Many businesses have been hit hard by Covid-19 closures, with some high-profile companies being hit hard and going out of business. But as the governmental restrictions ease and businesses start to reopen there is light now appearing at the end of the tunnel.
As businesses start to rebuild, start to establish a new way of working, there is a necessity to learn and adapt to the changing world that we are now in. Many shops have already had to adapt the way that they interact with their customers by introducing physical screens between staff and customers. Offices are having to be redesigned to accommodate social distancing and implement additional hygiene protocols to ensure staff safety.
This learning and adapting doesn't stop at the physical surroundings that a business has. This learning and adapting needs to apply to how every business understands their customers and clients and how their needs have changed during the crisis. If your needs as a business have changed, its highly likely that the needs of your customers and clients have also changed. It's just a question of how have their needs changed.
The good news is your business already has the answers... hidden in your data.
The lifeblood of any business is their finances. Cashflow and budgets have been two of the most important things during the period of closure that we have been through in the last few months. Many companies have put in cost saving measures to ensure that the business is kept alive and have kept a keen eye on any unnecessary expenditure.
The key now is to use your financial data to know what to spend money on next and where to hold spending. Using your financial data to understand how all of the elements within your business are performing in this new world will be just as important as during the period of closure.
Understanding the return on any investments, down to the bottom line, is going to help inform future decision making within your business and help make the right decisions for your business and avoid costly mistakes.
Social Media Data
Nearly all businesses have some kind of social presence, from which they talk to their customers and potential customers. Each platform records the interactions that have taken place before the pandemic, during the closure period, to the start of recovery; all of which holds information that can be valuable to understanding what has changed.
Look for what’s changed with users interaction with certain content. Is it up or down? How your content is being interacted with is a key component to what people are now thinking, and to which products or services they may want to buy now. The content that was getting the most traction before may not be the best now. Experiment with different messages, content types and platforms to really understand this further.
Also look for what’s not changed and which content or platforms are still generating the most interaction. As much as the world is a different place, there may be some aspects of your business that don't need to change as they still fit a customer need. Knowing this may stop you investing time to change something that didn't need to be fixed.
Social media is also a key area for marketing to prospective clients and customers. Although many marketing budgets have been cut to divert funds elsewhere, understanding which content is really generating interest may indicate which content should be promoted and knowing that any money that is put behind this is well spent. Don't forget to keep an eye on your advertising data to ensure that there is a return on any investments that you make.
For any company that sells products or services watching the sales figures is a normal part of the day to day. But in order to accelerate your recovery and grow faster from the effects that the pandemic has had on your business you need to delve a little deeper.
Knowing which products are the best sellers is one thing, but what are the up and coming products? What is going to be the next thing coming along because your consumer needs have changed. Some of these may be obvious based on your offering, but others may be less obvious.
Keeping a close eye on the growth of smaller products or product segments may hold the key to what should be part of the next marketing update, or which products should have their stock holding increased because sales are on the up.
Customer Relationship Data
If your company has a CRM system then using your customer data is easier than if you don't. But even if you don't have a CRM system there are ways to leverage your customer data, it might just take a little more digging.
Firstly, you can use your customer data to ensure that you know who your biggest customers or clients are and make sure that you are in contact with them on a regular basis. This isn't a time where you want to lose your current customers. You can also learn from them about whats changed in their lives and how you may be able to take advantage of that.
Also, knowing who has bought particular products or services before may be relevant contacts for a new sale if what you're offering is going to help them with their recovery plan. If they're someone you have a previous relationship with they are more likely to come back to your business than go somewhere new, assuming of course that they had a positive experience the last time.
Finally, you can use the data you have to understand who were the potential customers that never become customers. If you've got a record of failed online shopping baskets, quotes given out, or conversations that had been had then you can use this data to create a list of people for whom the world has changed and may need your services or products now. Being proactive in this area is going to be more effective than trying to start from scratch with new completely brand new customers.
Ultimately, in order to accelerate your business recovery you need to understand more about how your customers or clients have changed now that everyone is starting to reopen and get back to a new normal. Every aspect of your business collects data and holds part of the puzzle that will lead to recovery.
Understanding all the different elements of your business data and how it's evolving will help aid your businesses recovery from the enforced closures and new safe working measures that have been put in place. Once you understand what the data within your business is saying the faster you will be able to adapt and begin to accelerate your recovery efforts.
If you need help analysing your data then talk to one of our team today to see how Sontai can help your business use data to recover from the effects of Covid-19.