Industry Update
Opinion Article23 June 2021

Companies’ Responses To Covid Provide Insights Into Handling A Crisis

By Shep Hyken, Customer Service and Experience Expert, Keynote Speaker and Bestselling Author

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One of our readers asked me the following question: What is your advice for a company that is struggling during COVID-19?

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I know, we’re all tired of hearing about COVID-19 and the pandemic. However, there is light at the end of this very dark tunnel. We are seeing business in most industries returning to pre-pandemic levels. Still, some companies are still struggling. While some industries and companies flourished throughout the last year, many were forced to a level of flexibility that included major changes, just to barely survive and keep their doors open.

With that said, the answer I’m about to give applies not only to the last year and COVID-19, but also any time a business experiences negative national and world events, including economic downturns, terrorism, and yes, even global pandemics.

During tough times of any type, certain businesses struggle. The first reaction of many is to tighten expenses and reduce employees. Some go out of business. Then there are certain industries that may not be impacted. For example, during the pandemic, grocery stores flourished. Certain online retailers, like Amazon, had a banner year. And, there are companies that you think would have been impacted, but somehow they did well – and continue to do so.

So, consider all of that as I share an answer to the original question, which was advice for businesses struggling during COVID-19.

Start by getting a team together to strategize and share ideas. The conversation should begin with a discussion about the companies you believe had success throughout the pandemic. Again, this could be any major downturn in business due to outside and unforeseen circumstances. What did they do, if anything, that was different than they had done before the pandemic? What do you like – or not like – about the changes they made?

Then determine if any of these changes can work for your company. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same. Let this list serve as a catalyst to jumpstart creativity to come up with a list of ideas that might work for you. Then once you’ve created this list, don’t just look at it. Work it! Make it happen. The adoption of ideas from the success of others outside of your industry can make you more competitive inside your own industry.

This is a very short answer to a very big question. And, it’s not the only answer. So if you have another answer, we would all love to hear from you. Feel free to share!

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times, bestselling business author. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs, go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

(Copyright © MMXXI, Shep Hyken)

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