iOS 15: How to support your customers through the latest release

In today’s digital age, connectivity is the main priority in everyone’s lives. With the power of iOS 15, customers can become more connected than ever before with these updated features. However, with new software versions comes a spike in support inquiries. Is your business ready to assist customers with adopting Apple’s latest software version?

Ozmo exclusively offers early access for your agents to provide them with all the information they need even ahead of launch, preparing them for any hurdles that may be presented when iOS 15 reaches your customers’ devices. With iOS 15 on Ozmo’s omnichannel support platform, agents are equipped with all of the answers they need to smoothly guide their customers through this latest experience from Apple. Ozmo’s self-serve tools are also available to your customers on the day of launch to help them get the most out of iOS 15 which allows them to familiarize themselves with the latest features and functionality. 

If you’re curious about everything new that comes with iOS 15 and what questions your customers are likely to have, keep reading below. 

FaceTime: a new connected experience

In iOS 15, FaceTime gets an upgrade. This newest feature update allows users to simultaneously watch TV shows and movies, listen to music or share their screen while continuing their conversations. FaceTime’s SharePlay feature allows you to be even more connected and share irreplaceable moments, despite the distance. 

With new spatial audio in FaceTime, voices during conversations will sound as if they are coming from the directions in which each person is positioned on the screen in the new Grid view. Grid view enables users to have more efficient calls with larger groups, highlighting the speaker and organizing each person in the same size frames.

Placing a video call

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max on iOS 15.0.0

Place a FaceTime call to another iPhone. This can be done using a phone number or the registered email address on your contact's icloud account.

  1. The indicator is in the top left.

    From the Home screen, tap FaceTime.

    Step 1/7
  2. The indicator is towards the top.

    Tap New Facetime.

    Step 2/7
  3. The indicator is towards the bottom.

    Enter a contact name.

    Note: To make a FaceTime call, you need the person's phone number or registered email address.

    Step 3/7
  4. The indicator is towards the top.

    Select the contact.

    Step 4/7
  5. The indicator is in the center.

    Tap FaceTime.

    Note: In order to make a FaceTime call, your contact must also have an iPhone with FaceTime.

    Step 5/7
  6. The indicator is in the top right.

    To hang up, tap End.

    Step 6/7
  7. There are no indicators associated with this step.
    Step 7 of 7:

    You've completed the steps!

    Step 7/7

All interactive tutorials provided by Ozmo Self Serve

FaceTime is also enabled now with Portrait mode, where callers are able to blur backgrounds to eliminate distractions. To further eliminate interruptions, FaceTime in iOS 15 offers voice isolation that minimizes background noise, no matter where users may be. Finally, FaceTime links are now incorporated into the user experience, increasing connectivity by allowing anyone to join calls through a unique web link.

With iOS 15, your customers may need assistance with navigating the new look and feel of FaceTime. With Ozmo's pre-release access to iOS 15, your support agents will be ready to deliver every answer to your customers so they can easily digest the latest features.

Messages now transformed

A new major update within iOS 15 is Focus, where users can customize which notifications they would like to receive in order to direct their full attention on what they choose. Apple will automatically suggest options or users can generate their own based on their preferences. Through Focus, users are also able to share their status by letting others know if they are busy, which will be directly displayed in Messages. For urgent notifications, users will still be able to send and receive these messages despite using Focus. 

Within Messages, all links, images and other content shared within conversations in Messages can be found in the brand new “Shared with You” section in each corresponding app. This new section is built into Photos, Safari, Apple News, Apple Music and Apple TV apps already on an individuals’ iPhone. 

The latest addition in messages called Photo Collections will transform the photo finding experience. This feature presents multiple photos in Messages as a collage or in a stack of images. Now, users can swipe through, change the display or save images directly within the app. 

Major software changes can cause significant challenges for users. By having the right support tools to deliver accurate and reliable answers to users, your customers can experience new upgrades like Focus with ease.

Request a free demo with Ozmo

All of users' favorite features, redesigned

Within iOS 15, notifications are reimagined with a completely new format that features contact photos and larger app icons to make it much easier for users to identify who or what is notifying them. Users can now quickly catch up with all of their notifications with an efficient summary that is delivered daily and ordered by priority for the best experience. 

Also, Safari is now even more customizable with an all-new layout. The new tab bar maximizes total screen space, therefore enhancing the user’s exploration journey. The tab bar is located at the bottom of the screen, so users will only need to use their thumb to navigate through Safari. iOS 15 also enables people to group tabs together, syncing from each of their devices. Users can also now search in Safari using their voice and add extensions straight to their iPhone, just as they can on desktop.

These new configurations make the user experience more customizable and efficient. To assist customers with their new personalized experiences, users can benefit from self-serve support tools to guide them independently.

Managing browser tabs

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max on iOS 15.0.0

You can switch between multiple tabs inside your web browsing app. This allows you to keep several websites open at once to quickly switch between. You can clear your open browser tabs by pressing X on the tabs you want to close.

  1. There are no indicators associated with this step.

    Note: Browser windows are also called tabs.

  2. The indicator is towards the right.

    From the Home screen, tap the Safari icon.

    Step 1/8
  3. The indicator is in the bottom right.

    Tap the Tabs icon.

    Step 2/8
  4. The indicator is in the bottom left.

    To open a new tab, tap the Plus sign icon.

    Step 3/8
  5. The indicator is in the bottom right.

    Tap the Tabs icon.

    Step 4/8
  6. The indicator is in the top left.

    Select a tab to view.

    Step 5/8
  7. The indicator is in the bottom right.

    Tap the Tabs icon.

    Step 6/8
  8. The indicator is in the top right.

    To close a tab, tap the X icon.

    Step 7/8
  9. There are no indicators associated with this step.
    Step 8 of 8:

    You've completed the steps!

    Step 8/8

More power with Maps

Apple Maps with iOS 15 is also a brand new experience. Users can now explore different cities with a new detailed view, along with 3D landmarks in dark and light mode. Driving with Maps also becomes much easier with iOS 15, providing individuals with exceptional details with its street-level perspectives and a brand new driving map that indicates road conditions and incidents. Driving is not only more efficient, but Maps also offers immersive walking directions with the new augmented reality instructions. Users are now able to pin routes for their favorite transit options, revealing individual stations and times with just one tap. Getting to and from new places is now more effortless than ever before.

Using turn-by-turn directions

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max on iOS 15.0.0

The Maps application can help guide you to your destination. Learn how to use Maps on your device to navigate to any location with turn-by-turn directions.

  1. The indicator is towards the top.

    From the Home screen, tap Maps.

    Step 1/6
  2. The indicator is in the center.

    Tap the Search for a place or address field.

    Step 2/6
  3. The indicator is towards the bottom.

    Enter your destination.

    Step 3/6
  4. The indicator is towards the top.

    Select your destination.

    Step 4/6
  5. The indicator is in the bottom right.

    Tap GO to begin navigating.

