It’s approaching two years since COVID-19 has drastically impacted our day-to-day lives. The pandemic has tested many businesses and forced them to get creative in order to continue to profit during these circumstances. One thing that successful businesses have learned is to adapt and think outside of the box. The challenges the economy has faced in the wake of the pandemic has resulted in creative destruction, where new innovations have replaced ones that have become obsolete.
Here are 5 examples that show how businesses have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic.
1: Facilitating remote work using digital tools
Faced with widespread work from home orders for non-essential employees, many businesses were forced to quickly bring their work home. In no time at all, video call meetings using platforms like Zoom and Google Meet became the norm. Businesses stayed connected with their staff and clients using communication tools like Slack, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams.
Although there were concerns about this reduction of face-to-face interaction making it challenging for teams to collaborate effectively, it turns out that many businesses reported increased productivity. For example, Prodoscore reported a 47% year-over-increase in productivity from March 2019 to March 2020, after their employees switched to working from home.
2: Going digital with products and services
This 8-minute video goes in depth about the various companies under the Bouygues Group and all of the services they provide. Although yes, 8 minutes is quite long… they keep the viewer engaged by painting a picture of their wide range of endeavors from roadways, to buildings, to telecommunications services in a visually appealing way. You get the full picture of all aspects of the Bouygues Group from every expertly-edited angle.
3: Increase of data-driven decision making
Throughout the pandemic, businesses have used data for contact-tracing, predicting changes and outcomes, and improving their interactions with customers. According to a survey from analytics provider Sisense, 49% of companies are using data analytics “more or much more” than before the COVID-19 crisis. In order to stay afloat, businesses have had to be strategic and agile with their decision-making.
With the technology all sizes of businesses have access to today, data can be easily used to recognize and adapt to the changes in the market, and provide excellent customer service. Data-driven decision making is something we can expect to see more of in the future, as analytics continue to become more widely accessible regardless of the size of a business.
4: Bringing services outdoors
Outdoor fitness classes, heated patios, bubble dining restaurants, drive-in concerts are all examples of how industries that have been hit the hardest by pandemic restrictions have adapted to continue to provide services to their customers. Businesses in the fitness, restaurant and music industries have had to be creative and move what they can outdoors to make profit.
If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that Canadians have been embracing the outdoors. Given this shift in consumer behaviour, outdoor dining will be a huge factor in diners returning to in-person restaurants. Restaurants will likely continue to put more work into their patio areas, offering an outdoor dining experience that is comfortable for their customers even as the weather starts to cool down.
5: Connecting to customers digitally
Businesses rely more on digital tools to provide customer service when speaking to a customer in-person isn’t possible. An increased number of businesses are using conversational AI to answer questions on their websites and social media pages.
During the COVID-19 crisis, we saw more dental offices, doctors clinics, hair salons and spas using text message reminders to communicate with their patients and customers. Using text message reminders, these businesses saved time it would normally take to communicate COVID protocols, confirm appointments, and notify patients or customers when it was safe to enter their facility for their appointments.
From March 2020 to now, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way businesses operate forever. Although many took a large hit financially, in order to rise above the challenges they faced, businesses found innovative solutions, streamlined processes, and used technology to advance their services. With an end in sight to this crisis, the majority of these new ways of communicating and providing products and services to customers are here to stay. The digitalization of business is at the forefront, and the opportunities for further advancements are endless.