While many businesses were forced to close as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, those that stayed open and found new ways of sustaining their operations will have to build on that to survive and thrive in a post-COVID world.
That was the advice offered by Senior Manager, Consulting, with Deloitte Barbados, Roger Hennis during a webinar sponsored by the Guardian Group in association with the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce.
“The pandemic has forced companies to ask themselves, ‘how can we move from barely staying alive to thriving?’ It will call for new business models and structures that will change the way they serve their staff and their customers,” he said.
“A study showed that companies which succeeded in making the transformation to digital operations had a clear strategy in place as they went about it; they relied on leadership at all levels rather than just the IT department to lead the effort, and recognised they had to embrace more risks and innovation to move the process forward.”
Chief Executive Officer of IGOV.TT, Kirk Henry, noted that the International Labour Office (ILO) stated that 9.9 percent of working hours, which is equivalent to 1.5 million jobs, were expected to be lost in the Caribbean for the second quarter of 2020.
He also advised companies: “Before investing in technology, determine your aims first, then look to see how it can benefit your organisation, and know which data you want, the audience it relates to, and then tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.”
Meantime, Brevard Nelson, CEO of Caribbean Ideas Synapses and a long-time corporate communications specialist, said customer resource management was also an important element in e-commerce.
“If you can get as many data points as possible from a customer, you can up-sell services to them as time goes on. For example, you may only get basics like the name and address when you first deal with a customer, but if later on you find out their age, family structure and so on, you can work towards offering them other products that may be helpful as they reach various milestones in their lives,” he said.
Sales representative with Guardian Life, Audrey Reid, spoke about how COVID-19 had affected the sale of life insurance policies.
“Naturally, owing to the social distancing and other restrictions, it became difficult for us to conduct face to face interviews with prospects, but we eventually found a way to do that online as well as to have them fill out the application forms online. We also recognised that millennials preferred to do everything online, while older clients preferred personal interaction, but we are encouraging them to look into the online alternative,” she said. (DH)
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