    Step 5/6
  6. There are no indicators associated with this step.
    Step 6 of 6:

    You've completed the steps!

    Step 6/6

How to be ready to support your customers

New updates to operating systems can sometimes cause confusion in the lives of users, so it is imperative that you have access to the necessary resources to help with any technology uncertainty you may be facing. With Ozmo’s omnichannel platform, end users and agents alike have access to a wide variety of support tools to solve any tech support question at any time from anywhere. Ozmo’s comprehensive device and app library is guaranteed to provide reliable answers for each and every customer interaction. 

Ozmo Self Serve places valuable support resources right into the hands of users by providing customers the right answers to even the most complex issues to solve their tech problems independently and efficiently. 

As for Ozmo for Agents, contact center agents can get early access to all things iOS 15. This gives your agents all of the tools they need to be ready to provide support with confidence on the day iOS 15 launches. Overall, each update is bound to be accompanied by frustration with some users so make sure that your team has the right tools to help make a major difference in the lives of your customers today. 

Want pre-release support access to iOS 15? Request a FREE demo with our team of experts. 

The importance of self serve in tech support

The world of technology and tech support is constantly advancing. This consistent change of pace has resulted in customer support becoming increasingly vital to the success of customers today. As our devices and applications evolve and update past the rate in which companies can publish support resources, it’s critical that businesses and their customers have the right answers available within effective support solutions.

Now more than ever before, end-users are seeking out self-serve support to answer their complex technology questions. Without effective self-serve support solutions through their providers’ digital channels, customers are more likely to swarm contact centers for support, or worse, have their complex tech issues go unanswered. And when customers are left to rely on search engines for their tech support questions, often the answers are unclear, outdated and unreliable.

That’s where effective self-serve support solutions come in.

In Ozmo’s latest Tech Chat, Director of Marketing Christina Herrington and Vice President of Product Brian Cross reveal the secrets behind providing effective self-serve support to today’s customers. Christina and Brian discuss what self-serve support is, the challenges individuals are facing in their tech support today, what benefits can impact your business and how to transform your company’s support efforts with an omnichannel solution.

Watch the full video today

To learn more about how your company can transform its self-serve support, fill out this brief form for complete access to the full length video including a free demo of Ozmo Self Serve.

You’ll learn:

  • What it means to have an omnichannel self-serve solution
  • How to measure success of your self serve
  • Tangible benefits your business can expect by offering self serve
  • And more!




    How to effectively onboard your customers with self serve

    As digital adoption rates continue to increase among users, it’s vital that companies can provide customers with the right tools that they need to effectively navigate their digital journeys, especially when it comes to customer onboarding. 

    One of the most effective ways to assist customers during their onboarding processes is to provide comprehensive self-serve onboarding tools. Research indicates that over 80% of customers attempt to answer their questions and solve their issues on their own before reaching out to a customer service representative.1

    In this blog post, we’ll define what customer onboarding is, share tips for successfully onboarding your customers and explain why effective self-serve is necessary to the success of your user base. 

    What is customer onboarding?

    Customer onboarding is the process of introducing and welcoming customers to their new technology and to your company. First introductions lay the foundation of your users’ experiences. When customers are equipped with the right tools and support during their onboarding, they are more likely to support and interact frequently with your business moving forward. 

    What makes customer onboarding so important?

    The reason why successful onboarding is so important for your customer base is because it has the potential to dramatically influence digital adoption rates, customer satisfaction and brand loyalty among your customers.

    Keep reading to learn more about the three tips necessary to successful customer onboarding.

    The drive towards digital adoption

    Onboarding is more than just giving customers the guides to get started — it’s an opportunity to set customers up with the right tools and capabilities that they have at their disposal while introducing them to your company. By promoting a successful onboarding experience, a company and its support teams can help drive digital adoption of its services and technology by encouraging customers to seek out self-serve solutions for future device, app or service questions. 

    Digital adoption not only positively enhances the customer experience, but it also greatly impacts your company’s bottom line. Self-serve support is a significant cost-saver as it helps to reduce the number of calls coming into the contact center. By offering self-serve onboarding tools, companies have the potential to save millions of dollars annually while preserving their time and human resources to serve every support interaction. By deflecting the amount of assisted support interactions, digital self-serve technology can transform your business. 

    Empowered customers are happy customers

    When digital adoption rates increase among your customers, so does their satisfaction. Customers who have reliable access to quickly and independently solve their tech needs are more likely to have positive sentiments surrounding their provider. Busy customers don’t always have the time to attend follow-up calls or sort through lengthy instructional documents for their tech support answers, especially during their onboarding. Customers want to be able to begin exploring and extracting immediate value out of their new technology as soon as possible. Offering self-serve support through easily accessible guided tutorials helps make the onboarding process as painless as possible for customers and agents alike. 

    Boosting brand loyalty

    Providing exceptional customer support via self-serve tools is directly tied to brand awareness and brand loyalty. Customers who consistently have their tech support needs met are more likely to recommend your company to others, whether it’s through word-of-mouth, online reviews or customer satisfaction surveys. Research has shown that when it comes to brand loyalty, 69% of customers remain loyal to their cellular carrier, 56% to their cell phone manufacturers and over 54% of respondents were loyal to their cable provider.2  This is an opportunity for mobile operators, device manufacturers and broadband providers to boost their customer loyalty with more tailored and easy-to-use self-serve onboarding experiences.

    Want to learn how to drive your customers to success during their onboarding?

    Three tips for excellent customer onboarding with self-serve

    There are a variety of touch points to help provide the most clear and efficient onboarding to customers utilizing self-serve. These tips include:

    1. Provide access to new device or service guided workflows

    When customers obtain a new device or sign up for a new membership with their providers, it’s important that these users are given support from the start. Joining a new network or switching to a new provider can be an uncharted territory for some customers, who are looking to your company for guidance. Providing customers with the option to bring their own device or begin their onboarding process with their new or existing device gives companies an opportunity to start off the customer’s experience on a good foot. Customers like C Spire have benefited from Ozmo’s guided onboarding workflows when it comes to getting acclimated to their new providers by bringing their own device

     One way in which companies can provide this support is through guided onboarding workflows. These workflows offer uninterrupted, step-by-step guidance to customers during their orientation. These workflows can be customized and embedded as interactive tutorials and cover hundreds of different support topics. 

    Transferring content from your old device with a wireless connection

    Samsung Galaxy S21 5G on Android 11.0.0

    Using a weireless connection, you can use Smart Switch to move your pictures, videos, and other media files from your old device to your new device.

    1. There are no indicators associated with this step.

      Note: Before getting started, check to make sure your old device is supported by Smart Switch. You can find a full list here.

    2. The indicator is towards the bottom.

      From the Home screen, swipe up to view your apps.

      Step 1/9
    3. The indicator is towards the right.

      Swipe to Settings.

      Step 2/9
    4. The indicator is in the top right.

