On 9/11 the world changed when those buildings fell –the way we work, get around, communicate, dream followed. And then, slowly but surely, it was back to the business of making a living. Some of the changes would prove fleeting, others permanent. The Coronavirus pandemic will prove yet again that progressive companies who put customers first will prevail.
Philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” And in these trying times, it’s timely to remember that not all the changes following that terrorist attack were bad. Some actually changed the face of business for the better.
Consider the following …
It Gave A Wake-Up Call To Entrepreneurs
For professionals who didn’t lose family, friends and co-workers on September 11, 2001, that day prompted soul-searching about the value of sticking with high-paying, seemingly secure jobs, compared to following their dream and being more in control of their own destiny. The result was an immediate surge in entrepreneurship, franchise growth and startups across the country. Maybe 9/11 was the wake-up call we needed to get American business thinking back to its roots of bootstrapping firms and following their dreams of independence.
We Got Back To Basics
Working professionals took time to reflect on their lives and consider what was truly important to them. Many who looked inward to assess personal motivations realized that what they had been chasing in their careers ultimately didn’t give them joy. Some turned to entrepreneurship and the dream of being their own boss or making a significant pivot in their profession. In contrast, others sparked an urban migration to the suburbs where they could slow their pace placing more value on balance than on their annual bonus.
It Confirmed That The Customer Is King
When the World Trade Towers fell, they took the world economy with them. How did businesses survive when customers went into hiding? Companies who invested in technology, automation, and innovation drove higher cashflow, could pay bills, keep things running, and ride out the aftermath. The truth is that even the powerful American machine can be brought to a standstill with a single incident in a single city. This is why many businesses who haven’t made a move to modern cloud-hosted office systems to future proof their firms, need to consider if now isn’t the best time to convert.
It Has Helped Us Collaborate and Compete
“Necessity is the mother of invention” is the English proverb written by an unknown author in 1519. It contains the time tested truth that when the need for something becomes imperative, you are forced to find ways of getting or achieving it. 9/11 changed the zeitgeist throughout the nation as we grieved together, then got up, showed compassion, collaborated and rebuilt our economy and strengthened our companies.
It Reminded Us That Doing Good is Good for Business
The positive effects can be felt almost 20 years later through a discernible rise in corporate responsibility and community involvement. Companies are encouraging employees to contribute time to causes that are important to them and using dynamic marketing messaging to communicate in more personal ways. Consumers who search online have a higher likelihood of calling to ask questions while spontaneous site visits declined.
While no one can predict the effects of this invisible killer, what is clear is that it’s currently changing the way we do business. At a global level, companies are asking personnel to plan to work remotely. Consumers are calling businesses to check product availability or ordering online. They’re calling delivery services to pick-up staples from area grocery stores, and pharmacies are providing home delivery for prescriptions.
Now is the perfect time to provide personnel with guidelines on how to handle callers, provide consistent responses to common questions and put at everyone’s fingertips the protocols you want to provide to customers in order to create more memorable positive experiences.
In an effort to help our greater business community in these trying times, Clarity is providing two complementary tools.
- Call quality checklist. You can edit this list to your liking and distribute to your team so they know what is most important to do when receiving calls. Managers can use this tool to validate that personnel are providing exceptional service experiences.
- Secret Shopper Assessment. For larger locations with 30+ personnel, we’ll do the sleuthing for you and find out how your team is doing compared to others. How quickly they’re answering calls and how well they’re handling customer inquiries.
Knowing that in this current climate consumers are likely to call first before visiting your business, we hope you find them helpful.
Of course, if you want to chat about taking steps to future proof your business, we’d happily talk to you about that too.