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Responding to Today

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

The world has been turned upside down by COVID-19. Our routine has been disrupted. And we are disrupting the new routine. 3.4 million people watched Andrea Bocelli’s live rendition from an empty Milan Cathedral. And millions of people will keep watching it for years to come. For love, healing and hope...

Our comfort zones have been destroyed, people and organizations are worrying about their future. This is another corner we have to turn. We are on a learning curve and slowly accumulating, with small steps at first.

Restaurants are closed, but we are able to cook at home. The hospitality sector has been facing one of the most severe slowdowns, but we are visiting the British Museum and the Louvre at the same hour online. Online shopping volumes have been declining in most of the sectors, but increasing drastically in grocery, sanitary products and home entertainment. Even though people are feeling more anxious, they have had to shift their habits relatively quickly to fulfill their necessities and needs. Online shopping habits in food, entertainment and remote working are some of those.

According to McKinsey’s article ‘A global view of how consumer behavior is changing amid COVID-19’, consumers globally expect long-lasting effects of COVID-19 on their personal routines and finances’. While customer emotions, habits and behaviours are changing and will have long-lasting effects, are the organizations responding fast enough to this change? While living in the new ‘today’, we need more care of one another, comfort and protection, can organizations respond to it a timely manner?

If this unexpected and unknown situation continues, people will go back to a sense of normality. And after turning back to our normal lives, we will still keep some habits from these days and remember the organizations who cared for their people and who continue to deliver their promised benefits. 

Align your organization to what your customers’ need. Look at your organization from the outside in through customers’ eyes. What would be missing in customers lives if your organization didn’t exist and what is your position on customers lives. Visiting this statement will enable organizations to continue creating value for their customers. Adapt your purpose for today.

Communicate, stay connected with your customers. Humans aren’t built to not interact. Make as much positive, informative and supportive communication as you can. Also keep your people informed about what is going on with your organization, be honest with them.

Shape your tone of voice. Let your people find messages for themselves. Ask yourself what is in it for my people. A very simple example is ‘You have your necessities’ instead of ‘We as a company continue to deliver’.

Be emphatic, make your people feel that your organization cares about your people and does the best for their comfort and be there to support them. Think about what you can provide to help them in your existing relationship. 

Consider the social impact. There are very good examples around the world. Some companies are adapting their manufacturing lines to produce masks and sanitary products. Donations to healthcare are increasing every day as well. You can also help your ecosystem by using your expertise. Come together with your peers to see how you can help each other. 

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” said Corrie Ten Boom. Make your action plan, share more and come together to make things better.

Stay safe! Stay healthy!

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