      Tap Settings

      Step 3/9
    5. The indicator is towards the bottom.

      Scroll to Accounts and backup.

      Step 4/9
    6. The indicator is in the center.

      Tap Accounts and backup.

      Step 5/9
    7. The indicator is in the center.

      Tap Bring data from old device.

      Step 6/9
    8. The indicator is in the center.

      Tap Send data.

      Step 7/9
    9. The indicator is in the center.

      Tap Wireless.

      Note: After this step, select your old device type and follow the onscreen prompts to begin transferring your old content.

      Step 8/9
    10. There are no indicators associated with this step.
      Step 9 of 9:

      You've completed the steps!

      Step 9/9

    2. Hit all the touch points

    When introducing customers to your support, there are three main touch points that lay the foundation for effective customer onboarding. The key to effective onboarding is encouraging customers to utilize self support in their customer journeys. These include welcome emails, online self-serve hubs and in-store customer education.

    Proactive support

    A great way to introduce new customers to your company is with proactive support. Before the customer even knows they need help, meet them in their inbox by sending a welcome email, text or a push notification right to their device. In this initial communication, it's best to provide personalized self support content to the user. We recommend including the most common getting-started support topics tailored to the customer’s device, app or service. This helps make customers feel valued and supported in their new user-journeys. 

    Self-serve hub

    Another option for improving customer onboarding is creating a self-serve hub in low-cost digital channels, including your website and mobile app. When customers have a self-serve hub easily accessible to them via their preferred channels, they are more likely to utilize them to answer their own support questions. Mobile apps are a popular channel for customers to seek accurate answers while having the support right in their pockets. Offering a self-serve hub on your website can also be beneficial for customers. When customers turn to search engines for their tech answers, your website should be at the top of the search results to provide those answers. Organic search engine optimization (SEO) and in-site search capabilities are critical tools for your customers to find the answers they are looking for. Creating and maintaining a support hub with SEO-optimized content can provide customers with a central location to access top-tier support services that will allow them to smoothly transition into their new services

    Within your support sections, we recommend that you include broad coverage of your company’s supported apps and devices. The topics covered in your support hub should include all software and hardware details, from ‘how to insert a new SIM card’ to ‘how to transfer your old device to your new provider’ or ‘how to manage your new account’. In these self-serve hubs, it’s also important to provide support tools within the website itself, that way customers can access support at any time, whether they are viewing the content on desktop, mobile or through their service app.

    Inserting and removing the nano SIM card

    Apple iPhone 12 on iOS 14.5.0

    Learn how to insert and remove a SIM card from your device. Your cellular service is activated through your SIM card; without it you cannot use cellular features. Note that a SIM card tray removal tool may be needed.

    1. There are no indicators associated with this step.

      Note: Don't touch the gold contacts on your nano SIM card. That could damage the card. If you’re using a new SIM card, you can activate it by contacting your carrier.

    2. The indicator is in the center.

      Locate the nano SIM card tray on the left side of your device.

      Note: You must have a nano SIM card inserted in iPhone to place calls, access the internet, download apps, and share pictures over your carrier's network.

      Step 1/6
    3. The indicator is in the center.

      Press the card insertion/removal tool into the nano SIM card tray pinhole and push until the tray releases.

      Note: The card insertion/removal tool is included in iPhone's box.

      Step 2/6
    4. The indicator is in the center.

      Slide the nano SIM card tray out of its slot.

      Note: A nano SIM card may already be inserted in iPhone.

      Step 3/6
    5. The indicator is towards the top.

      Insert or remove the nano SIM card into or from the tray with the gold contacts facing the front of iPhone.

      Step 4/6
    6. The indicator is in the bottom left.

      Push the nano SIM card tray back into iPhone.

      Step 5/6
    7. There are no indicators associated with this step.
      Step 6 of 6:

      You've completed the steps!

      Step 6/6

    Assisted support

    The moment customers purchase a device, there is an immediate opportunity to educate end-users with self support. Interactive tutorials are an excellent way to guide customers through their onboarding processes. These tutorials can be accessed from any channel, whether in-person or online. ​​Arming in-store and contact center agents with easy-to-send guides and tutorials gives support teams the opportunity to advocate for digital adoption among customers as well. Agents can then train customers to utilize self-serve tools beyond their onboarding without having to come into the store or call into the contact center each time they need assistance. Not only does this ensure a consistent, guided setup experience for the customer, but it also arms end-users with comprehensive support tools.

    3. Keep onboarding up-to-date

    Keeping your support up-to-date is a critical part of providing accurate, first-class customer service. Device and app lifecycles are constantly evolving, and so should your support. Some support centers may only offer instructional documents or knowledge base articles during customer onboarding. However, oftentimes these lengthy, text-based guides are not optimized for proper technical support and education. These documents can also be difficult, if not impossible, to keep up-to-date as new software updates and offerings become available. With up-to-date, accurate self-serve answers, providers are able to seamlessly transition customers in their initial setup experiences.

    Supporting customers beyond onboarding

    Customer guidance and support needs to be provided to customers at every stage of their user journey. Support that covers even the most complex technical issues can transform not only your customers’ experiences, but your organization's customer support operations and bottom line entirely. 

    To learn more about how to consistently support your customer through onboarding and beyond, request a free demo from our team of experts today. 

    Motorola implements Ozmo’s assisted support platform for entire agent workforce

    BLACKSBURG, Va., August 12, 2021 — Motorola Mobility, Chicago-based telecommunications giant, has chosen Ozmo’s tech support platform to empower its remote agent workforce in providing outstanding customer service for a broad range of Motorola smart devices.

    With Ozmo’s robust library of virtual devices, Motorola agents can access the critical support tools they need from anywhere in the world at any time. This scalable library allows Motorola agents to effectively resolve customer inquiries for its own line of products, driving customer satisfaction and increased brand loyalty for the OEM.

    The Ozmo support platform allows Motorola customers to receive effective, up-to-date support for all questions ranging from the simple to the most complex across a wide variety of Motorola devices. The introduction of the Ozmo platform has been met with strong agent adoption and overwhelmingly positive feedback.

    “We are beyond excited to welcome Motorola to the Ozmo support platform,” said David Catalano, co-founder and CEO of Ozmo. “As one of the top manufacturers of smart devices, Motorola has benefitted from Ozmo’s platform since day one of implementation. We believe this partnership allows us to empower Motorola’s agents in providing the best possible support experience in a new, distributed environment.”

    Motorola has implemented the Ozmo tech support platform to empower its remote agents

    Every device and app is supported in the Ozmo platform across its entire lifecycle of software updates, which ensures Motorola agents can tailor support to each individual customer’s unique setup. Motorola devices operate on the Android platform which means there are hundreds of potential variations of device and operating system configurations.

    [Motorola’s agents] are leveraging Ozmo on average 50% more frequently than our typical adoption rate after just a few months.

