Economists say we will not have a V shaped recovery. It is going to take businesses and consumers a while to bounce back. But, a reset is not always a bad thing. Taking stock and analysing your processes through the whole business can bring about new ideas, cost savings and efficiencies.
So what should you do now?
The three most important pieces of advice I can give to any company on the road through the coronavirus recovery are
- Don’t forget to be there for the customers you can still get
- Develop new ways to standout from the crowd with your proposition, service and offers
- Hit the reset button: Take stock of all areas of your business, looking at your processes. Fresh eyes will make you surprised to see what you didn’t before.
Do Not Stop Marketing
I’m amazed to see companies literally giving up, turning off their marketing spend when there is still demand there. If people are actively looking for your product, even in a downturn, let them find you. It sounds simple, but surprisingly I have seen many companies taking a blanket approach turning all marketing off. While some cut backs may be needed, if you do have channels that are paid for on results then you can still go for it. For instance with pay per click marketing, if people are still searching for your product, even if there are less searches, then it’s a no brainer to keep appearing for the smaller pot of people who still want your product.
Develop your Standout
The biggest thing now for any company in this world where it is harder to get the consumer as there is less money flowing is understanding that you really have to get your proposition, price and offer right for the market.
You may have to work a little harder but then when you do, the rewards will be higher. The market and world has changed. It is likely you won’t be able to continue exactly the same as you were, and the winners will be those who stand out. You can develop better products, better services or ideally both and you will need to reconsider the changing behaviour of customers too.
Reset: Your chance to take stock and improve your processes
Sometimes a reset is not a bad thing, looking at every process of your business is a great thing to do. When you really look at your processes properly it’s amazing how much you can save, in both time and money. For example I’ve completely overhauled the way we measure and report on operational efficiency with call handling in my business.
While trying to reduce the average call handling time but also driving more sales to the website, we realised that customers who do need to come through the contact centre need more time, but generally buy higher cost products. So even though the average handling time goes up, we get more from it. Looking at our operational efficiency using the average handling time metric, which we had done since day dot, turned out to be misleading. Now we are looking at margin per minute, measuring true value from the calls we get.
Just because a process has always been in place in your business doesn’t mean it makes sense. Take a fresh pair of eyes and go through all areas of your business.
Focus and Vision
To get out of the downturn, you need a clear vision that brings you and your team together, heading in the right direction. Having a vision is always important but now is the time to take a fresh look at where you are headed. Does it still make sense? And, once you have redefined your vision, you need to make sure every employee knows about it too. After Covid 19, ask yourself, how and where do I need to change my focus?
In order to work towards my vision and bring my teams on board with it, I use OKRs. These are objectives and key results, which are measured quarterly in cycles of 90 days. There is visibility at all levels of the company vision and OKRs so each employee can see how their role fits into the greater collective goals. The system puts the onus on the individual to set his or her own targets and to have stretch targets too. Managers are empowered to report upwards when something is off track. This has been so transformative to my companies that I’ve seen massive change.
Now more than ever, I strongly recommend using this approach to bring teams on board and ensure fantastic performance.