With 6-8 months to survive before the COVID-19 vaccines will be readily available, questions your business should be asking is what specifically you are doing to plan for the next several months of the pandemic and how will you pivot once the opportunity to return to “business as usual” returns.
The lessons of the pandemic have a lot to do with how quickly managers and directors were prepared to make the changes that were necessary to compete in this new environment. What reserves did you have to invest in a fast transition to remote workforces, leaner staffing, changes in communication internally and externally?
Now Until Q3
The next few months will require some thoughtful introspection about how you want to step forward once the remote and distanced workplaces are not as necessary. While it is tempting to look longingly at the past and wish we could just replicate it all, the pandemic has made it necessary to test other business and delivery models that we just might want to invest in moving forward. And it is important to explore your customer base to understand what expectations they may now have for your company’s ability to work with them in remote ways.
Clearly nobody should run parallel, duplicative services, but a blending of the two or some merging of delivery will likely be called for and a creative and honest assessment should be happening now.
Once that model is designed and tested, it will be critical to make certain that your communications makes clear how your clients should expect to interact. Are there some systems that will be remote only while others require a more traditional experience? Can someone just bounce back and forth between your remote and on ground services? Will you incentivize one system over the other.
How much will staff need to be cross trained to work in each environment? Is the goal to coax customers back to the old normal and gradually eliminate the pandemic business model? IF you are now able to have your on ground business back, are there things you have learned from your pandemic experience that can make that product better?
No matter how you end up defining your post COVID business model, making sure that your website and online communications are ready when we all “go back to normal” is the work that should be done in the first half of 2021.