COVID-19 Business Scenario

As lockdowns end, businesses need to move on and ensure continuity and sustainability. The pandemic has brought on new challenges for every industry, but even so, reports say that businesses should keep themselves open to new opportunities. As a provider of business transcription services, we take a look at the changes that businesses should prepare for in the post COVID-19 scenario.

  • Embrace digitalization: Businesses should embrace digital transformation and those that do not, will be left behind. IT is already looming in importance. IT has enabled seamless communication ever since the pandemic struck, the most vivid example being the support for work-at-home policies. High-speed internet, analytics and predictive tools, mobile, and cloud are the buzz words of these challenging times, allowing businesses to remodel their workplace arrangements and strategies and collaborate with their team. Virtual meetings have become the new normal, keeping digital transcription agencies on their toes.
  • Adapt to meet consumers’ new needs: Proactive businesses will attempt to anticipate and adapt their products, services and strategies to meet consumers’ new and changing needs. For instance, a survey by Accenture suggests three long-term trends: an ever-increasing focus on health, mindful shopping or a rise in conscious consumption, and a growing preference for local. Businesses need to take stock of their resources and see if they are equipped to expand or diversify to meet new needs. They should focus on strengthening connections with their existing customers by showing them that they are ready to meet their new needs, including connecting with them remotely, taking online orders and offering no/low contact services. Here are four recommendations from www.ey.com for communicating with customers:
    • Reach out to consumers via multiple channels to ensure your message is widely received and reinforced.
    • Show that customer interests are a priority and address their concerns directly.
    • Create and share an FAQ document outlining specific questions around your supply chain, your health and safety practices and also potential risks to customers if they continue to patronize your business.
    • Contact affected customers and offer assistance where appropriate.
  • Adjust to a virtual working strategy: Many companies now have a new virtual workforce. Millions of people worldwide have adapted to working virtually and many more plan to do so more frequently in the future. Challenges involved with remote work include task-related problems, interpersonal challenges that can emerge among remote coworkers, distractions at home, and social isolation. Managers need to understand the needs of their virtual workforce. Reimagine people, as people, not employees, says David Holme, Exigent Founder and CEO. Managers need to ensure their virtual workforce has the right tools and environment for remote work. Strategies to support remote employees include established structured daily communication, video conferencing opportunities, and seamless communication with rules of engagement among teams. Pascale Peters, Professor of Strategic Human Resource Management at Nyenrode Business University in The Netherlands says, “Success with home-based working calls for the building trusting relationships via supportive leadership, mutual support, and shared commitment” (www.forbes.com).
  • Optimize efficiencies: Cost optimization is crucial to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic. Businesses will need to reassess their operations strategies and restructure their business plans to minimize costs and optimize efficiencies in the long run. Cost-cutting is essential for businesses struggling to survive economic impact of the pandemic. Businesses should consider reach out to their financing partners and ensure that their lines of credit remain open, or identify new or additional options that they can utilize if required.

Building agility, flexibility, and resilience are necessary to adapt to consumers’ new and evolving needs. Assess your budget, space/location – whether it is adaptable for social distancing – supply chain, products and services, and revenue impact. Consider things from the customer’s perspective and alter strategies to win their trust. If needed, get expert help to prepare your business for the new normal and optimize your workflow. You may also need to communicate your expectations clearly with those who interact with your business, such as employees, customers and vendors. They need to know what to expect from you as you implement your reopening plan.

As an online transcription company serving various industries, we are ready to support businesses with all they documentation needs as they reopen and get back to work.