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Redeploy the troops: How adaptability helped keep customer care first at Atlantic Lottery during COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many businesses in Atlantic Canada — and Atlantic Lottery was no exception. Some business areas, such as video lottery operations, came to a standstill as a result of closures and cancellations across the region.

At the same time, Atlantic Canadians embraced the “stay home” message from public health officials and could no longer run errands as usual. This led to a significant increase in Atlantic Lottery players wishing to purchase and access their favourite lottery products online at

Atlantic Lottery’s Customer Care Centre was flooded with phone calls, emails and social media questions seeking support on how to create and use an account. With a normal daily volume of 300-400 calls, numbers were reaching in excess of 2,500 calls a day. Fortunately, an increase in call volume was anticipated and a plan was already underway in order to continue to provide the exceptional customer service this team is known for.

“Our operating principles guide our decisions. Customers lead our priorities,” said Darlene Rand, manager of Atlantic Lottery’s Customer Care Centre. “We must be fast and nimble to respond to ever-changing shifts in customer behaviour, and we are all leaders when we come together for a common goal, even if it means we might be outside of our comfort zone.”

Through a group effort between Atlantic Lottery’s People & Culture division and leaders from all areas of the organization, employees were identified to be redeployed and trained to work in the Customer Care Centre. In short order, more than 60 employees were trained remotely via video conferencing so they could work from home and help tackle customer inquiries.

Feedback from Atlantic Lottery players and redeployed employees alike have been overwhelmingly positive. Players appreciated the quick response times, while redeployed employees appreciated the opportunity to connect directly with players.

“Atlantic Canadians are the focus of everything we do at Atlantic Lottery, but many of us work behind the scenes and don’t typically get the chance to engage with our players,” said Bernadette LeBlanc, who was temporarily redeployed to Customer Care. “It has been a really special experience working for our Customer Care Centre, talking with our players and connecting directly to the people who make what we do every day possible.”

After speaking with such a large amount of players, Customer Care group also shared feedback with the iLottery team, which has since implemented site improvements including FAQs and additional information on funding and registration.

COVID-19 restrictions in Atlantic Canada are now gradually being eased and, as a result, some redeployed resources will return to their regular positions in the coming weeks. Still, some employees will remain working in Customer Care a while longer – the teamwork continues.