Up until the start of 2020 we had it good. The economy had been on an upward trajectory for the past few years and it looked like it was going to continue, but we all know what happened next. Everyone from all walks of life were affected. Businesses had to shut down at short notice and the government was scrambling to introduce measures to stop the spread of the virus, but it was difficult.
While the pandemic has brought about much damage to our personal and working lives, we as humans learn to adapt and improve, and that we did. It may not have been as quickly as we would have liked, and unfortunately we have lost many lives because of it, but it is progress nonetheless. Below are 4 improvements the pandemic has forced upon businesses.
1) Accept cashless payments
If a business hadn’t accepted cashless payments before the pandemic, it probably does now. Cash transactions were already slowing down in a big part due to digital payments that can be done easily through our smartphones, but the pandemic really had almost every business offering a non-cash transaction. Dealing with cash is not only more risky due to potential for theft, but cash is also known to harbour a lot of germs and bacteria because of how often it changes hands.
2) Organise digitally
While meetings have been scheduled using programs such as Microsoft Outlook and Gmail for quite some time, meeting room booking systems have become increasingly popular as a way of scheduling and monitoring meetings. The need to be able to contact trace those who have been in the office means that this digital solution was a no-brainer for many businesses.
3) Customer service improvements
The popularity of review sites over the past few years has meant that businesses are always up for scrutiny and in the public eye. One complaint on social media could suddenly go viral and become a PR nightmare for a business. This translated to them walking on proverbial eggshells and focusing on improving customer service, and the pandemic wreaked havoc amongst many industries, businesses who were unwilling to improve the way they treated customers, suffered. During the pandemic, many businesses realised the precarious position they were in and had to do everything to stay afloat, often meaning focusing on improving in areas that didn’t cost much to – customer service.
4) Streamline their processes
With tighter pursestrings in their target market, many businesses had to cut costs or reduce margins to attract customers. Lowering costs is the ideal way for a business to maintain their margins and still be attractive to customers, rather than lowering their prices and therefore their margins to have the same outcome. Implementing modern software systems to streamline their processes such as accounting has become very popular and certainly benefits the business. Such improvements were likely coming; the pandemic just sped it up.