The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on many businesses. There are organizations out there who might have made crucial mistakes that may cause long term effects on their business.
Firstly, the health of everyone should be a priority. That includes – employees, customers, families, friends, and more. If businesses needs to shut down temporarily, require employees to work from home, or any other measures, then that is how it must operate.
It’s important to have important meetings or events cancelled or postponed at this tumultuous time. Some businesses are looking at technology in conducting day to day business operations while others are simply making alternate plans.
However, it is important now than ever to maintain or boost customer experience.
Over the last two decades there have been major economic downturns. The last recession was almost 12 years ago. There was 9/11 and then there was the bursting of the dot.com bubble. During all these tough economic times, many companies cut expenses which sometimes include employees as well. Now is no different, some of it has to be done!
Companies must make the right decision as a wrong step taken might affect them in the long term. Consider for example, a hotel that expected 1,000 people to show up before the virus outbreak for a conference, now has 1,000 empty rooms. For sure there will be a workforce reduction. But, in this situation, the hotel won’t fire employees and then have 1,000 guests show up to receive sub-par service. Nobody will notice the missing employees because there won’t be any guests there to notice.
Now, let’s look at it the other way, what if the hotel reduces staffs in other areas that do get noticed? The hotel cleanliness might get affected and look dirty if some of the housekeeping and maintenance personnel are let go. The lines to check-in will grow longer if they cut front desk staff. Those changes become noticeable.
When cutting costs and people, it is important for companies to consider the long term effect. If what businesses cut in expenses impacts their product quality and the customer experience, it means they are making cuts in the wrong place and it will get noticed by customers.
Obviously, its not easy for companies to make important decisions out there, but they must find a way to tighten up while not affecting the outside customer. If companies get this wrong, the consumer will start noticing and will compare to others in the industry. Companies might lose their competitive advantage.
There are some smart companies out there who will do things differently and take a smarter approach as they witness competitors cutting in areas that can be noticed by the customers. These companies will do the exact opposite and beef up their customer experience. They will show their customers that to them its less about profit and more about taking care of customers. When things get back to normal, they will be in a better position to keep the customers they have, both old and new.
It’s inevitable that many businesses are going to suffer financially because of this. Companies must use this opportunity to show their customers how they are there for them through thick and thin. Customers shouldn’t notice any disruptions or interruptions in ways they have always done business with you. This means, businesses can’t cut costs in all the places they wish to cut. Instead, companies might need to intensify their efforts to ensure best experience is delivered. Unfortunately, some businesses will make the mistake of cutting costs in the wrong places, and as a result, customers experience might get affected for the wrong reasons. For others tho, one company cutting down costs its an opportunity for the other.
The best thing to do right now is to have faith that our economy will return to normal. It may take months, or even longer. In the meantime, it is essential that current relationships that you have with your best customers is well taken care off. This is the time to exploit the opportunity and show your customers that you are there for them and build even stronger relationships with them. While the state of the world is in a limbo, it is more important than ever now to have an attitude of optimism moving forward.