The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has created an unprecedented disruption to the world economy and markets. While governments continue to make significant interventions in response to the pandemic, businesses, on the other hand, have had to adjust their standard operations rapidly. The needs of the people have drastically changed, so their perspective of customers and suppliers has to be viewed from a totally different perspective.
With almost every geography and industry affected, the unknown facts about the virus have made it daunting for businesses to project precisely how their revenues will be affected.
As the world gets into this new era, both businesses and people are still figuring out how to adapt to it. Budget cuts are the order of the day as companies get overwhelmed by the feeling of uncertainty COVID-19 comes with. This is why they must continue to evolve and explore other revenue streams (or cutbacks) while still keeping their clients happy.
Global Trends Due to COVID-19
A big economic shock is the most prominent product of the Coronavirus pandemic. It has, however, also changed businesses in various ways. Some of these are just temporary, while others may impact how companies are run post-Covid-19. Here are some of the ways the pandemic will change how business relationships will evolve:
- Destigmatized working from home.
Jobs that people claimed could not be done remotely a few months ago are now being handled from home. What was seen as an extraordinary thing, and often a perk for a few selected employees, has now become the norm. Apps such as Zoom have become even more popular during these times as people embrace virtual meetings and collaborating on projects with their colleagues miles away.
As it turns out, this actually works! Businesses are still being run, clients are still getting served, and more job opportunities are arising. Other companies have also soared thanks to the outbreak. For instance, Zoom, a video conferencing platform, had its total number of users shoot from 10 million to over 200 million in April. Amazon was reportedly hiring an extra 100,000 staff members to help with the millions of orders coming in.
Working from home today will have more impacts for businesses, even post the Coronavirus era. Many companies will learn that they can operate just fine remotely, and that might be their new norm. Many other things might necessitate this, including:
- Reduced commute times
- Reduced expenditure for both the employers and employees
- The ability to get work done at any time, etc.
However, as virtual relationships become the new norm, it will be hard keeping business ‘personal.’ Human interaction has always been a key contributing factor to the success of a business, occasioned by the ‘handshake’ or having a drink while closing a deal.
- Conferences will go virtual.
Networking will also prove to be a major challenge. While we are used to going out to conferences and meeting new people, the introduction of webinars will make getting to know new people difficult. We have been trying to run virtual meetings since the early 2000s, but it really never took root.
However, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, a lot of research and resources have been channeled towards virtual conferencing platforms and equipment. The majority of events that were scheduled to take place a few months ago have either been canceled or shifted online.
The virtual conferences that have been held have portrayed varied levels of success, but with all the attention shifted to them, we should be seeing more improvements to the platforms. The majority of these virtual conferences have become successful, with people saving up a lot on their time and other resources that would have been otherwise wasted on physical meetings.
Even after the Covid-19 pandemic, do you think people would prefer to revert to the old model?
- Connecting with customer success becomes a necessity.
The earlier waves of Saas and Cloud adoption will also get accelerated to the mainstream, building connected digital infrastructure. The new trend, known as XaaS (Everything as a Service), heavily borrows from SaaS and applies its concept to every other industry.
SaaS providers are run by the model of continuous digital connection with their clients. This means that they can engage with each other as they monitor how their products or services are used, helping them to make informed decisions on how to deliver better outcomes. As you could have imagined, this goes beyond customer satisfaction during the time of purchase. Three other stages are involved:
- Engage – understanding the customer’s needs
- Monitor – is the product or service helping the client to achieve their goals?
- Improve – learning fro experiences to make the products or services better
This is a significant change from the old sales model, where customer service was the only way to develop relationships.
So how does this get affected on the onset and offset of the Covid-19 pandemic? Customer needs will not be the same as they were before the outbreak. They will be more focused on how to ease their cash flow, protect their staff, and creating new product lines.
As a provider, you need to accurately listen to clients and understand all their needs. As many people will opt for remote working, their expectations of you to deliver promptly across the globe will rise. Immediate action will become the order of the day. Even as we yearn for a return to the old model, the focus will still be on engaging with customer success.
It’s quite evident that the Coronavirus pandemic has not only had detrimental impacts on the economy within a few weeks but has also set the center stage for a revolution. We can still go back to how life used to be before the outbreak, but you ought to be fully prepared, as some things will not change.
People will prefer working remotely, conferences will be held virtually, and connecting with customer success becomes the new norm. Industry leaders such as seekify have already had to adjust their operations, to improve customer experiences, during and after the Coronavirus pandemic.