Uncertainty has gripped the world as we continue to suffer the effects of the current pandemic situation. While the global economy has been hit hard, businesses are on constant lookout for ways to revive.
The situation between different business domains is also quite contrary.
Some businesses are still managing survival, while others will have to start from scratch.
So, what can you do to be different and successful amidst COVID-19?
It is one dilemma that every business owner is suffering from currently. But the following three steps can help you survive the brunt of this chaotic economy.
In this blog, we’ll cover three steps to help you understand the importance of business leadership and how to maintain a stand for your brand amidst COVID-19.
Step #1: Develop & Market a Vision
Do you know that 71% of the people surveyed for the 5WPR’s 2020 Consumer Culture Report find it important to buy from companies that align with their values?
This stat indicates how important it is for a brand to connect with consumer values while developing a vision to tackle the uncertain market crisis.
But first, try to understand what drives the needs and expectations of your customers by conducting thorough user feedback.
One recent study reveals the drastic change in the average monthly spending of U.S. consumers since the COVID-19 outbreak.
While some of these purchases are driven due to the unavailability of products, others are a result of how people are trying to cope with the existing circumstances, such as:
- Increase in consumption of health supplements
- More emphasis on lifestyle choices such as food and physical fitness
- Surge in media consumption such as online video and music streaming platforms for entertainment purposes during lockdowns
Taking these results into account, you need to work towards building a vision that helps people connect with your brand at a deeper level and also drives brand loyalty.
Myriam Sidibe explains how a long-term vision can help your brand connect with consumers even when COVID-19 does come to an end. She elaborates on how people won’t be the same once the pandemic comes to an end. Consumers won’t be able to trust a brand the same way, especially if it doesn’t stand for a cause.
This brand advocacy communicates a sense of justice and shared humanity. In this case, she cites her experience with Unilever. Before the pandemic, the brand came up with a vision of hygiene where Lifebuoy was adapted for the Super School of Five handwashing program. Under the program, children in Kenya were taught how to maintain face and handwashing hygiene.
This 21-days program was inclusive of games, activities, dance, music, and most importantly pledges. Unilever also integrated washing stations across all the participating schools in Kenya. And during the pandemic, the campaign gained momentum.
In a nutshell, such long-term visions help you get the right attention, engagement, and even sales no matter how uncertain the market is.
Step #2: Improve Transparency Among Your Employees
It is a skill to improve transparency among your employees. That’s because a simple email or a team meeting won’t help you to direct your employees in the right direction. And since the time has changed a lot in a matter of months, your employees would need answers to certain brimming questions.
“How long will we be working from home?”
“Are there any changes to the existing work process? If any, will it impact our current position?”
“Will I still have a job if the current circumstances prolong?”
While these are just the tip of the iceberg, there may be more questions that need immediate attention. That’s why it is important for you to be present, even when there is distance.
To increase transparency, you can:
- Start with regular virtual team meetings. It will allow you to clarify the situation better
- Create online training courses that help employees complete the transition smoothly to work from home culture
- Share continuous optimism and hope with your employees to craft your leadership narrative
These transparency measures will help you motivate your employees and rise as a business leader amidst Coronavirus.
Step #3: Become the Support Experts
Finally, the last step to help you reduce the impact of the Coronavirus on your business is to provide delightful experiences to your customers. Create your own support suite, build omnichannel support for customers, and make sure that they get answers on time.
Brands like ProProfs, Tawk.to, and Olark help businesses to create their customized support bundle even if users opt for their free subscriptions. As a user, you can integrate their best live chat software, help desk ticketing tool, and knowledge base to create a support suite that manages to capture questions from customers and provide instant answers.
The use of such tools enables your brand to calm customers’ anxiety, especially when they know that the pandemic and its impact is here to stay in the market. Other than that, you enable the support team to handle multiple questions and create a delightful experience for customers even now.
These steps help you manage leadership in a crisis and rise above the impacts of COVID-19 effectively.
Copyright © 2023 SCORE Association, SCORE.org
Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.