Updated: Feb 5
[Last week, we talked about how listening to your customers is key in creating value. This time, we will examine what organizations must do to survive and thrive in this turbulent time – and yes, you guessed it right, “putting customers front and center”]
There is no secret that organizations must develop products and services that will provide meaningful and long-lasting positive experience to keep customers loyal to their products or brands. In this challenging time, where the only thing missing is a zombie attack, most companies will have to rethink and reshape their strategies to survive. The world will never be the same again. So, everybody will have to redo their game plan, the faster — the better. You need your brands and products to be synonymous to the words “safe, caring, and resilient”.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, COVID-19 is expected to single-handedly bring an economic turmoil impacting the global trade by about 13% to 32% and a 30-40% reduction in foreign direct investment, indicating a reset of the global financial clock between 10-12 years ago according to the WTO. As a result, many companies’ survival is threatened, resulting in massive lay-offs and looming bankruptcies. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, about 25% of the nation’s small businesses have shut down in the US alone because of COVID-19, and 40% of those who are still struggling to remain open are predicted to close anytime soon. I guess that other countries are perhaps even worse than how things are compared to the US in terms of economic impact.
So, WTF (What The Future) and the global business outlook looks like? While most organizations will struggle for their survival, a handful will emerge as winners amidst this global pandemonium. Of course, the obvious ones are those in the disinfectant, PPE (personal protection equipment), health care, teleworking, delivery services, e-commerce retail/online shopping stores, and toilet paper business. The obvious losers are those in the hospitality world: like restaurants, bars, tourism, amusement parks, movie theaters; those companies that are non-essential according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and those that are directly impacted by social distancing because of the very nature of their business where human-to-human interaction is inevitable. This also made me wonder, how about those underground businesses like street prostitution or those in the illegal narcotics business? How about the churches and religions that require their communities to live and survive? The world will never be the same again, and we need to rethink how we do things and serve our customers.
For instance, consider the following thoughts:
Creativity has no limits, and as Einstein said, “In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity."
But how many companies and organizations are doing these things? There could be a handful; and I bet that those are the ones that will not only survive but thrive in this new economy. The values that they’ve demonstrated to their customers and patrons will leave a permanent mark in their hearts forever. This is the best time for organizations to show their core values, do the correct and ethical thing — then, let the world judge them according to their deeds.