COVID-19 escalated quickly as a pandemic affecting the entire human race irrespective of their location. We are all struggling to come to terms with it as it has disrupted most of our daily activities. Most of us are working from home and wearing masks in case we go out for any reason. Hands are sanitized every 10-15 minutes and we are not meeting any of our friends and family members these days. Pretty weird, right?
But we have to go through this to come out of this pandemic strong and together as a family.
I have been working from home from 15th March and the country is on lockdown till 15th April. The company I work for has taken the right measures to ensure the safety of the workforce and everyone is supporting each other during these tough times.
The biggest impact of COVID-19 has been on businesses around the world. There are alarming predictions on how bad this will impact the global economy and a possible recession around the corner. UN Conference on Trade and Development estimates the economic impact of this pandemic at a minimum of $1 trillion for this year. Every major country has already announced stimulus packages for supporting businesses.
Well, we are all facing a scenario like this for the first time in our lives. There are lots of questions popping in our heads like:
Will local businesses survive this pandemic?
How many of us will lose jobs once this is all over?
How will organizations survive this when their customers are struggling themselves?
How will small businesses gain back the lost customer base?
What kind of businesses has a fair chance of surviving this?
This post is an attempt from my side to answer some of these questions. I have always loved this quote from Robert Schuller - "Tough times never last. Tough people do". And this is the answer to most of the questions. When all this is over, only certain kinds of business entities would have survived this unscathed.
So here are the type of the organizations (I will call them "Real" organizations) who will survive this pandemic and its effects with minimal damage:
Organizations who have always "cared" for their customers
The first group of businesses who will survive this pandemic will be the ones who always cared for their customers. These are the entities that always were present for their customers whenever they needed them. These firms showed their care for their customers whenever they got the opportunity and delivered on their promises.
Organizations who always went "extra mile" for their customers
The second cohort of businesses who has a fair possibility of surviving is the ones who always went "extra mile" for their customers. For these organizations, their bottom line or extra overheads never mattered when it comes to doing that extra bit for their users. They did what they had to do so that their user base remained satisfied and got their needs met.
Organizations who always invested in building the best "Experience" for their customers
We all know "Customer Experience or CX" is one of the buzzwords thrown around by every business and leader for quite some time now. But now the real test has just come around the corner. The next bunch of organizations who will escape this pandemic will be those who have invested in delivering the best experience to their customers over the years. Their hard work and dedication towards the same are going to pay off BIG time.
Organizations who always believed in "open" communication with customers
Another group of businesses that have a fair chance of surviving this scary period is those who always maintained "open" communication with their customers. Whatever may be the interaction, they were always transparent in their approach and their customers always trusted them due to that.
Organizations who have leaders who are "transparent" and "daring"
Well, this is a really critical one. One factor that will help organizations get through these tough times is the leadership teams running the show. Businesses with transparent and strong leaders will survive this pandemic as they will lead from the front and maintain the confidence of their customers in the brand.
Organizations who always "stood" for their community
Well, this is an easy one. Businesses who always did their bit for their community are the ones who are definitely going to weather this out. Their focus and efforts on helping their community whenever needed will become their biggest strength now. This is applicable to both larger enterprises and SMBs.
Organizations who always made their customers feel "special"
Make your customers feel "special" is a cliche used in the business world. But some organizations do walk the talk and make their customers feel like the "heroes" of the brand's stories. These companies will be supported by these heroes at these times of crisis and they will survive.
Organizations who always treated their customers as "humans"
Last but not the least, we all have been hearing about H2H marketing which stands for Human to Human. We all have heard the phrase "treat your customers like humans". The entities who always practiced that and were able to handle their customer base from that premise will get the backing of that loyal base.
I want to close this article by stating that these are times when we all need to come together as a team irrespective of our geography, caste, creed, and beliefs. These are times when we need to support each other because as humans, we are a strong unit when together. Let's support local businesses, spread "only" positivity, help "anyone" in need, and emerge as victors in this battle.