With enough having been said about the disastrous effects of COVID-19, I believe it is time we looked at the ‘silver lining’ in the dark clouds now and welcome the new normal with an optimistic approach. The present crisis we are battling with is an opportunity for companies and employees to reinvent themselves. Businesses which delve deeper into the hearts and minds of their customers to genuinely understand what they value most in these turbulent times will have an easier time reinventing their business and customer experience. As businesses try to navigate these changing winds, here are a few tips using which they can adjust their sails to reach the sustainability shore safely.
Mobilising e-commerce and delivery– People (read customers) have been caged inside their homes owing to social distancing norms and the subsequent lockdown phases. The time is right to make it more convenient for customers to go online, check out their options remotely, place their order online and pay through the portal. Investing in stronger than before e-commerce capabilities is the way ahead for business models to survive and thrive.
What is next? Once businesses shift delivery options, they will require a series of supply-chain changes, workflow adjustments and most importantly, re-skilling or up-skilling employees. Businesses will also want to consider a shift in marketing tactics to manage customer expectations and desired outcomes. Communicating clearly with consumers will be vital. This will also ensure that the customer knows what to expect, and will help them conclude they had a positive experience.
Business models to become more humane – While the entire world battles against the deadly virus, each one, including business leaders, must not forget to put people first. From the post pandemic perspective as well, wellbeing, psychological safety along with purpose and meaningful work have taken centre stage to accelerate business performance. Placing caring at the core of business models will ensure a connectivity with the customer base thus enabling enhanced customer experiences. Again, re-designing spaces that work towards ensuring a safe, inclusive working environment for employees will re-instil the desired confidence in them and encourage them to give in their best in the hybrid work culture.
Redesign for business as ‘un-usual’– Getting ‘future-ready’ is key to thrive. Creating next-gen agility and adopting a resilient organization design promoting gig working is the need of the hour. It will not only enhance your performance as a business model but will also aid in looping in purpose driven, talented people who will produce meaningful work. Upskilling for retaining employees and increasing the rate of employability in fresh recruits will keep your talent pool always brimming.
Solve issues in phases— Once the above-mentioned criteria are in place, leaders should look into committing to an elastic cost structure thereby creating the fuel for growth. This is the most dramatic of the three changes, but will be well worth the effort if it keeps you in business. Businesses perhaps need to set aside their primary services temporarily, to fulfil unmet needs and find new ways to deliver value. This may also spell repurposing existing services to create new, relevant products or services.
These tactics will help businesses to reimagine their services to weather the current climate and perform better than before. So, let’s begin by stepping back, assessing the changing client needs and re-imagining your business to perform seamlessly and productively during and after the pandemic!