Letetia, to date, what has been the biggest change do you think, or initiative that has had the best outcome?
It definitely has been curbside pickup, I would say. Now, there's been several other things that we've done. Like I said, contactless payment, other things like that. But it led to customers who were typically our in-store shoppers, who continue that but not feel like they had to come into a physical location. It's been by far our most successful initiative. We've attracted new customers to our organization, because of that, because they needed customers who had not previously known about it, knew that we were still open and were able to take advantage of that. It also helped our team members from a level of comfort and security for them and helped us continue to provide that. I'd say that's probably been our biggest win. Right behind that too has been, I think, how quickly we were able to react to remote work. So our entire store Support Center headquarters was relocated to work from home remotely in early March, and we were able to take care of that. I think quite frankly, our productivity has not only remained the same, but actually is probably improved in some cases. So we've been very pleased about that, too. And so it gave us the ability to just continue to iterate on things that we know we're gonna need.
Do you think that with the successes, I mean, if they were to serve a purpose for now, do you think that they're going to continue on as things transition back to normal?
I think they will. If you look at what's going on in other countries where they've gotten past COVID, things like contactless payment are gonna continue. People doing self checkout, it's gonna continue because I think that our new norm will be different. It won't be the same. Sol some of these things will probably slow as far as an adoption perspective versus the last two months, but they'll remain. Curbside will remain to a certain degree. People becoming much more digitally savvy, Chad was referencing, how do I now do things online? People that did not necessarily use digital technology the way others did, and it's been accelerated, by months and maybe years, some people, so that I think we'll continue too.
Adapting to New Digital Processes
Chad, what are some of the changes that you've made, processes or products or people?
Yeah, I think there's a couple, major things, we've done over the past really 90 days, but some lessons we've learned over the past six months as well, I'm gonna rewind back to at the end of 2019, I learned a very important lesson. It was right before Christmas. And I remember the secure act got passed by Congress. Now you guys may not be familiar with that specifically, but it really had a lot to do with how retirement was going to be viewed in America. And what were some of the rules and processes and it literally got signed the Friday before the holiday and most of my staff were out enjoying the holidays as well as was I, but our advisors needed that information really, really quickly. And, we learned at that point in time that, even though it was during the holidays, we needed to make sure we were still in that constant communication. And we didn't get that information out as fast as we would have had hoped in terms of how we're gonna approach and deal with that law.
So, as we went through COVID- 19, Congress passed the CARES Act literally again on a Friday, and this time, our team was much more prepared. We had been researching following that law from its creation. And even though that law was literally signed by the President on that Friday, we had communications reviewed by legal and compliance and we were sending that information out to our advisors by Monday morning, and we were probably about four days ahead of most of our competitors. Getting information out to our advisors is the value that we needed to bring. It was less about a system or a technology, and more about just making sure that we were being timely and the types of communication, the value we were able to provide to our advisors. So from that it evolved, allowed us to keep moving forward and provide more information, and then we provided more presentations and online seminars. So that was an important process. I think we really tried to turn and make sure we were more prepared for those kinds of things. And we were able to take advantage of it really quickly.
During March, I think the second thing is, we go back and look and one of the things that we as a company had been set up for a long time now, is to be able to do more and have the ability to accept this electronically, meaning that we can take documents that are digitally signed by DocuSign and sign x and those types of programs, so what we found is that as an industry, and our advisor community had really accepted that technology, right? And they are traditionally a very, very paper based organization, and a paper based industry, and this really pushed that technology into the forefront for advisors. They had to go back and figure that out. And we were prepared, and we were there with that, and we just needed to get everybody up to speed and get them comfortable with those processes. And I think that was the other thing that really, we're able to take advantage of, during this time, is that again, we had a lot of those things set up, but the adoption rate had been a little low. But now advisors did not have a choice, they needed to be able to do business, cause that was the only way they could do business. And I think that was one of the advantages we were able to take advantage of during that time.
I think the last thing is that some of the process that we're able to do differently, is teach advisors to be able to get comfortable with communication online, and be able to do those seminars and those approaches and be able to deliver information, whether it's one on one, or whether it's going to be a seminar for hundreds of their clients. But I still believe first and foremost while technology is important, we had to get them comfortable, content is king, they needed something to present. And that was one of the things that we really focused on, we continue to focus on, and we had a series of presentations that advisors could literally download and use within minutes and host a seminar for their clients to help ease some of the questions and some of the comments that their clients had about the market. So, those are some of the things I think we felt like we were able to take advantage of in this last quarter. And it showed for us and we're really proud of the effort, the sales teams and advisors were able to take advantage of it and be able to adapt and move forward. So those are some of the basic things that we feel like really changed our company, and will probably change for the better going forward.