Many experts believe a second wave of the coronavirus may be longer than the first. Stats support this idea. Certain countries, such as Britain, France and Spain, were hit early and hard. When the numbers went down to less than 100 per day in June and July, we all breathed a sigh of relief. But then the cases spiked again.
During the first lockdown, many companies barely got by. This was true of small businesses and large enterprises alike. Whether it was the disruption to the supply chain, or the sudden change to remote work, business leaders were caught off guard. It disrupted how businesses work, and limited cash flow. Many business models didn’t hold up. Economic downturn became inevitable.
The question is, how to prepare your business for a second lockdown. An in depth look points to one key item:
Communication during a business lockdown means more than scrambling to patch up holes as you find them. It means building a comprehensive solution that addresses the unique challenges of a lockdown, both for your clients and for your team. People need to be in touch. They need to talk to each other, share thoughts and see each other. It’s important to see facial expressions, read body language and build personal connections, even when you’re connecting online. There are business ramifications to this.
You can’t afford to get it wrong. But getting it right means your business will thrive during a second wave of the coronavirus, and well into the future.
Here are 5 steps your business needs to follow to prepare for the second lockdown.
1. Invest in communications
The truth is that if clients can get in touch easily, they will continue to do business. If your team can communicate effectively, they will continue to be productive. But before we discuss the details of these, it’s important to look at the bigger picture. Just providing different ways to get in touch is not enough.
To achieve business continuity, communications need to be professional, reliable and cost effective. Your system should offer the following:
3CX brings all of these items together. Unified communications maintains your professional image, boosts quality and ensures security. It also means you are providing all the tools your team needs. So they’re not spending time finding free online tools, just to get through a second lockdown.
More importantly, it benefits clients. They’ll always know how to get in touch, and always get an answer. As a result, it keeps your business on the right trajectory. You’ll maintain productivity and professionalism – without a huge cost impact to your business.
2. Establish multi-channel communication for clients
What methods of contact do your clients prefer? Do they phone in? Visit your website? Your clients may already be in a local lockdown and have to adapt accordingly. Besides reliable phone availability, you should likely have the following options:
These should be integrated into your communication system. Integration will allow you to keep on top of your messages and answer clients on time. Without signing into different apps each time.
3CX brings these all together into the live chat feature. So any designated team member will see the messages as soon as they come in, and can reply on time.
3. Provide easy communication & collaboration for your team
Best practices suggest that staff should have a variety of communication tools for remote work, both to communicate with each other, and with clients. Here are some channels of communication you’ll want to have on hand:
It seems likely we’ll be seeing full business lockdown measures in the medium term if not sooner. But even before that, your team will need to follow social distancing measures. A good communications system can help. Again, all of this should be built into your phone system, and available on a web browser.
4. Manage communications effectively
First, you want to provide the right forms of communication. Then, you will need to ensure they are working as needed. While some business processes will change, you can still ensure they’re achieving your goals. There are two main aspects aspects to this:
5. Keep costs low – without cutting corners
Having a super-powered communications suite that your team can use from home sounds great. But as all business owners know, the cost can have a significant impact.
Here’s a surprise. You can actually save money while better preparing for the second wave of COVID 19. Here are the features you’ll want to look for:
Again, the best part is you’re not cutting corners or choosing between the features you need. On the contrary, you’re better equipping your business to deal with COVID.
Doing it right: what you have to win
The COVID-19 crisis is certainly a difficult time. But there are some wins in it for your business. The biggest one is that your clients will see your commitment to them.
Another is that a remote workforce actually has real, measurable benefits. Experts have identified the following benefits of having team members work from home:
The length of a second lockdown period is not something you can control. But you can control the impact it has on your company.
COVID 19: Are You Prepared for the Second Wave?
The above considerations are growing in importance every day. Preparing for another business lockdown is becoming a reality. This may mean letting employees work from home during the second wave. Or it could mean a transition to a distributed team in different countries. In either case, you’ll do better to make it an opportunity rather than an obstacle.
Speak to one of our solution sales executives today about how we could provide a fully managed service to make your business ready for a second lockdown.Call: 0345 450 7444 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Content from 3CX Blog - Jacob Wall Technical Content Writer
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