Crisis management is never a singular strategy. During times of adversity, such as the one we’re all experiencing with COVID-19, it takes an all-hands approach to manage the disruption to operations, revenue, and customer relations. 

COVID-19 has sent even the most battle-tested leaders reeling from unprecedented business disruption. Companies are having to simultaneously deal with the short-term effects of the pandemic, while preparing with what the future may hold. These are uncertain times for sure.

That’s why Quiq recently sponsored a report on the subject by Digital Commerce 360. “Coronavirus: Ecommerce Crisis Management for Today and Tomorrow” takes a look at how retailers, manufacturers, and wholesalers are responding to unprecedented challenges while taking advantage of new opportunities to increase online sales.

Protect Your Brand’s Perception

The 100+ page report presents data, insights, and usable best practices that all B2C and B2B companies can use now and going forward. Quiq’s VP of Brand, Jenne Meyer offers sound advice on how companies can foster a positive affinity to their brand, even in the midst of a crisis, in the article “Protect Your Brand With Digital Engagement”.

A few key takeaways from the article:

1. Make accessibility a priority. 

Provide your customers with the assurance that you’re there when they need you. Opening new channels like messaging, web chat, and social channels encourages your customers to contact you the  way they prefer and at their convenience.

2. Protect your customer’s experience. 

The shuttering of contact centers, either voluntarily or due to government mandates like those in the Philippines and India, was a hard lesson learned about scale and flexibility for customer service. While many companies scrambled to transition to a remote work model, customer inquiries skyrocketed, with customer wait times stretching across hours. Companies can protect their customers from the frustration of long wait times and delayed responses with the help of self-serve options like bots. 

3. Adjust your metrics.

During times of crisis, it’s imperative to reframe your metrics and to look far beyond the number of customers an agent helps within a certain time frame. Agents need to be empathetic and that may lengthen interaction times. Consider focusing more on customer satisfaction.

The article is just one example of how companies can use effective digital strategies to weather the coronavirus storm and prepare for whatever the future may hold.  Download the full report on the Quiq website. 

Reframe Challenges As Opportunities

Things are not business as usual. The long-term planning, with 1 and 5 year outlooks, have been displaced with 30, 60, and 90 day plans. Companies are having to pivot fast and frequently as the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold on a minute-by-minute basis.

With the transition to a remote workforce and a flood of customer communication, it’s tempting to hunker down and weather the storm with the tools you’re most familiar with. That’s exactly what not to do. 

Now is the time to re-evaluate your operations and discern which changes may simply be a temporary change to adapt to the circumstances and which changes reframe your operations completely .For example, since sending most of their workforce home, many companies, like the Mortgage Center, are starting to question if they need to lease as much space or if they can continue to have a portion of their workforce operate remotely. 

What was a short-term response to an emergency situation has sparked much needed discussion about what really moves the needle for customers. Consider how consumer engagement has drastically changed. Contact centers within companies such as Pella, Brinks Home Security, and Northwest Community Credit Union were forced to close physical locations, quickly switch to a remote model, and still provide quality customer care with limited resources.  By diverting phone calls to messaging, helping customers self-serve with the help of chat bots, and offering more messaging channels across text, web chat, and social media, these companies are able to take care of their customers in a more cost-effective and efficient way, while preserving their brand.

Have A Bias Toward Action

We are going through disruptive, turbulent times. Full stop. It’s important not to minimize or oversimplify that point. It’s also important not to become paralyzed by panic as we brace ourselves against what’s tried and true or familiar.

This post, and the report we encourage you to download, is meant to inspire you to take action now. Help your company thrive in the long-term by deploying technology that will save you time and money, now and in the future. Schedule some time today for a custom demo so we can discuss your brand, your challenges, and how Quiq can help.

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