    David Catalano, Ozmo co-founder and CEO

    In 2020, Motorola took advantage of a free trial of Ozmo for Agents as it moved its contact center operations to a distributed, work-from-home model due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With Ozmo, Motorola received immediate value on day one of the trial and was able to execute a seamless transition to remote support operations.

    The success of this trial led Motorola to permanently implement Ozmo’s platform for its entire agent workforce. And now, Motorola agents can access Ozmo’s robust library from anywhere, eliminating the need to be located in a contact center or have access to a physical library of Motorola devices.

    “We are seeing really strong adoption with Motorola agents. They are leveraging Ozmo on average 50% more frequently than our typical adoption rate after just a few months,” said Catalano. “We are confident that Ozmo will continue to empower Motorola in this new distributed environment and see adoption and success rates continue to rise.”

    About Lenovo & Motorola

    Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$60 billion revenue Fortune Global 500 company serving customers in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that power (through devices and infrastructure) and empower (through solutions, services and software) millions of customers every day and together create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society for everyone, everywhere. Motorola Mobility LLC was acquired by Lenovo Group Holdings in 2014. Motorola Mobility is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lenovo, and is responsible for designing and manufacturing all Moto and Motorola branded mobile handsets and solutions. To find out more visit https://www.lenovo.com and read about the latest news via our StoryHub and Motorola Global Blog. 

    About Ozmo

    Ozmo is a technology company headquartered in Blacksburg, Va. that creates software to solve tech support at scale. The omnichannel Ozmo support platform is home to tens of thousands of answers that can be served up across all support channels – from the traditional, agent-assisted to digital, self-serve channels. Ozmo’s platform assists in over 25 million support interactions each year for customers that span the telecommunications, connected device and tech insurance spaces.

    Ozmonauts return to Blacksburg headquarters in a new hybrid environment

    Nearly a year and a half after the statewide mandated stay-at-home order, Ozmo is now transitioning employees back to its Blacksburg, VA office into a hybrid workspace.

    Ozmo’s team members have been working together to set up the office in preparation for welcoming back over 90 employees to the Blacksburg office headquarters, including 64 employees brand new to the Ozmo office. 

    Ozmo’s move-in crew pictured in the office stairwell preparing to welcome back employees.

    Getting back to in-person

    Ozmo’s leadership teams have been preparing for the back-to-office transition since the beginning of 2021. During June of this year, Ozmo staff began the move-in process by setting up new equipment and organizing employees’ newly updated workspaces. Over the course of the month of July, hybrid teams and employees have been making their way back into the office in waves in accordance to our safety guidelines. 

    “We have been sequestered in our homes for so long, so while everyone was excited to return, there was definitely anxiety around what it would be like to be together again,” said Lea Hamblin, Employee Development Manager. “We wanted to approach our return to the office in a way that was fun, low stress and allowed time for everyone to reconnect.”

    Associate Support Analyst Kara Sutphin ready to greet Ozmonauts back to the office.

    Prior to welcoming Ozmonauts back to the office, employees’ work environments were determined on a team-by-team basis based on what worked best for each team as well as how their members worked together. Managers worked closely with individuals on their teams to determine their arrangements based on the working nature of each department and whether their workflows were better suited for in-person collaboration or in a more individual, at-home environment.

    Similar to a college move-in experience, each day starts with curbside service and a welcome committee to assist each employee upon their arrival. Leadership teams have worn custom move-in “staff” t-shirts and unloaded equipment from employees’ cars upon arrival. Each workspace is prepared with personalized welcome notes from Ozmo with treats for each individual. Ozmonauts are then registered and checked-in by the IT and HR teams for all of their supplies, parking and check-in needs. Once settled, individuals can sign up for professional headshots to update their work profiles as well explore the office with Ozmo’s tour guide and Administrative Assistant, Brianna Geddings. While on tour, Ozmonauts have the chance to learn about the history and evolution of the office over the years. 

    An Ozmonaut’s desk with a welcome note and office supplies provided by staff

    “It was not only important for us to bring each department together again but to also strengthen our team bonds and set individuals up for success in their new environment. We also put an emphasis on Ozmo’s culture by wrapping up each move-in day with a club fair for special interest groups such as gaming and music,” said Hamblin.

    Ozmo’s open work environment allows for efficient collaboration between teams and coworkers. Available conference rooms allow individual departments to meet separately while supporting fully-remote individuals via video conferencing.

    The thing I missed the most while working from home was hearing everyone’s laughter. When we were all in meeting rooms on mute all the time, I found I really missed hearing everyone’s responses, so I’m very glad to have it back. It’s been great to see everyone’s faces and hear about their weekends.

    Kara Sutphin, Associate Support Analyst

    Ozmonauts sitting in on their first back-to-office orientation presentation.

    Prioritizing employee safety

    COVID-19 safety measures are still in place following the newly updated statewide guidelines. Employees who are not fully vaccinated are required to continue to wear a mask in the office and individuals who are fully vaccinated are welcome to wear a mask at their own discretion. Workspaces have been created to account for all employees who will work in the office more or less frequently than others, based on their comfortability and team workflows. 

    What I am most looking forward to being back in the office is seeing and collaborating with my friends and co-workers in person again. I love the culture and atmosphere that Ozmo has to offer and I am overjoyed to be back and experience it in person again.

    Dylan Ondell, Associate Product Designer

    Ozmo staff will continue to remain adaptable during this continuously changing time and work with teams to make sure their transition back to the office is as smooth as possible. Readers can look forward to a future blog post on how Ozmo is managing the newly adjusted work model and what converting to a hybrid work environment means for companies and their employees today. 

    Want to learn more about the perks of being an Ozmonaut? Check out our careers page for more information. 

    How to improve customer self serve with Ozmo 3.2

    An in-depth look at how Ozmo’s Experience & Design team enhanced the self serve experience

    At Ozmo, we’re constantly examining our content when it comes to what questions and problems exist for customers while developing solutions around them. Taking our literal content aside, there’s an experience that exists around the content enabling customers to sort through our library of content and find the answer they’re looking for. This is Ozmo self serve and is one of many products at Ozmo that the Experience & Design team works on every day. 

    With the 3.2 release of our self serve offering, Ozmo has made great strides in creating more seamless means for users to find the right content. Months ago, we began an investigation into the current state of the product where we asked two questions: how do customers expect to find the content they’re looking for and can they find it easily?

    The Experience & Design team at Ozmo poured over analytics, looking at metrics such as utilization and how far into Ozmo’s help content users were progressing. Taking these goals of delivering even more customers to the most helpful answers, the Design team developed several hypotheses for potential areas that might be hindering solution seekers.

    Research

    Hypothesis #1: Having more routes or abilities to arrive at a possible answer is valuable and it ultimately results in guiding more people to solutions.

