Create the New Norm, Don’t Wait for It. By: Hany Soliman – General Manager of Paytabs Egypt
We’re all waiting for the ongoing pandemic and the associated uncertainty, anxiety, and fear of the unknown to end so we can go back to what life used to be. However, “we’re never going to go back to normal” seems to be the most often repeated phrase by everyone these days, people at work, politicians, and business leaders alike.
As the number of coronavirus cases grows, the more certain we are that this situation will last longer than expected. This is exactly why now is the time for businesses, especially startups and SMEs determined to survive covid-19, to become more adaptable. Flexibility is by far the most important quality for new businesses, with dynamic business models ensuring sustainably and business continuity.
And what that means is businesses need to stop waiting to see what the new normal will become but to create what that new normal is going to look like, regardless of the impact it may have. While embarking on the process of adopting this new norm, it is important to consider the best way to educate customers and increase their awareness about this new norm while continuing to provide a standard of service that guarantees their satisfaction.
How to create the new norm
A new normal for your business must apply cohesively to all its core pillars: people, culture, customers, and continuous learning, in order to ensure that it is successful. Downsizing or shutting down in times of crisis is an easy option but perseverance is a sign of truly remarkable leadership.
1. People: Businesses will need to think harder about the safety of employees. Following the crisis, the measures taken to protect employees and ensure their safety will be scrutinized and it will become the norm for companies to adopt practices that prioritize the safety of their people, irrespective of the sector in which they operate. Some measures to consider include responsibly reintroducing working from the office using a rotational schedule, routine sanitization of office premises and raising awareness about necessary hygienic and safety precautions.
2. Culture: Working from home has emerged as one of the most common practices to ensure business continuity during this time. With the amount of digital solutions and platforms available today, leveraging them to switch to remote work has never been easier. The outcome of this is that it will no longer be a requirement for employees to be physically present in the office. Moreover, hiring expats will become more accessible, owing to the hassle-free recruitment process resulting from remote work.
3. Customer satisfaction: Prioritizing safety will be the key to customer satisfaction. It’s no longer a matter of just how good your service is but also how safely you deliver and provide it, whichever services or products it may be. Businesses are required to re-evaluate how their contact centers can be leveraged, how their employees can deliver best-in-class customer experiences, and how to utilize digital channels to support the increase in contact center volumes. Many practices will evolve in the customer service domain and businesses need to make sure they create their own or follow the most relevant ones.
4. Continuous learning: Last but not least is staying updated about new practices and trends across different sectors all over the globe. Continuous learning is no longer a luxury but has rather a necessity. There is always something to learn from people who have tried doing things differently in times of crisis and came out with positive results. Staying up to date by reading new articles and participating in sessions and webinars will bring you new information, enhancing your thought process and adding value to your business.
There is always a great opportunity in every crisis. Many things we consider best practices today were deployed as a reaction to economic recessions or similar pandemics. Businesses will need to pursue this opportunity and start introducing new norms that will ensure their people’s safety, increase customer satisfaction, and sustain business performance by better serving the market.
Be the person who sets the trend, achieves success during difficult times and creates their new norm.