Business, as usual, has ended. With many businesses closing immediately, others struggling to survive while waiting out the isolation, there are nonetheless those companies, large and small, that have seen that life and business as we knew them have changed forever. The informative and 30,000-foot perspective is to watch and see which companies are shifting and how. Who is adapting their approach to business and in what way?
A number of wineries, including Buena Vista, Clos du Val, and Kendall-Jackson have started to offer virtual tours of their vineyards with historic information about both the wine and the vineyard. Some provide wine samples through the mail at registration so their members and guests can actively participate while asking questions as well during the virtual tour. Not only does this provide income during a period of isolation but they are creating a market that was otherwise untapped for after the pandemic. Guess who will come to visit later now that a relationship has been formed?
On a much larger scale, Amazon, Walmart, Costco, and Target are adapting amazingly well. Online shopping has increased dramatically, during this time. Amazon had previously been wanting to expand on-line food delivery and now, with current changes, they have needed to put their new food-delivery customers on a waitlist. I assure this will not all go back to the “old norm” after the pandemic ends.
We know through research that it can take 21-66 days to form a new habit or adopt a pattern. Once established it becomes the new norm and folks can’t imagine doing without it. Just as now, over 10 million frequent travelers take TSA or Global Entry as a norm and a necessity at this point, yet before 9/11 they were unheard of.
The post-pandemic model will be customer service focused. It will be focused on adaptability rather than fearfully holding onto the traditional way of operating. This is only the first of many pandemics to come. Preparing for them now, allows you to have a mindset and organizational structure that can readily meet the customer where they are. Dynamics have changed, and the customer has made it so.
How are you addressing the current and post-pandemic business model which assuredly will be different? How can your company adjust? What can you offer differently? What different products can you develop now, with minimal effort but maximum creativity? Do you have a creative thought leader in your organization who has the ability to think far out of the box to recreate your approach? Does he or she have the freedom to do so? If not, change is needed, and long before this pandemic and its ramifications are over.
I am aware I asked a lot of questions, but the post-pandemic business model is going to be one you create. However, it must be customer-focused, of service, and ready to change on a dime.
-Dorothy A. Martin-Neville, PhD