    Depending on the integration method of our self-serve content, many customers were starting their path by orienting themselves with their device or app they have questions about. This device and app selection process, or flow as we refer to it, had areas for improvement. In other words, there was only one option for how you could find your specific device and app. This initial step was for many, the gateway to arriving at a potential solution. What if this process of finding a device or app could be better optimized? Could we take some cues from what’s become typical e-commerce and offer many alternative ways of selecting your device? 

    Hypothesis #2: The appearance of the device and app selection step could be modernized and more consistent to foster additional trust with our customers.

    As a team of product designers, our more typical tasks are thinking about the experience of the software we’re designing – how a user moves from one area to another and how that movement delivers them to their goal. Additionally, we concern ourselves with how the aesthetic or visual appearance of our products influence our users and how it makes them feel. 

    Did arriving at this first step feel like a warm welcome for customers? What are we communicating to individuals in need of support?

    Hypothesis #3: The amount of content and possible solutions presented at this point in the user journey could be streamlined for better decision-making.

    Ultimately, in any design process, too many choices for a user can possibly lead to no choices being made at all, a concept otherwise known as decision paralysis. As users seek help and support after choosing a specific device or app, Ozmo exposes all relevant support content. Here, they’re now faced with finding a solution that sounds appropriate for their specific, unique problem. 

    The impressive amount of tutorial content that exists for a single device or app necessitates layers of categorization, which essentially resulted in a lot of work for a user trying to navigate their device while still on the lookout for their anticipated solution. How can we keep this feeling approachable and digestible?

    Ideation

    With all of these hypotheses in mind, several rounds of ideation and brainstorming across teams of designers, engineers and product ensued. At Ozmo, we believe in plentiful ideas and teams of cross-discipline cohorts are the best to deliver them. 

    Ideas in hand, the Ozmo Experience & Design team laid out milestones and dug into some rapid research and investigation. With industry and competitive insights, several experiments emerged where we quickly exposed new ideas into our products to see what moved the needle and performed better. Experiments lead to confidence in possible new features or shifts in user flows, which lead to user testing and more iteration and refinement. This brings us to Ozmo 3.2.

    What’s new in release 3.2

    Look, feel and usability

    Across both steps in our product journey — selecting a device or app and then subsequently finding answers — our research suggested that we needed to modernize our aesthetic and strengthen our relationship with possible users. Trust is paramount, especially in a support-scenario where a customer might already be frustrated or stressed.

    At the initial device or app selection step, visual improvements to hierarchy and emphasis were made to help users easily find their preferred starting point and begin their search for solutions. We created clear distinctions between possible device and app selection opportunities making sure our rhythm, spacing and sizing all supported a user in understanding what’s related and what belongs together. 

    The team also investigated and improved on the verbiage across this initial step. In what we fondly refer to as the “economy of language”, we examined what we’re saying to our users and shifted towards being as succinct as possible while still speaking in a human-like, friendly way. All these changes influenced how this initial step was perceived. Users felt secure that they were now on a pathway to their support content, as expected.   

    The Experience & Design team carried this visual consistency across the full product, ensuring a sense of familiarity as a user selects their device or app and then shifts into the following step of exposing support topics.

    Once at the support topic selection step, our research and experimentation found our assumption valid: the way we were presenting our content was overwhelming. From a visual standpoint, our resulting solution here aimed for simplicity. Blurbs of unnecessary text were chopped and the search bar was emphasized and visually distinguished. 

    Perhaps the biggest change here was to shift all available topics into a tile pattern, where each possible category of support could be presented in a simple, more pleasing grid of iconographic tiles. 

    Simply clicking on a category tile causes it to expand, revealing additional layers of sub-categories and topics that could be quickly examined. Using a mixture of these tiles and subsequent accordions tested overwhelmingly positive in user tests where we heard feedback like “It looks easy to navigate”, “I think it makes sense. It’s simple. It’s systematic”.

    The sweet sound of user validation: a Product Designer’s dream.

    New features

    Not only did we make improvements to the aesthetic of self support and how we are re-establishing a trustworthy feeling experience, we also refined how users can sift through a collection of topics with less stress and more efficiency. As for our remaining hypothesis, would having more avenues guide more users to various topics?

    Our research and investigation pointed to yes, it would

    Circling back to our aforementioned ideas, the Experience & Design team needed to take our device and app selection process from a single, lone highway to a multi-directional interstate system. Our ideas were shifted into experiments and then back into an iterative design process with user testing throughout to ensure optimal usability. 

    Here are the features that bubbled to the surface as part of the product in 3.2.

    Popular tiles

    At the step of finding and selecting your device or app, Ozmo is introducing popular devices. This assortment of devices is dynamically presented based on utilization metrics relevant to each of our customers. This set of tiles acts as a pathway for users to see their device immediately and jump right into content relevant for them. This achieves both a new route in along with increased efficiency by providing a faster means to possible solutions and content. 

    Tile selection

    With 3.2, an entirely new method of finding and selecting a device or app has been layered into the product. Users are now presented with a tile-selection pattern, highlighting manufacturers and their branding as a recognizable first step in choosing their device or app for relevant topics. Upon choosing the manufacturer of your device or app, a secondary set of tiles are exposed, showcasing device or app imagery along with clear labels. This pattern feels fast and simple but leans into a more scannable, visual approach to selecting a device or app. 

    The future of customer self service

    All in all, Ozmo’s self serve portal is now more polished and congruent for its customers. A user’s steps to answers and problem resolution have become more varied, which has allowed us to capture a broader set of users and understand how they might be uniquely seeking support. 

    As with any major release, we are keeping an eye on the data. Post-release validation is an important part of Ozmo’s product design and development process. Any indications of change in metrics or behavior will be our guiding light to dig in deeper with more user testing and investigation, ultimately driving continued iteration and improvement of our product.

    Want to see how Ozmo’s new 3.2 advancements can help improve your customer self service? Request a free demo with our team of experts to get exclusive information and product details on our self serve solutions and how they can transform your business today.

    Ozmo welcomes Cellcom as a new customer to its tech support platform

    U.S.-based regional wireless provider Cellcom has selected Ozmo as its support platform to provide robust customer support tools to its employees and customers as it, like many companies, adapts to a more dispersed work environment. 

    As a new customer, Cellcom has complete access to Ozmo’s scalable omnichannel platform which offers comprehensive support tools for a seamless customer support experience across all channels. 

    “We are eager to welcome Cellcom as our newest customer to provide our support platform to its agents and customers,” said David Catalano, CEO and co-founder of Ozmo. “This multi-year agreement represents Ozmo’s commitment to enhancing the customer experience and we’re thrilled to assist Cellcom throughout this process.”

    Ozmo for Agents is a comprehensive support platform that empowers representatives  with tools and answers needed to help customers with solving complex technology issues quickly and confidently. With Ozmo’s assisted support solutions, Cellcom employees are expected to see improved first call resolution and reduced average handling time. 

    “It’s just like operating the device as if it were in your hand. You can walk the customer through each screen exactly as they would see it,” said one Cellcom technical support agent about Ozmo during an initial trial.

