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5 things to learn from lockdown and 5 things to prepare your business moving forward

In the midst of a global pandemic, businesses everywhere have found themselves in completely unknown territory. 

One month into lockdown and many of us have been faced with unique hurdles and ongoing challenges. We’ve had to respond and adapt more quickly than ever before.

With a second coronavirus wave on the horizon, we’ve pulled together the key business learnings so far and the steps you can take to prepare for this new way of operating so that your business can move forward with resilience and continue to thrive, even when your physical office doors are closed.

Lesson 1: We all need to be more flexible

Shifting to a remote working environment has been a huge learning curve for many businesses; with technical glitches and logistical hurdles along the way.

But businesses embracing a flexible work ethic have experienced a much speedier and smoother transition; whether it’s empowering employees to choose their working hours so they can work comfortably and productively around childcare commitments or partner’s schedules, or helping customers in difficult financial circumstances by offering discounted products or services, for example.

Moving forward: It will be crucial to foster this flexible approach; keeping both employees and customers at the forefront.

We always say customers are precious, but this has never more so been the case. Prioritizing their needs over your own will be vital in maintaining their custom over the coming months, or winning them back afterwards.

Communicating transparently and regularly with your colleagues and customers will help lessen the feeling of isolation and ensure that everyone feels informed and involved going forward.

Lesson 2: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Like any pandemic, COVID-19 was impossible to predict and with it have come some wholly new challenges.

Having a robust business continuity plan in place has proven vital in adapting to the changing situation so that service can go on undisrupted and recovery can be made quickly in the next phase.

Investing in cloud-based tech and ensuring employees are equipped with the tools they need to work safely and comfortably will ensure your customer journey can continue with as little impact as possible and with the same quality of service, no matter where your team is working from.

Moving forward: Consider the various solutions you could opt for to ensure 24/7 business continuity so that you can keep communications flowing with your customers and remain accessible.

Perhaps you’re struggling to take calls right now with no one in the office? A Moneypenny Receptionist can handle calls on your behalf, around the clock; answering calls in your company name, your callers will never know the difference.

Or is your remote team looking for a more effective way to triage online inquiries? Live Chat is a powerful tool for encouraging customer inquiries while maximizing your website potential – proven to help generate twice as many online conversions!

Lesson 3: Communication is key

Communication has always been a vital component of any successful business. But, perhaps one of the biggest takeaways from recent weeks is how incredibly important it is now we are in lockdown.

Maintaining strong relationships with your employees, clients, and suppliers is a key priority at all times, but without physical contact, it has become even more crucial to stay connected and accessible; whatever the time of day or day of the week.

In uncertain times, customers need reassurance more than ever. And human touch is now invaluable. In fact, a recent, pre-lockdown, report we conducted revealed that 56% of organisations say the phone is their most valuable business channel. And we imagine that figure will have risen significantly over recent weeks.

Customers want to be confident that they’re being listened to and understood. An unanswered phone or a robotic response could cause disgruntled customers to search elsewhere, meaning you lose out on vital business.

Moving forward: Consider the digital collaboration systems you could implement right away to help strengthen your connectivity with colleagues as well as customers; from instant messaging services such as Slack to video conferencing tools such as Zoom; these platforms are not only affordable and easy to use, but they serve as powerful alternatives to face-to-face meetings.

Ensure your customers have at least one reliable communication channel on which to instantly reach you. There are a number of effective solutions to help you triage calls and enquiries so that customers can gain quick and personal resolution to their queries, even when you have minimal resources and staff on hand.

Lesson 4: Reducing fixed costs helps you to stay nimble

Whether it’s a global pandemic or a recession, it’s important that your business is able to adjust its cost base to suit the prevailing climate. Taking an agile approach will help you to operate profitably, at all times. This may mean cutting down on unnecessary overheads and only paying for what is actually required.

Moving forward: Outsourcing is one smart way of achieving this. It gives you the flexibility to only pay for support as and when you actually need it, helping to reduce overheads and cut down on unnecessary expenditures.

Not only will outsourcing help you to save costs, but it also enables you, and your employees, to focus on your core business objectives without the distraction of tasks outside of this area.

Today, businesses of all sizes rely on outsourcing to respond to market demands and accelerate their growth; with some of the most popular functions to outsource ranging from telephone answering support and reception services to marketing, IT, HR and many more!

Lesson 5: A strong workplace culture will carry you through

Strong workplace culture can have the power to transform a business and carry it through the toughest of times. With your employees being your biggest brand advocates, keeping your staff engaged with your vision and goals, at all times, will make your company truly successful.

In such unprecedented working conditions, culture can really show its worth; with teamwork and high morale both key ingredients in keeping the ‘show on the road’ for customers.

Supporting and maintaining frequent communication and collaboration, day by day, will help keep spirits high, with employee wellbeing a number one priority, after all, happy staff = happy customers!

Moving forward: It’s important to develop a workplace culture that can still function when employees are out of the office. Open and honest communication will be a big part of this pursuit.

Regularly checking in with your employees – be it via video call, a messaging platform, or a simple phone call – will help to lessen any feelings of isolation and ensures everyone is involved and feels engaged with the business and its objectives so that they can continue working productively.

How can Moneypenny help? 

If your business has been affected by recent circumstances and you’d like more support or information about our business continuity solutions, then please contact us to find out how we can help. Call us today on 844 364 6619.

We give you amazing people and technology:

Phone Answering

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