How Klaviyo is Navigating the Global Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

coronavirus-response

Here at Klaviyo, we’re customer-first. In fact, we care so deeply about this, it’s one of our values. 

Our customers are an essential part of our community—our users, partners, friends, and the people who work at Klaviyo (“Klaviyos,” as we affectionately call each other). We’re committed to having empathy for our customers and we always look through their lens to understand what’s best for them and work backwards to solve for it.  

Our current situation is no different.  

What’s most important is the health and safety of our community. If we solve for that, we believe everything else will work out. It’s through this lens that we’re navigating the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  

So what are we doing? We’re learning and we’re acting

We’re gathering information and making informed decisions in real-time, while at the same time being forward-looking and planning ahead proactively. We’ve been very active in our monitoring of the situation and in following (or getting ahead of!) the advice of public health experts like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the public health authorities in our respective communities. We’ve been speaking with others in the community, getting their perspectives, and sharing ours.

 

Why, at times, have we been acting ahead of what’s recommended?  

The rapid global spread of this disease has led public health officials, government entities, and business leaders alike into unchartered territories. We’re living and working in uncertain times. But one thing about all of this seems familiar to most Klaviyos: change is constant. 

We’re prepared to act swiftly in the best interests of our community, and we’ll continue to make the hard but necessary decisions, adjusting our course as needed to keep everyone healthy and safe. 

Analyzing data and making informed decisions fast is core to Klaviyo’s DNA. Here are some of the decisions we’ve made as of March 11, 2020 to navigate the global coronavirus pandemic. 

 

Remote Work

We’ve temporarily closed our physical offices in Boston and London and asked all employees to work remotely until at least next Friday, March 20, 2020, at which point we’ll re-assess. It’s quite possible that we’ll extend that time period significantly, and we’re planning ahead as if we will. But we’re keeping our re-evaluation cycles short given our learnings—the evolution and additional information we gain on this, even day-to-day, is significant.   

We know that moving our entire company to a remote working arrangement is a big adjustment. But we also know that our staff is not only focused on ensuring we’ll all continue working together effectively during this time. More importantly, they’re concerned about their own well-being and the health and safety of their loved ones. 

 

Home Workspaces 

As a company, we always want to make sure that our people feel supported. This comes in many forms—creating an open and safe space for people to bring their whole selves, encouraging diversity of perspective, ensuring everyone is “in it” together, working together to ensure our people are developing and will be better off personally for having been at Klaviyo, and having the tools and means they need to be successful.  

It’s on this last point that we realized we wanted to support our Klaviyos if we closed our offices. Our philosophy, in general, is that people shouldn’t have to negotiate to get what’s best for them. It’s our job to ensure that we’re treating people right, whether they’re a Klaviyo, a user, or another community member.  

With that in mind, we’ve offered our employees an expensable stipend of $1,000 to ensure they have the tools they need to be successful at home. If they need monitors or a desk setup or other enablers that will help them feel comfortable and productive while working at home, then we want to make sure they can get them.  

 

Communication and our [Klaviyo] way of working

When working remotely, one thing is certain—communication really matters. Long before this pandemic, we’ve used tools like our internal Wiki, Slack, and Zoom to communicate and collaborate with each other on a daily basis, so the team is well-versed on how to use these tools effectively.  

That said, we’ll need to change certain habits and routines, over-communicate, be more mindful of how to re-create the personal moments we all value so much, and be innovative, finding new ways to carry over our traditions that make us feel like Klaviyos.  

We won’t solve this all overnight. We’ve encouraged our team to collectively call out what’s not working, come up with solutions, and iterate together collaboratively as we navigate these changes.  

And we’ve encouraged everyone to be supportive and understanding of one another as we adapt to our new normal. I’ve already seen teams coming up with creative ideas, and I know our People Ops and IT teams are partnering to ensure people feel included and connected while working from home. We’ve already started sharing best practices and documenting in detail the ways in which we work while remote. We’ll embrace and own this change, and we’ll come out better for it.

 

Company Travel 

For the time being, we’ve canceled all business travel in order to keep everyone (our customers/users, Klaviyos, and their families) as safe as possible. 

We’ve also asked anyone who is planning personal travel (or lives with or has been in close contact with someone who has traveled) to notify their manager and our People Ops team. If our offices have reopened by then, we’re asking folks to work remotely for 14 days after their return. 

 

Customer Support

While our team will be working remotely for the foreseeable future, it’s business as usual when it comes to our customers. As of now, nothing has changed with our support hours or the way our users should contact our team. We’re committed to continuing to provide our customers with the highest level of support and service, no matter where we’re working. 

Customers can contact our customer success managers as they normally would. Our support team is available to help as needed (submit a support request or log into your account to live chat). And you can explore our help center, as well.

 

Candidate Interviews 

Candidates are an extension of our Klaviyos—another part of our community that we care deeply about. For their safety, as well as the safety of our Klaviyos, we’ll pause on in-office interviews. 

That said, bringing in the right people—talented, driven individuals who want to build something big and be part of and contribute to a company that really cares—is so important to us. We’ll continue to speak with candidates in an effort to get to know them, learn what’s important to them, and understand what would make remote interviewing a positive experience for them so we can bring more people onto the team to help our customers grow their businesses. 

 

Events

The many members of our community are so important to us. We want to know each one, personally. We want to create opportunities for people to connect, learn, support and celebrate each other’s success. That’s why Klaviyo hosts numerous events in cities around the world throughout the year—to meet face-to-face with as many members of our community as possible, provide collaboration opportunities for brand builders, and share insights and tactics that make a real difference in the growth of our users’ online businesses.  

While we hope the virus will soon be contained, there’s no way to be certain what will happen. We’re continually monitoring the evolution of the situation and we’ll make decisions with what’s best for our community in mind, for their safety and for their success.

For each of our upcoming Klaviyo LIVE tour stops, we’ll follow the guidance of local and global health officials, and make the right decisions for our community as these events near.  

For March and April, we will not have any international tour stops. We were scheduled to host a Klaviyo LIVE event in Amsterdam earlier this week, which we’ve postponed until later this year, and we are currently re-evaluating all international tour stops and events from now through this summer.  

We don’t believe our plans to hold Klaviyo BOS 2020 in August need to be changed at this time, but we will continue to reassess on an ongoing basis. As we continue to follow the expert advice of the CDC, the WHO, and public health authorities, we’ll make responsible decisions regarding this event in accordance with the advice of public health and safety experts. 

We want our community members to have peace of mind. That’s part of providing an exceptional live experience. To ensure everyone has peace of mind around their investment, we’ll be offering a flexible cancellation policy when Klaviyo BOS 2020 registration opens in the coming days. 

Final Thoughts

These are atypical times. And there are difficult decisions to be made. But witnessing first-hand what Klaviyo is willing to do, and being part of a team that cares first and foremost about doing right by people and then making it happen, even when challenging, has been amazing. 

It’s for reasons like these I’m proud to call myself a Klaviyo. Whether easy or challenging, we live by our values and we strive to do what’s right for our people and for the broader community. I joined Klaviyo because, at my core, I am a people-first person. And I knew Klaviyo wasn’t only a customer-first, company. It’s also a people-first company, as well. 

It’s unclear for how long Klaviyo will be a remote company. But we’re prepared to make this work for our culture and for our customers for an indefinite period of time. 

We promise to keep you—members of our community—updated on how we’ll continue to navigate these uncertain times and, together, we’ll keep moving forward day by day. 

For the latest updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, visit the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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