatures.
Approximately 60% of our IT team will now be working remotely, with just a few key members keeping things running.
Customer Service Team
With such a vital team required on site to take payments over the phone, currently 25% are working from home dealing with customer queries. The Customer Service team are real troopers and will remain in situ for the time being.
We will not be closing Trinity House until the government advises, in order to keep the production and customer service work continuing at full capacity.
With over 25 desks now empty, our remaining staff are able to work safely distanced from each other.
Keep an eye on this page for further updates, or get in touch with your Account Manager.
Wishing you health and positivity.
Thursday 19th March Update
What's the impact of school closures on ESco?
As of Monday, schools, nurseries and childcare settings will be closed.
Another day, another COVID19 hurdle. We have been preparing for this and we have a good balance and support system in place here.
We are fortunate that this only affects approximately 15% of our team, so we are able to continue with an only slightly depleted team.
What about a lockdown?
We’ve been keeping a close eye on this and in no other country has it become mandatory for offices to close – we need to continue on, and that is what we intend to do:
- We have no plans to close our offices
- We fully expect a depleted team at various points due to:
- School closures
- Those self-isolating
- Those who contract COVID19
How do we plan to cope with a depleted team?
- We are sharing our knowledge across the team
- We are splitting each team to limit the risk of contamination (Customer Service, Account Management, IT, Production & Fulfilment)
- We have almost 20% of our team currently working from home
Due to the nature of our business, there are elements of our business that need to be done on site, such as:
- Receiving payments over the phone (to remain PCI compliant)
- Fulfilment & despatch
We have a skilled pool of employees to call upon to ensure this happens.
Things might be a bit slower and harder at times, but this is the case across the country, across the world. Generally there is a good level of understanding and support from all angles, including your valued subscribers. But even though things might be a little slower, they will not stop. We will continue to have a functioning Customer Service Team, Account Management Team, Production Team and IT Team.
Thank you to our incredibly valuable team.
Thank you to our wonderful clients, that we can all work together and pull in the same direction to get the best result.
- Focus on digital aspects - can you sell digital editions, downloadable reports or charge for content behind a paywall?
- Sell directly - if you're seeing sales decline on the newsstand, why not push direct sales through your eCommerce shop?
- Bundle books and single issues into a self-isolation kit - what content do you have that's going to help people right now?
- Communicate with your subscribers - let them know what you are doing and how you can help them through this time
- Find the positives and put a positive front with your readers!
Talk to your Account Manager today to find what we can do to ensure we are communicating, pacifying and using these big old lemons to produce some refreshing homegrown lemonade.
Tuesday 17th March Update
What Are We Doing?
- Segregating our team
Due to the nature of our business we are not closing our offices completely, but we are:
- Setting up team member(s) from each department to work from home
- Increasing the number of people working from home daily, in line with the Government guidelines
- Separating our existing in-house team members, ensuring as much spacing between colleagues as possible to reduce cross-infection
- Regular touchpoints are being sanitised throughout the day (door handles, doors, cupboards, tea stations etc.)
- All at ESco are washing our hands frequently and thoroughly throughout the day
- Hand sanitiser stations are situated throughout the building with notices encouraging regular usage
- All ESco staff are being encouraged to clean their desks, phones and keyboards throughout the day with antibacterial spray
- Office cleaners are cleaning keyboards / telephones and providing a deeper clean each evening throughout the building
- Limiting Contact
- No external meetings – either visitors in, or trips out. Requesting delivery drivers remain outside our building when delivering
- We are receiving live updates throughout the day
- Ensuring we’re adhering to Government guidelines at all times
- We are holding daily meetings with managers ensuring they communicate daily with their team
- Sending daily updates to all staff
- Holding weekly (or more often if necessary) company wide meetings to address concerns, changing plans and issues
- We have set up this page to keep all of you, our clients and partners informed about our current state of play at ESco, and changes and decisions as they are made
We want to reiterate that our priorities remain:
- the health and welfare of our team and partners and
- the continued provision of the top-level service that we are known for. Please talk to us if you are concerned about anything or need to introduce any new ideas. We want our clients and suppliers to be able to continue in successful business and we’ll do all we can to ensure this happens.
It’s vitally important that at a time like this we all pull together.
We wish you all health, peace and positivity.
Tuesday 10th March Update
What Are We Doing?
- Additional cleaning routines are being undertaken at regular intervals throughout the day to sanitise all high-frequency touchpoints such as machines, keyboards, printers, phones, headsets, bannisters, door handles and push plates, lavatory furniture, kitchen appliances, drink stations, bins and meeting room tables and equipment etc.
- Additional anti-bacterial hand sanitiser stations have been placed at strategic locations throughout Trinity House, specifically areas with high footfall
- Keeping good stock levels of soap and hand sanitiser
- NHS "CATCH IT, BIN IT, KILL IT" posters have been put up
- Hand towels and tea towels have been replaced with disposable paper towels
- All unnecessary travel has been postponed until further notice
- Planned visits to Trinity House are being reduced and rescheduled where necessary. Teleconferences are substituting for face to face meetings where possible
- Working from home - the number of staff with remote connectivity is being increased to ensure the team are set up to work from home, should it be necessary
- Communicating - a regular communications plan is in place to keep all employees and clients updated
- A self-isolation policy has been implemented for staff who have travelled to or from known affected areas
- Suppliers - we are working with all regular ESco suppliers to ensure that they are taking precautions of their own to protect their business and continue to support ESco
- Deliveries - given the nature of our business, we have a high number of deliveries and collections - delivery personnel are (politely!) discouraged from entering the building unless essential
These precautions are being updated regularly and subject to change as we continue monitoring and evaluating the situation.