In web, it’s been one for change, adaptation, and innovation. Companies have been forced to take a look at how they conduct business and make adjustments that, for some, have them entering new territory. They’ve been challenged to pivot from their initial plans set for the year and move quickly to keep up with the shift in increasingly digital customer needs.
A crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic has many organizations pausing their digital innovation efforts to focus on what’s front-and-center — safety and health of employees and families, shutdowns, managing distributed staff, income loss, unstable markets — it goes on.
Of course, these are top priorities. Alongside them, leaders have had to continue to come up with new strategies to survive and preserve as businesses.
As a service-focused company, Blend has seen the effects of the market not only through our own experience, but alongside our clients as their industries, too, adapt and shift. Financial services, manufacturing, government, healthcare, higher education — all faced with unique obstacles united by the need to have systems, processes, and resources in place to stay ahead of what’s upcoming.
Though disruption is not always ideal, there are a few universal trends we’ve found that are setting organizations apart, allowing them to quickly adapt to the changing landscape in ways help them thrive, not just survive.
1. Developing new digital services and products can help you meet customer needs and protect revenue streams when deployed strategically.
We’ve seen a lot of projects put on hold due to budget and resource uncertainty. The organizations that have been able to pivot and reposition have had great success, whether that’s rolling out a new way to engage or creating a new product to meet their customers’ change in needs.
We learned from this ourselves, introducing a new type of engagement to better serve internal web teams that need to prioritize project initiatives and move quickly. With this new type of engagement, we’re able to get teams up to speed on the platform while co-developing complex items that help move projects past their roadblocks. It’s been a success; organizations are advancing the skills of their teams to be more efficient and improve site performance, and Blend gets the opportunity to share our knowledge and experience with smart professionals through quick turnaround projects that we foresee turning into long-lasting partnerships.
This is something a lot of organizations are doing right now to either increase revenue or replace avenues that are no longer relevant to users. Doing this for your organization make take time and effort from a variety of departments, but ultimately can provide financial stability in an unstable market.
2. Organizations that are providing the right message at the right time for each unique visitor are standing out among the competition; Understanding who your customers are and what they’re expecting from you is a key piece of the digital experience you’re providing.
It’s imperative that you have a strategy and structure in place to have meaningful interactions with your site users. Whether it’s relooking at your overarching content strategy, operationalizing personalization on your site, or creating new content aligned with your customer intent, your users are expecting a lot from you and it’s a trend that won’t be going away.
3. Investing in yourself is worth the time or resources. Relook at your brand, your digital presence, and how users are interacting with you to inform your path forward.
Use this time to work on yourself and come back stronger. Regardless of industry, teams have learned about what works and what doesn’t work within their organization. Maybe it’s relooking at internal communication platforms, or maybe it’s a brand refresh. With people moving much of their lives online, there’s no time like the present to make sure you’re putting the best foot forward.
4. As much as the fear of the unknown can make you want to play it safe, now isn’t the time to slow down on digital transformation. Look to others in your industry or role for inspiration and advice.
Research shows that companies who are doubling down on their customer experience during economic downturn will come back stronger and better positioned in the market as it begins to recover. Your audiences are looking to you for support, ideas, and solutions right now, and organizations that listen and respond earn the trust that builds meaningful, long-lasting relationships.
Though it’s important to stand out in the market, similar industry organizations, and the people who serve in similar roles as you, can serve as a valuable asset to the digital transformation you’re leading within your company. Don’t have connections in the industry? Have your web, marketing, or other digital partners connect you with their customer base.
In the end, all industries are affected differently by disruption, but something we all have in common, no matter the industry, is the need to communicate and connect with our people. Challenging times call for creative solutions, and you’re not in this alone.