“Have you seen the news?” Your phone buzzes. “Will this affect what happens at work?”
Of course, Coronavirus is a big topic in business at the moment. Your immediate professional priorities will need to be the health of yourself, your customers, and your fellow employees, but this probably isn’t the first or last time that unexpected global events may present major challenges for your company.
With a global, varied client base we have seen how surprises in weather, health, and the economy can affect a business. We believe that the technology you have onboard plays a big role in ensuring you can ride any wave or weather any storm.
Now, more than ever, is a time when your tech stack can be turned to your advantage if you know how to make it work for you.
Do more with what you have
Changing conditions mean that optimisation is crucial in periods of unusual business, be they challenging or beneficial.
The odds are, you aren’t using all that you have to the full capacity. Here are some ideas for things you can do to identify improvements and opportunities:
Set up dashboards for key engagement and performance metrics
Look at trends in your data
Explore training programmes
Map how customer journeys are changing
Utilise automation options to limit manual tasks
Study first party data to look at retargeting options for a later date
Consult with your Customer Success manager
This will help you unlock vital insights, find smarter ways you can work, and streamline activity.
Now is the perfect time to ask questions about how your tech stack can really make a difference and ensure you’re delivering the best possible service with optimum results.
Avoid panicked decisions
Now is a good time to look at why you needed some of your tech stack in the first place, especially if they are helping you find out where your crucial sales are coming from. You may save a chunk of your budget by removing them, but your tech platforms may drive an even larger slice of revenue than you would have saved by losing them.
You also need to wonder what you will need afterwards.
This goes for things you are in the process of buying too, have your goals really changed so much that the benefits you were hoping to gain are of no interest?
On the flip side, you need to apply your usual levels of rigour and scrutiny that your procurement process will have. If it’s not a magic bullet in normal operating times, it’s unlikely that will suddenly change in a crisis.
You may, however, undergo this process and find that now would be a great time to see benefits such as:
Improved communications between remote teams
Increased market share
More efficient communications with customers
Cleaner and more organised data sets
A greater understanding on what activities are working
Start planning for next time
Conducting a thorough, honest look at how you performed during major unexpected events needs to be a priority as soon as appropriately possible. Assessing how your tech stack helped and where you had gaps needs to be a part of this.
Some things to look at include:
What did you use more or less than normal?
Scaling capabilities to meet demand
Things you would have found useful
Support or guidance available from your tech partners
Preparations you can make to act quicker next time
Did you miss more calls, emails, and social media queries?
Adapt to different consumer behaviours
An email may have been fine for a particular customer in the past, but in more critical situations a more direct channel (a web chat or a phone call) may be preferred. Being able to meet these desires for engagement will help address concerns, meet demand, and show you are ready to listen.
The more BAU metrics you can track and attribute across a mix of channels, the more you can maintain optimum performance in your marketing and customer experience activity.
It’s always a challenge to communicate complex guidance in simple instructions or bullet points, but some of your tech partners will likely be able to help you understand how well you are doing this.
For example, some of our travel clients are using our Conversation Analytics suite to search for calls mentioning the Coronavirus. This will enable them to understand how well people are finding and interpreting their communications on the matter.
Can your providers work remotely?
If your staff are having to work from home, what is happening with your tech providers? Are their support and Customer Success teams all set up so that they can continue providing the level of service you have come to expect? Will they be able to continue building the product?
Don’t be afraid to ask
You may be unsure how to action some of these ideas or answer these questions with your tech platforms. But as a prospect or a customer, you have a right to ask and we urge you to do so.
Whatever the situation, it’s their responsibility to help you come out stronger on the other side. This will be a chance to really see the value in them, or see when their promises of customer service and expertise were a bit of a bluff.