Let’s start with the first one which is digitization. In today’s world being online is no longer optional. In our current norm, where restaurants offer only takeout or a yoga class is no longer a studio class or even preschool or kindergarten education is no longer in physical classrooms, even the highest touch activities, in person or requiring physical connection are now transitioning online.
If you are not on board that bus, you better get on board now. Despite the uncertainties of what the future norm looks like, assume even 100% of in-person or 100% brick and mortar businesses will have a consumer base that will be virtual. To stay ahead of your competitors, start to build your online presence. Recommended platforms are Instagram, FB or LinkedIn or Websites and Google, etc. Find your online conduit and build your presence and community, even if you chose only one of these.
The next directives, we recommend are automation and integration. With this major transition of consumers to online, they do not have the global information at their fingertips. If they were not aware of all their choices earlier, they have now been enabled! With enablement, awareness is not far behind. Also, if your competitors were not aggressive earlier, they certainly are now. Yes, you can still build communities but recognize that “personalized service” is not the same as “in-person” service. This economy demands operational optimization. It demands the efficient use of your limited resources. The questions to ask yourself are how do you reduce and minimize your overheads? What can you do to automate or integrate to reduce costs? What can you automate or integrate to provide a faster response to the market or to your customers? What can you automate or integrate to provide 24/7 service or product in view of securing additional revenue?
You need a dashboard, analytics, and frameworks to deploy, monitor, and evolve. This could be for customer behaviour and data, for your operational optimization, or even just for your product and services. A simple example is even if I offered a free class promotion why did I not get the attendance, of the 25 people that showed up for the class, who are my most likely future customers. How do I look at this data or similar data to learn from the last campaign and get yield in my next campaign? In this market, one definitely needs the capability to deploy, track and evolve to survive. Understanding your analytics, leveraging it to make key decisions, and implementing continuous improvement is the differentiator between you being successful or not.
Last but not least is having your operational go-toss identified. This is no longer the world where everyone will be able to afford the non-critical functions in-house be it IT, HR, Marketing etc. With the economic hit comes massive downsizing, companies will need to scale down, to look to an ecosystem externally to fully operate the business. If I need a technical question answered, who do I go to? If I have an HR question, who is my speed dial contact, if I need a marketing campaign run, who is my service provider? In these times, not only will one need to know who to go, but also those external partnerships will need to mirror in-house operational models. Your relationship with these service providers has to be one where fast response is a result of established standards and processes. These external relationships have to be built to deliver “in-house-like outcomes”. Be joined at the hip for best results. The outcomes or fast responses needed will come should you build standards, established processes, and most of all trust. Trust to understand what is needed, trust to deliver and provide appropriate support.
I hear people say, well shortly this will go away! Life will eventually go back to normal whether in 4 months or 6 months or a year. All I can say I wonder what the new norm will be from today where a 3 year has a virtual zoom play date today or my 80 years old parents have learnt to exercise using virtual platforms at home. How does one return to the old norm from such a major change?
|Ritu Arora Thakur Ritu Thakur, CEO of Smart Tech, established the firm in 2006 with the objective of helping organizations, realize and maximize the business value from their Sales Performance Management (SPM) Solutions.|
Smart Tech Inc. specializes in the implementation and optimization of Sales Performance Management (SPM) Solutions. We help clients maximize the benefits of their SPM Initiatives.
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