    Additionally, Ozmo’s scalable virtual device platform replaces the need for physical devices in call centers or retail locations, ultimately decreasing Cellcom’s capital costs and empowering team members to be successful no matter their work location. 

    “Cellcom prides itself on providing extraordinary customer care. As device lineups and product offerings continue to diversify and technology advances at an exponential rate, providing our team members with a new tool to maintain our high level of service and customer satisfaction was imperative,” said Sallie Drier, director of customer operations.

    Ozmo’s platform will empower more of our employees to answer technical questions with ease.”

    Sallie Drier, director of customer operations at Cellcom

    Along with Ozmo for Agents, Cellcom’s customers will have access to Ozmo’s self-serve tools in a future rollout which provide interactive resources and education tools to quickly and efficiently answer their technology questions. Once implemented, Ozmo self serve will improve  Cellcom’s call deflection rates by providing customers with convenient tutorials to solve their technology issues, which boosts overall customer retention and satisfaction.

    “Our live and local customer service is always happy to answer customer questions, but we’re excited to add convenient self-serve tools that are specific to our product set in the future for customers who prefer to troubleshoot questions on their own,” said Drier.

    Cellcom will also have access to Ozmo’s expanded library options which provides customers with expanded support for a variety of additional devices, including tablets and smartwatches.

    “With Ozmo’s support tools, agents and customers are empowered with reliable information and the confidence to serve even the most complex technology questions,” said Catalano. “The Ozmo team is looking forward to a long term partnership with Cellcom.”


    About Cellcom

    Cellcom is an innovative wireless company that provides nationwide service for its customer base throughout Wisconsin and Michigan, with more than 50 retail and agent locations. Cellcom is respected for its long-standing reputation of delivering extraordinary customer care, being a strong community partner, and for its renowned network, which is customized to its rural markets. Learn more at cellcom.com

    Meet Ozmo’s co-founders

    David Catalano and Aaron Herrington first began working together after graduating from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business in the early 2000s. Since initially partnering, David and Aaron have co-founded and managed three startups in the heart of Blacksburg, Virginia, including our very own Ozmo.

    Ozmo was launched in 2016 as a spinout company from digital consultancy Modea, which was founded by David and Aaron in 2006. Ozmo’s founding mission is to answer every tech support question without human intervention. Now, five years later, Ozmo’s platform features the world’s largest virtual device library and is used by tens of thousands of customer service agents and millions of end customers around the world to solve any tech question, regardless of channel.

    To learn more about how David and Aaron got started in building their businesses, challenges they faced along the way and what they learned, keep reading below.

    Q: How did you and David meet? What was your first project together?

    AH: We met immediately after college at a startup that [David] co-founded, and we later ran together, called Exemplum. That company is how we both got our first real-world experience of starting, growing and exiting a tech startup. We learned a lot of painful lessons along the way, but we were able to have moderate success and cemented our relationship.

    Q: When did you first become interested in starting a business and at what point did you realize that this avenue was right for you? When did you decide what was the right time to get started?

    AH: I was interested in entrepreneurship dating back to elementary school. It started by mowing lawns in my neighborhood. I went door to door asking people if I could mow their lawn for $20, with my dad’s lawn mower in tow. I had to purchase the gas and cover all expenses so I learned about selling and managing a small operation at a young age. My parents encouraged this so I had all of the support I needed. Being an only child, I was independent at an early age to do a lot of things on my own and be self sufficient. I think these factors, combined with my education, created the platform that allowed me to be confident in focusing on my entrepreneurial pursuits

    Q: How would you describe your working relationship with each other?

    DC: I believe our working relationship is a case study for why entrepreneurs are encouraged to find co-founders rather than be a solo founder. Over the past two decades, we have pushed each other and supported each other through countless obstacles and setbacks. It’s hard for me to imagine doing it without Aaron and not plausible that I would have enjoyed many of the successes I have had without him.

    Q: When did you realize Ozmo was something to pursue as its own entity? What was the reason for building a startup in Blacksburg, VA and expanding to Austin, TX?

    AH: We realized it about four or five years before we actually committed to it. Incubating a product within a service-related business is not an easy thing to do. We underestimated the challenges and made some poor decisions along the way, but we finally did it and we couldn’t be more excited about where we’re at. 

    As for choosing a location, starting Ozmo in Blacksburg was an easy choice for us because we had an infrastructure in place to support it through its spinout from Modea. We have built a great relationship with the community and with Virginia Tech that has allowed us to scale an amazing team of over 100 Ozmonauts in a town we love. The decision to expand to Austin was based on Ozmo’s growth and our need to expand our available talent pool while also providing better access to customers and partners.

    Q: How would you describe Ozmo’s culture?

    DC: I believe we have a culture where people are supported and encouraged. There is an overwhelming sense of team over individuals, or put another way: a low ego environment. We strive to have as much autonomy for team members as possible and to focus on clear communication of goals and strategy. We have a culture where team members will bring attention to the times where I or other leaders don’t succeed in these things.

    Q: What are the most important measures of success for Ozmo today?

    AH: (1) Utilization: Expanding the number of answers we solve through our platform from the millions to the hundreds of millions. (2) Customer satisfaction: Are our customer relationships thriving and the adoption of our platform within these organizations expanding? (3) Team member sentiment: Are we considered a ‘best place to work’?

    Q: What does this company mean to you? 

    DC: I feel very fulfilled to be pursuing a noble company mission and to do it in an environment filled with incredibly intelligent people who I care about, and who I know genuinely care about me. In prior times of my life I would have to remind myself that “it’s about the journey, not the destination.” At Ozmo, I get that reminder with every team demo or company-wide celebration. It’s an incredibly rewarding journey to be on and I’m very thankful to be in this position.

    AH: We want to solve tech support and make technology more accessible. I believe in what we’re trying to accomplish and we are committed to doing it the right way. That means building a dynamic culture, treating our team members fairly and treating our customers as partners.

    Q: What is some of the best advice you’ve received throughout your career in regards to starting your own business?

    DC: In the wake of the dotcom bust, my father gave me this sage advice on perseverance: “the most important thing about business is staying in business.” He was in the construction industry where there were times of feast or famine. That advice helped me when Aaron and I found ourselves needing to engineer a turnaround after the ‘dotbomb’. I think this is a very practical version of the saying: ‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.’

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

    David Catalano quoting Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca

    Q: What has Ozmo given you? What do you think Ozmo has given its employees?

    AH: Ozmo has given us a platform to solve complex challenges within customer support and be at the bleeding edge of new technology. I love that and I get excited about it every day. We’re solving big problems that have a positive net impact on our fellow citizens.

    DC: I believe Ozmo presents a significant challenge to its employees to solve big meaningful problems. And it does that in an environment largely devoid of the wasted energy that exists in bureaucratic or politically driven organizations. Thoughtful care and communication is put into maintaining this as we continue to grow and I believe we have a culture that helps to create resiliency against red tape or skirted accountability.

