Editor's Note: This post was originally published on August 19, 2020, and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Adapting to COVID-19 is no easy task. However, Gomocha understands the challenges that all businesses face. This blog post will discuss how recent shifts can bring awareness to light. Additionally, I will discuss the steps we can take to deliver flexibility and adopt new forms of communication.
Please make no mistake; Jeff Besos’s fortune is growing partly because of my wife’s shopping habits. I won’t be surprised if we don’t get a personalized Christmas card thanking us for single-handedly keeping Amazon in business. All playfully aside, Amazon’s ability to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to grow as an ”essential” business is impressive. Amazon has been able to deliver our PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when we social distance. It delivered games and books when we stayed at home. It also delivered back-to-school supplies that our children still need even if they aren’t in classrooms. We know that the list of items they can’t offer is much shorter than the list it can deliver. But it wasn’t the impressive list of things at my doorstep that amazed me and caught my attention. It was the change in how Amazon delivered those items and informed my family of their delivery.
Consider the technological changes in other service-driven business models
While some deliveries still require a signature, I have seen more instances where that is not the case. For example, Amazon does not need my wife to sign to acknowledge receipt of a package, thereby absolving themselves of liability. Instead, Amazon takes a picture of the box with a delivery day and time stamp. That picture sends via my method of choice (email, text, etc.). Not only were they able to provide proof that the package had arrived, but they were also able to keep their delivery person and me safe by minimizing our contact. This got me thinking of the need for more businesses to ”pivot” and adapt how they operate in today’s world of COVID-19. It is a sad fact that not every company will survive this pandemic. But most likely, the businesses that can survive will by finding new ways to adjust in today’s world safely.
Take restaurants as another example. Restaurants are some of the hardest-hit businesses during this pandemic. A restaurant’s nature is to have as many patrons seated close together to maximize profits. Unfortunately, that is just not feasible in today’s world. So, for a restaurant to survive, they need to adapt and pivot the way they operate. Many restaurants do that by moving their indoor seating to outdoor seating, even in parking lots. But outdoor seating is only one-way restaurants can pivot. In addition, I have seen more restaurants turn to contactless payment methods to minimize contact. By allowing customers to pay from their phones, restaurants reduce bills, money, and credit cards from being passed back and forth. Not only will this help slow the spread of COVID-19, but it also gives the added benefit of a faster transaction and the flexibility to add comments, split a bill, and more.
Minimize contact with your customers when allowable
It is this idea of changing your business to meet today’s demands that I see many other industries can benefit from and must do to grow and survive. Companies must find ways to minimize contact with customers when allowable:
- Go paperless.
- Offer customers QR codes.
- E-signatures and confirmations should be the standard.
All sizes of businesses can and should adopt these tools. Providing services through a website or app no longer needs to be for large companies that can afford expensive platforms or to stay on cutting-edge technology. These tools are more affordable than ever and are becoming mainstream tools that a business should use to remain competitive, healthy, and relevant.
If there is one change that all businesses have learned, it’s that growth and adaptation have transformed the consumer space and have raised the bar for customer service as we know it. As a company (in any industry), if you can offer to give your customers what they want quickly, flexibly, and safely, you have shown them much more in their eyes. In other words, these experiences have opened us up to a world and service model about constantly pivoting to deliver your service on the customer’s terms.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has changed our world dramatically. Some changes will stay with us for a short time, and some will be permanent. Embracing the changes, especially the long-lasting ones, is essential to a healthy world and business.
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