Pivot or die: Transitioning Business Culture
How to create a culture of transition that keeps your business fresh and profitable

It is said that if you do what you’ve always done you’ll have what you’ve always had. But these days doing what you’ve always done may not necessarily give you the results you’ve always had.

We found organizations that have succeeded in practicing business the same way they always have met catastrophic failure when they attempted to do so during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The need to pivot has never been more evident than in these times. We want to take a look at the ways that your business can change the way it’s been operating to survive these uncertain times.

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1. Go virtual

In over 90 days the entire planet has been trained to expect to do business differently. Being able to order goods and services remotely and having those services delivered with the same degree of excellence is expected of these times. Therefore your business must begin to adopt a new posture of going virtual first. Provide these services to your customers and have them choose whether they would like to be served virtually or in person. It’s time for you to escalate your website features. If your website is currently just a bulletin board informing people about what you can do and how great your company is it’s no longer enough. Your website has to provide the client with the ability to order for your services and products and also give them the option of their choice of delivery whether it’s going to be virtual or in person.

2. Show empathy

It is important these days to be more sensitive to the needs of not just your clients but also of the staff who work for you. The amount of fear and apprehension that he’s been feeling these days is affecting not just the ability of your customers to patronize you but also the ability of your staff to perform. In high-stress situations, people will make mistakes and will make decisions that they would not normally make in different circumstances. That is why providing a way to ensure that customers can still patronize you without being on the so much pressure to pay you and providing your staff with a more favorable work arrangement will go along way towards retaining your customers and also retaining your train staff. Showing empathy will go along way in establishing solid relationships with your staff and clients that will ensure that they stay with you for years to come. Create a blog where you highlight your understanding of their positions. Let your customers know that you are aware of their struggles and inform them of what your organization is doing to help them continue to retain your services. Inform them of reduced rates or offer coupons on your blog to your long-standing customers to let them know that you’re for them and not just a Business leaning in to collect their money. Leave encouraging posts on the blog where are you highlight the best-performing employee of the month or post tips on how to save money and invest and how employees can stay safe during their operations around the business or as they commute to business or to run the private engagements. Doing this will communicate how much you understand their feelings and how much you’re in support of them. Remember it’s always more expensive to acquire new customers or staff than retaining the ones you currently have.

3. Listen

it’s easy for you to be focused on the bottom line and struggle to keep your business afloat. In doing this it is equally easy to forget that you need to keep your ears open to the needs of your customers. Your customers are going to engage with you, make suggestions, and ask questions that point towards their current expectations of you. These words will go a long way toward letting you know where your current customers are leaning and help you draw a map towards a customer experience that will intern draw other customers asking the same things or making the same statements. Your customers still want to do business with you but you might need different arrangements in payments and pricing or even in service delivery. Listening to them would arm you with all the right tools that will save you months in research and development and poll taking. Keep your ears wide open and don’t forget to write down everything you notice in the conversations you’re having with your clients.

4. Change quickly

Now that you’ve heard what your customers needs and have a general idea about what they are expecting of you it’s time for you to take action. Don’t put it off till the next quarter or even next year. By then it might be too late and they would have moved on to your competition. It is essential that no matter the size of your business you take the posture of a lean organization. You need to take action quickly. Pivot aggressively like your life depends on it. If you don’t your competition will and your customers will move on to them. The simple gesture of taking action on what your customers have merely suggested to you will speak volumes to them letting them know how valuable they are to you and how much you value their opinion.

5. Get feedback

Once you’ve executed on the latest suggestions of your customers don’t forget to ask them how they feel about the adjustments. Publish a survey on your website that allows them to submit their feedback. You can allow them to post their comments anonymously just in case they feel shy about letting you know what they think. This would help the feedback process and you’ll be able to hear from them how they really feel about the changes that you’re making. You need to find out whether you accurately reflected their needs or whether there are certain adjustments that you might still need to make on these changes. You must take the posture of ongoing evolution. Things will not always turn out exactly the way you expect them to or exactly the way your clients want them. Let them know that you’re taking them on this journey with you and they will appreciate the gesture. 

Operating in these ways willing sure that your business does not remain still and set in his ways but ready to transition into more effective and profitable ways of doing business. 

What I think will happen

We are all anticipating massive changes in the days to come not just as a result of the COVID-19 crisis but also of the ensuing economic rigor that is about to manifest itself. So we all need to take this as a new culture and practice them diligently.

Pivot or die: Transitioning Business Culture
Adaberemchi Aja-Onu
29 June, 2020
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