    Q: What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs looking to start their own business?

    AH: Being an entrepreneur is hard and requires a lot of sacrifices. Make sure you’re focused on solving the right problems and you don’t waste time on things you’re not passionate about. Time is our most precious resource, don’t waste it.

    DC: Most failures stem from a failure to act. Trust your intuition and make a call.

    Q: Ozmo celebrated its fifth birthday this year. Where do you see Ozmo heading in the next five years?

    AH: I expect the company to be at least three times the size it is today and providing answers to hundreds of millions of support interactions, ranging from devices and apps to connected cars and homes. 

    DC: In the next five years I see Ozmo redefining the way that the industry looks at knowledge and how to serve answers to customers for devices, apps and services that constantly change or are different from one customer to the next.

    About our founders

    David Catalano is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Ozmo, responsible for setting the pace for growth and change at Ozmo. Focused on growth strategy and planning, David is dedicated to actively shaping the overall direction of Ozmo while instilling a culture of autonomy, transparency and inclusion. David was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia and when he’s not working, he enjoys gaming, exercising, gardening and spending time with his family. 

    Aaron Herrington is the Chief Growth Officer and co-founder, responsible for customer success and expansion of the business in North America, Europe and Latin America. Aaron is passionate about building teams and solving the difficult challenges associated with scaling an organization. Born and raised in Warrenton, Virginia, Aaron has recently relocated to Austin, Texas where he enjoys exercising, reading, watching sports and playing with his two dogs, Tucker and Theo.

    Interested in learning more about who we are and what we do? Get to know Ozmo here

    What International Women’s Day means to us at Ozmo

    At Ozmo, our team strives to celebrate women’s achievements while recognizing their impact on our communities and around the world. Each year, our team celebrates International Women’s Day as a way to acknowledge gender inequality in the workplace and encourage others to take part in the conversation.  

    While many companies may not be together in the office to celebrate Women’s History Month or International Women’s Day this year, at Ozmo we believe it’s important that we make it a point to recognize and honor these notable milestones. 

    International Women's Day at Ozmo 2020

    Ozmonauts celebrating International Women’s Day 2020 by pledging to fight for gender equality.

    What is International Women’s Day?

    International Women’s Day is celebrated each year on March 8 to recognize and celebrate women’s social, cultural, political and economic achievements around the world. The first ever International Women’s Day was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 11, 1911, where over one million attendees campaigned for women’s suffrage, the right to work, the option to hold political office and putting an end to gender discrimination. 

    Just shortly after the event was held, the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire occurred in New York City, which led to the deaths of over 140 working, mostly immigrant, women. This brought attention to workplace conditions and labor laws throughout the United States, which laid an additional foundation in the fight for women’s rights and future International Women’s Day events.¹ 

    Just three years later, Russian women began observing International Women’s Day on March 8, the formally marked date for the holiday. Now, over 100 years later, millions of people around the globe celebrate IWD to help build a more inclusive, equal world for all.

    This year’s theme

    The 2021 IWD theme is #ChooseToChallenge, which is aimed at encouraging individuals to challenge societal stereotypes, gender norms and biases to forge equality and increase the visibility of women’s achievements 

    “A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s all choose to challenge. How will you help forge a gender equal world? Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”

    International Women’s Day website.
    International Women’s Day celebration sign located in Ozmo’s office

    What IWD means to us

    At Ozmo, we are dedicated to achieving true and complete equality among our employees. International Women’s Day allows our Ozmonauts to come together and recognize the achievements of women, challenge workplace biases and broaden our perceptions of women in male-dominated industries. 

    There is a lot to be said about seeing people ‘who look like you’ in the career paths you are interested in. As a woman in tech, I want to be a role model and mentor to other women in tech. More importantly, I want to help educate ‘people in tech’ on why diversity adds value to organizations both in and outside of tech.

    Jolene Esposito, Associate Product Designer at Ozmo

    Our employees recognize International Women’s Day because we choose to acknowledge all of the women around the world making an impact, not only within the workplace, but within our communities as well. This year, our Ozmonauts will have an online open forum used to recognize the respected women that they work alongside as well as the special women in their lives. Additionally, our administrative teams will host a virtual trivia event about remarkable women throughout history and all women at Ozmo will receive a personal gift package in honor of International Women’s Day.

    While we seek to amplify and elevate women in the workplace every day, International Women’s Day gives us a dedicated day to mark the occasion, and a reminder to pause to take note of and share gratitude for the accomplishments of women that came before us — the ‘way pavers’.

    Christina Herrington, Director of Marketing at Ozmo
    International Women’s Day 2020 gift package provided for women employees at Ozmo

    Local community involvement

    One of the ways Ozmo promotes engagement and collaboration for our Ozmonauts is through sponsorship of and participation in the local The Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC)’s WoTech group.

    RBTC’s WoTech exists to champion and celebrate women and diversity in the New River Valley’s growing tech community. WoTech aims to support and connect women working in technology through mentoring, education, networking and events.

    The representation of women in STEM companies still greatly lags the overall US population in terms of the percentage of women to men. Having more women in STEM companies not only brings more gender diversity into the workplace, but it also brings diversity of thought which has time and time again shown to be better for both companies and the employees working at them.

    Emily Pote, Senior Human Resources Manager at Ozmo

    WoTech will be hosting a virtual International Women’s Day event on Monday, March 8 aimed at encouraging individuals to expand job opportunities to women in male-dominated industries and how to help women stand out in male-dominated talent pools. For more information on how to attend this virtual event, click here. 

    The IWD event will be WoTech’s first quarterly event of 2021. The organization is actively seeking ideas and innovative ways to connect the NRV and Roanoke Valley communities.

    Looking ahead

    As a company, Ozmo will continue to advocate for diversity and complete equality in the workplace by providing every employee with equal opportunities to grow in their careers and uplifting the women in our teams. This year, we encourage our employees and surrounding communities to get involved in the #ChooseToChallenge conversation and challenge societal biases and stereotypes. 

    To learn more about how you can get involved in advocating for gender equality and a more equal world, visit the International Women’s Day website.  

    My internship experience at Ozmo

    My internship experience at Ozmo – plus six tips on how to succeed in a remote internship

    In March of 2020, every business, school and ongoing event had to quickly adjust to new remote environments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a college student during this time, in-person courses quickly shifted to remote, virtual learning. Jobs and internships were delayed, many cancelled, leaving millions of students like myself mentally, emotionally and financially vulnerable. 

    As many businesses have transitioned into a hybrid model, where employees have the opportunity to work in the office or remotely, learning how to secure and maintain an internship from home is still a major challenge for many, including myself. I struggled with the initial remote school transition and I was anxious to see what it was like to not only complete school from home, but also what it would be like to work from home. 

    Getting started

    When I first interviewed at Ozmo, I was at the time interning in a completely different industry. I was hesitant at first to transition into a role where, unlike any other, I would be working completely remotely in an unfamiliar industry where I knew no one. 

