Is Your Business Ready for a Post-Pandemic World? 3 Strategies to Ramp Up for the Turn of COVID

We are in the second quarter of 2020 now, and I suspect that what you thought 2020 would look like at this point in the year is quite different from reality. You are not alone. All of our original plans have been wiped clean.

Most likely, the change implemented in your business has sped up to a cadence of days, rather than weeks or months. If your business is one of the millions learning how to be remote for the first time, that means daily huddles on a camera are a new thing. We are in the game of rapid change and the winners will adapt to succeed, or is it?

It’s not just about how we can adapt quickly in this world of daily change and market fluctuations, but rather how we handle our re-entry into “normal” many weeks from now. Just like the missions NASA sends to space, we must plan for our re-entry before our rocket ever leaves the ground, but unfortunately, we were forced to launch without a plan for re-entry when societal changes forced our hand, and that’s why there’s no time like now to start planning again.

There is no doubt that our “normal” world after this pandemic will be vastly different from the “normal” that existed prior, but it won’t take long hours in a boardroom by yourself to whiteboard a crystal ball of the future. In fact, there are highly impactful, zero-cost steps, implementable in most businesses today, to position for the future, no matter the result of that crystal ball.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll discuss this re-entry in great detail, but for now, after the last three weeks, let’s take a breather and simply look at a few things many of us may have overlooked that we can do now, without much effort, to align ourselves with the way the world may look soon enough.

Over-deliver to your customers to keep them

Right now, customers are grasping for any lifeline they can find. Adapting your product offering or service set to include things that your customers need NOW, in the wake of the very quickly changing landscape of business is paramount today, but will also leave your company at the top of the hill after the pandemic subsidies.

Why? Because giving away really important advice/time/products/help/etc and executing in a way that is meaningful, not self-serving, and authentic, is going to position your business when the “restart” happens for maximum success and customer loyalty. Who do you think customers that experience this love are going to look to first for what to do next when the standards of February no longer work in July?

What additional value can you create right now for your customer at little to no cost for you and give away to the customer for free? Think it over. I’ll wait. Or heck, I’ll let you cheat. See if any of these examples inspire you.

One example I’ve seen was an app developer in the manufacturing space who created a new application for their clients to track the COVID-19 cleaning protocols. Their customers were able to use a tool that both helped their employees and made their customers feel good about the interaction – two levels of trust.

I’ve also seen a payments company offer training on how to identify and prevent phishing email scams. I’ve also seen a Japanese restaurant decorating paper bags with their customers’ names and a paper origami on top. These range in simplicity, but assuredly the meaningfulness of the results will not waiver in ten weeks.

No matter what the product or service you currently sell is, your product or service’s value is currently being questioned by your customer. With all companies cutting costs, it’s time to OVER deliver so your company is never considered for cuts when your company’s budget comes up on your customer’s chopping block.

This is not about giving away what you use to sell or giving it at a discount, it’s about thinking about what your customer wishes it had right now and delivering on it, but doing it with no cost and expecting nothing in return, but rather doing it just for the sake of giving. Who said nice companies finish last? In a pandemic, they don’t. They finish alive, and ahead.

Streamline, digitize and humanize your processes

Speaking of finishing. When was the last time you finished documenting your company’s core processes? Of course, this is a trick question – a company is dynamic and its processes are too, but in a downturn like what exists today, there’s no better time than now to re-evaluate your core-processes.

Unless you are a company in consumer staples, grocery, or plastics right now, the most likely reality is that your sales have slowed and you are looking inward at your operation. Now is the time to understand the current state of your operation and identify ways to improve it.

To start documenting your core processes, begin with one department at a time. Identify the 5-7 core processes that have to take place for the product or service to be delivered. Simply name them. Then under each of those 5-7 core processes, write down who does what, how they do it, and when they do it. Consider how they must be digitized in the current state and what must remain human. Don’t overcomplicate this activity. It could be completed over a span of three days with focus.

It often helps to have the person who owns the process walk through the process verbally and someone else writes it down. Keep at a high, 30,000-foot level. These do not need to be complex or detailed, and you should be able to get through each department in under one hour. Consider making it so simple that if a stranger read the documentation, they could understand quickly and nearly at a glance.

Then move forward to the next department, and so on. Don’t forget, all companies have a minimum of three departments (Marketing/Sales, Operations, Finance/Admin.) If you have different ones, great, but if you’re so trendy and flat that you don’t have departments, start here.

By the end of three exercises, you can have “The (Your Company) Way” fully documented with a slew of ideas for improvement as you ramp up for the turn.

Speak to your customers by phone

In our world of automation and now 100% remote, it’s easy to lose a connection with our customers and over time that lost trust can inspire them to jump ship elsewhere to a competitor.

The last bit of wisdom I’d like to leave you with today? Contact 100% of your customers by phone. All of them. Every. Last. One. Last week, a friend’s company reached out by phone to their 350 clients in a span of 72 hours. It was an all-hands on deck activity from the HR team to Finance to Support all the way to the Automation team. With my support, they created a clear process, including a call script, voicemail script, and follow up email. They trained all the staff in a 15-minute session and handed out the lists.

What happened? One client told them days later that because of the call and the conversation, my friend’s company was the only vendor they weren’t delaying payment to. They had clients thanking them on their social media platform and building clout in the company.

Most importantly, that they were able to determine the health of their customer base quickly, and hear first-hand what value-adds would help the customer base within the first few days of this crisis. From this activity, they were able to iterate and make an offering that same week to their customers based on what they were requesting that was not only of value to them but in a few months time would increase MRR of the company itself.

Going above and beyond to reach out to all of your customers right now before they have to reach out to you tells them that you’re not afraid and that you have their back. In a world that is remote and distant, it’s crucial to sustain bonds of trust with customers.

A method like a call, although seemingly archaic, has more value than ever before. Sometimes being human is more effective than the short-term gains of being efficient. Call your customers. Hear them out, and give them what they need.

This week, I saw a hilarious meme that read “Why the fuck did I buy a 2020 planner?” I thought that was well put. We are two weeks into this mess and several months away from it being over. How will you shine when all this is over?

It’s time to go inward, look to your people for ideas, speak with your customers to give them a voice, and deliver to them more than ever before. Don’t worry about the chaos around you. Stay in your lane and you will be at peace.

In love and respect,

Hilary Corna


Hilary Corna

Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host, Founder of the Human Way ™...

Hilary’s favorite title is HUMAN.


I am starting a revolution. One business and one person at a time.



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