COVID-19 has changed the way the world works. It has disrupted both lives and businesses, but hope is on the horizon and there are opportunities to explore.
However, it requires putting in a little extra effort to keep up effective customer service and get our businesses going again. Now is the time to take a critical look at your objectives and figure out the next moves from here.
To help you, here are 8 objectives for your post-pandemic business recovery plan. Whether you run a B2B IT firm or focus on customer support solutions, these points will help you get back on your feet in no time.
1. Evaluate Where You Are
The first thing you need to do is assess your situation and see where you currently stand as a business. Just as if you were doing project management, you need to look at the situation as a whole and make a plan from there.
Ask yourself some questions. How has the competition changed? How big is your team now? Has your market changed? Has your business been hit worse or not as badly as others?
By figuring out your current position, you will be able to assess what you need to do to achieve your maximum performance and beat the competition.
Empathywines, for example, is an online retailer of wine that has seen sales skyrocket since the start of the pandemic. They have had to change their digital marketing effort to reach a bigger audience. The CEO of its head company, Constellation, says that to focus on changing buyer needs, they have become “consumer obsessed” Being online only, the company has also said that they will now be building on a “direct-to-consumer” attitude to build on its digital presence.
2. Prioritize Projects
It could be that when COVID-19 hit, your whole team was sent home mid-project. And chances are, as returning to the office isn’t possible for many, it has been hard to prioritize projects remotely. On top of this, communication has also become harder. And without the right software or management systems being used in the first place, project priority has become a bit confusing.
Which makes now the time to untangle projects and start prioritizing more effectively. Optimizing business intelligence in this way will mean that you won’t be fighting over resources or be overwhelmed with things to do.
Using software like Trello can help teams to order and prioritize projects. Meaning that pandemic or not, your company will be on top of any work that needs doing.
3. Prepare For Cyber Threats
It’s believed that in March 2020, cybercrime increased by a massive 400% due to COVID-19. Now, all businesses are at an increased risk of a hack attack. This is something that you need to prepare for, especially as we all use more technology as modern digital firms.
Whether you are using call center operations, or letting people use work laptops from home, you need to take a real look into your cybersecurity. This protects both you and your customers from any growing threats.
4. Make a Plan, Just in Case
With the percentage of cyberattacks increasing so dramatically, it’s vital to have a back-up plan just in case. All it takes is the smallest of leaks and all your customer data is exposed.
Keep in mind that having a contingency plan shouldn’t be a replacement for increasing cybersecurity. It is there in case the worst should happen. It’s a good idea to look into the top CASB vendors and see if it fits with the cybersecurity of your business.
Back in 2013, the search engine Yahoo had a data breach that exposed every single one of its 3 billion customers. This could have been avoided if they had the correct cybersecurity and a contingency plan in place.
5. Consider How Company Culture Might Change
Everyone feels a little differently about work today. It could be that your whole team permanently works from home now. Or maybe, you now have a weekly meeting with employees to check on their mental health. Whatever the situation, think about how these shifts may change the culture.
Adapting to a new workplace culture change is crucial. So it’s that much more important that you’re supporting your team through all changes.
6. Build Resilience
At the start of 2020, none of us had a clue what the rest of the year held. And then along came COVID-19. Because of this, you should have a plan set up in case something unexpected should happen again. And you will be safe if it does.
You can do this by building a team culture around resilience. The first way you can do this is by seeing how COVID-19 has impacted your business and learning lessons from this experience. Then you can create a sustainable setup for the future and improve the customer experience, too.
7. Think of Your Customers
Customer behavior and expectations have changed significantly since the start of COVID-19 and it’s believed many of these changes are here to stay. To improve customer loyalty, reflect on what it is that customers now want. It could be that they only want to shop online. Or maybe they want more eco-friendly products. It could even be that they are seeking more locally produced items.
Remember too that many people are worried about finances during this time, so it may be that you want to re-think prices as well. This will help your products or services stand out.
Kellogg’s is a company that has taken new consumer habits onboard. They have dedicated to reducing significant amounts of food waste by 2030. This helps others and increases brand awareness for the organization.
Paying attention to new buying behaviors will ensure you won’t fall behind as consumers shop differently.
8. Reduce and Re-Think
Working from home has made a lot of people rethink the way they live their lives. A lot of us now realize that there is a lot about our working lives that can be changed. A part of this is to reduce. Whether that means taking stock that isn’t selling off an ecommerce site, or cutting down on overall time from design to shelf.
Another way to change our working lives is to re-think. That can be thinking about making changes that would make staff want to stay longer. Or ways that employees can have more positive interactions with customers.
Consider what can be changed to make lives easier for employees and customers. Especially in a post-pandemic world. Really think about what it is that makes people happy.
Using something like a RingCentral workforce management system will help some firms to make the setup more compact. Others may benefit from making a workforce entirely digital for a more productive team.
Analyze the ins and outs of your organization and make positive changes wherever you can.
Although the past year has been tough for everyone, now is the time to re-think the way that businesses work. Consumers shop differently and there’s a lot still up in the air. Assess your work in this new environment and establish the right practices to implement the changes that will keep your business strong now and in the future.
Richard Conn – RingCentral US
Richard Conn is the Senior Director, Search Marketing for RingCentral, a global leader in unified communications and VoIP Service. He is passionate about connecting businesses and customers and has experience working with Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Experian, Target, Nordstrom, Kayak, Hilton, and Kia.