    Upon my start date, I was guided through a thorough onboarding process where I learned about our company’s history and the types of projects that I would be working on throughout the year. For two weeks, I worked closely with my team along with individuals in each department to understand my responsibilities and projects that I would be working on as the year progressed. 

    If you want to make the most out of your upcoming virtual internship, keep reading to learn about the six tips for succeeding in a remote work environment.

    What my work looks like

    When I initially started at Ozmo, I was hesitant to tackle certain projects without knowing the full scope of the tech industry. Now, 10 months into my year-long internship, I’ve been responsible for conducting industry research, drafting internal company messaging content across various audiences and assisting Ozmo’s lead generation and recruitment processes while upholding the unique traits and aspects of Ozmo’s brand. The following are just a few examples of what my work looks like on a daily basis:

    Market research: One of my first ever – and now regular – projects at Ozmo involves conducting industry research and sending out our findings internally to our team of stakeholders. This process involves putting together research pages on various companies, industries and trending topics to understand more about Ozmo’s position in the technology and telecom landscape. 

    Content creation: Since working at Ozmo, I’ve been able to produce multiple pieces of written external content such as blogs and customer case studies. This external content is typically geared toward supporting one of two primary goals: lead generation or talent recruitment. 

    Social media management: Throughout my time at Ozmo, I’ve had the opportunity to build out our company’s social media strategy from the ground up. I’m responsible for creating, scheduling and publishing our social media content while managing and analyzing our engagement and performance data. From content creation to post scheduling, I’ve been responsible for highlighting Ozmo’s company culture and achievements while increasing follower count and engagement on all accounts. 

    Internal communication: Another area that I’m responsible for as the marketing intern is internal communication through our biweekly newsletter, The Ozmonaut. This responsibility involves overseeing an internal newsletter used to communicate and connect with Ozmonauts across the country. I work closely with our human resources and administration teams to identify which company announcements, anniversaries, birthdays and at-home activities to highlight that are used to keep us all connected and boost employee morale and engagement.

    Do these challenges excite you? Think you’re a perfect fit for our team of Ozmonauts? Click the button below to view the full details and apply to Ozmo’s open Marketing Intern position.

    How to succeed in a remote internship

    If you’re looking for tips on how to manage your upcoming remote or hybrid internship, here is some advice for you:

    1. Consistent communication is key

    When working from home, it’s crucial to maintain consistent communication among your teammates and with your supervisor. You may not be able to meet with your coworkers everyday but it’s important to keep in touch with your teammates and adapt to their communication needs. Every employee and department has their preferences, so don’t be afraid to ask your manager and your peers how they prefer to be communicated with to figure out what works best. When you’re finding that there’s a need for better direction on a certain project, jump on a brief call, message your manager or send a quick email to follow up, depending on their work style. Don’t be afraid to over communicate as well, especially in the beginning of your new role. Establishing a positive relationship with your supervisor requires trust and transparency, so take it upon yourself to ask for feedback or further clarification when needed.

    2. Always ask questions

    No question is stupid — I swear, I’ve asked them all. Even if you think you’ve understood a topic to the full extent, make sure you’re still asking the right questions: “How does this system typically work?”, “Would you mind explaining that a bit further?”, “What would you expect success to look like for this project?”. After processing the information you’ve learned about a project, try recapping the information you’ve heard back to your colleague or supervisor to make sure you have a solid understanding. Asking for more information about an upcoming task provides you with a deeper understanding of the project and it allows you to stay on top of all of the details. When you have the full context and a complete understanding of an assignment’s projected outcome, you’ll be able to make well-informed decisions along the way. 

    3. Take the time to learn more about your work

    When I first started at Ozmo, I had never worked in the technology industry before. One of the most important things about starting an internship in an unfamiliar field is taking the time to educate yourself on your work. As you begin to adjust and learn more about the projects that you’re completing, you should start examining your company as a whole. Take the time to seek out industry-related articles to help you familiarize yourself more with relevant work. Meet with individuals cross-departmentally and sit in on other teams’ meetings when you can to learn more about what each sector at your company does. You may not have any experience in engineering or communications, but by taking the time to learn everything you can about each role at your work, you will gain a broader understanding of how your company operates. 

    4. Reserve your time for work

    When you first start working remotely, you soon realize all aspects of your life begin to blend into one environment: your relaxation space is your school space and your school space is your work space. It’s difficult to keep these separated at times when you’ve been studying, managing work calls and sleeping all in the same room. I’ve found that working in different spaces around your house helps break up the monotony that sitting at your desk all day can cause. Move to the kitchen table, sit in your backyard or take a seat on the couch when you’re in between meetings. Avoid sitting on your bed when you’re working, as studies have shown that trying to work while in bed greatly affects your productivity as well as your sleep quality*. 

    To increase your productivity levels, try implementing some time management practices to break down your tasks each day. Practices such as the ‘Pomodoro Technique’ or time blocking are great ways to stay on top of your schedule. 

    You may also be living with family or roommates which can also be a challenge as far as distractions go. Set boundaries with your roommates when you need extra focus time or let them know your schedule when you have an important work call. 

    5. Make friends along the way

    Meeting with people from different teams is not only a great way to understand more about your field, but it’s an even better way to get to know new people. Working from home can be isolating at times, but being able to virtually meet with your colleagues and make friends with the people at your internship is extremely important to foster a sense of community. Make it a weekly priority to connect with others and challenge yourself to get outside of your comfort zone by attending online work events. Virtual company get-togethers, game sessions and educational seminars like the ones at Ozmo have really allowed remote employees, like myself, to feel welcomed and included, without ever stepping foot in the office. 

    6. Strive for overall growth

    As important it is to get to know others during your internship, you should also take the time to get to know yourself in the process. While you work towards achieving your career goals in your virtual internship, oftentimes you come to understand your own self development. Internships are about learning and growing. By taking the time to understand your personal strengths and allow yourself to soak in each of the projects you manage, you’re able to identify what you enjoy doing the most and in which ways you wish to improve in them. I’ve also learned how to pause and take a break and be less hard on myself. Sometimes, the grind has to stop in order to recover and gain new personal growth. Through trial and error, cross-collaboration and while balancing my schoolwork, I’ve been able to understand and hone in on my own work capacities each day.

    Closing

    There are very few internships that offer a well-rounded, career-minded experience and that’s exactly what I found at Ozmo. Not many people my age, or older, have had the opportunity or the option to work from home. I’m very privileged to be working remotely at a company that I love while having the opportunity to create content, lead company-wide projects and conduct industry research that I’m passionate about. With spring graduation right around the corner, I feel more confident than ever about entering the workforce from the experience I’ve learned through my remote internship at Ozmo, and I hope that up-and-coming young professionals are able to achieve such success in similar remote opportunities as well.

    For more information on Ozmo’s available Marketing Intern position, click the button below.