When Customers are Neighbors Too

When Customers are Neighbors Too

When we answered the Covid 19 Vaccine calls for Wake County,  we relied on our telephone service provider, Bandwidth.  Here’s the story:

Today we have offices and colleagues across the globe, and we love partnering with local businesses and nonprofits. Like sponsoring the state fair’s Accessibility Day, just down the street from our Raleigh headquarters.

We also believe every customer deserves to feel like a priority, no matter their size or location. So when a local North Carolina company needs our help to provide services to the community where we make our home, we jump at the opportunity.

Brightbell navigates the pandemic with Bandwidth

In early January 2021, COVID vaccination efforts were the talk of the nation, and Wake County Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina was determined to be at the forefront of the vaccination efforts. With that determination came preparation for an influx of calls.

Wake County had previously worked with Brightbell and turned to them for quick support in helping the county handle the upcoming call volume.

In just few weeks’ time, Brightbell had assembled a supplemental team of over three dozen telephone operators who would specialize in taking calls for those who wanted to schedule vaccinations. “We had our entire team assembled and ready, and our rallying cry was: ‘We’re going to help end the pandemic,’” says Jami Daniels, CEO of Brightbell.

A long history of answering the call

Brightbell Virtual Receptionists has been in the answering service business since the 1950’s. Founded in Asheville, North Carolina, Brightbell’s story goes back to the days of “Ma Bell” (a nickname for Southern Bell) who once managed an answering service using cord boards. Cord boards gave way to copper lines, and then fiber, and Brightbell eventually found themselves selecting Bandwidth as a partner in 2019, just in time for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bandwidth brought the flexibility and control to handle thousands of calls and messages each day at a quick pace. This was invaluable in the 2021 vaccination efforts for Wake County. “It’s not hyperbole to say that lives were at stake,” says Daniels.

Unifying a community toward a worthy cause

On day one of the vaccination scheduling, Brightbell was in business and floodgates were opened. As with any rollout there were issues. First, Wake County received an unprecedented 250 concurrent calls at their peak. Second, Brightbell had to ensure their existing customers would not be impacted by the spike in traffic. That’s where Bandwidth got involved.

Within 48 hours of the program’s start, Bandwidth supported Brightbell staff in opening additional trunks to protect existing business while also expanding the vaccination trunk capacity by 500% so all calls could be serviced.

Brightbell and Bandwidth supported a massive community effort and helped Wake County lead the entire state of North Carolina in vaccination efforts. “Did it help end the pandemic? Who knows? But it did improve the lives of citizens across Wake County and unified a community toward a worthy cause,” says Daniels.

Since partnering with Bandwidth, Brightbell has seen a dramatic improvement in reliability and uptime. They have been able to add phone numbers from virtually anywhere in minutes. “This is important to us as we have a nationwide footprint,” says Daniels.

Moving into the future with shifting minds and strategies

Previously, Brightbell would set up by opening different trunks in bundles for specific purposes. In working with Bandwidth, Brightbell has shifted mindsets and strategy to make this process remarkably easier. They are no longer focused on trying to consistently “right size” their technology trunks. Now they can scale as needed with virtually unlimited bandwidth.

And this paves the way for new software providers while also giving Brightbell a way to retain their independence.

As Brightbell moves forward into the future, they are considering their global presence and reliability. Daniels explains, “More recently, as regulation has really shined a spotlight on SMS messaging services, we’ve leaned on Bandwidth to help us stay compliant with newly emerging regulations.”

Brightbell saw the need in their Carolina community to give people a way out, a light at the end of the tunnel, a path to getting the world back to normal. As a fellow member of the community, Bandwidth answered the call to help make it happen.