COVID-19 has affected business continuity across every industry. While we’re not out of danger yet, and some businesses are positioned to recover better than others, we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Despite the current challenges, we have learned a lot; the pandemic has proved how critical business continuity planning is for every organization, no matter the size or the industry. With that in mind, this blog post addresses some of the valuable lessons we have learned from this pandemic.
There’s No Time to Prepare Like the Present
A year ago, we could not have predicted that a pandemic would sweep across the world. However, the businesses with basic measures in place to prepare for disaster, such as cloud backups and software in place for remote collaboration, communications, and file accessibility, found it a lot easier to recover from the shock and keep their business running remotely.
But while it’s clear that you need to be prepared to have the best odds of surviving a disaster, it is a lot easier said than done.
Here at Tolar, we’ve been encouraging our customers to implement remote solutions for years. Our standard package comes with remote tools in place—so when COVID-19 came around, many of our clients already had the right technology in place.
Instead of panicking and wondering what the plan was, our customers were prepared. They just needed us to flip the switch to help them fully implement any tools they weren’t fully utilizing already.
Having these solutions ready to go can save businesses from unexpected, expensive downtime when disaster strikes. An IT company that can set you up with an effective business continuity plan for your technology-dependent operations will save you critical time and energy in the case of a crisis.
Flexibility Is Key
While it is important to prepare as much as possible, we also understand that it’s impossible to foresee every outcome. After basic preparations and processes that can be put in place in an emergency, it’s up to companies to find flexible solutions for the specific challenges of whatever disaster is at hand.
When you work with a responsive and experienced MSP team that provides business continuity management, your job is made easier. A skilled MSP can help you achieve this level of flexibility in any type of business emergency by giving you the ability to quickly pivot and respond to changing circumstances when new technology solutions are needed. This is essential, as companies able to adapt have fared the best during the current crisis.
Customer Service Is Essential
It is a business truth that people appreciate genuine customer service, even (or perhaps especially) during a global crisis. Businesses that have shown customers respect and appreciation during the coronavirus crisis have not only made community news, but fared better in spite of normal processes being disrupted.
Providing a high level of customer service is something that will always be valued, regardless of the situation. At Tolar Systems, we’re dedicated to serving our customers, especially in times of need.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
Communication is pivotal, both between you and your customers and within your company. During a time of uncertainty, people can become so preoccupied by their own troubles it is even more important to make sure communication is clear in order to preserve a good work culture within your business, which can in turn affect your customer service.
For the best business continuity, businesses should have multiple channels of communication available to employees, including video conferencing and chat platforms.
It’s also essential to keep your customers in the loop. Even if processes are moving more slowly than usual, be honest with customers and keep them informed of your processes and status as you continue serving them.
The Future Business Landscape Is Changing
A number of companies have addressed the way their staff members work in light of this pandemic and plan on incorporating the methods that have worked for them in future procedures and policies.
With the rapid switch to working remotely, some employees and businesses are clamoring to return to the office, while others prefer the convenience of working at home. As preferences change, plans for business continuity in the future are looking to incorporate remote work permanently or permit the possibility of hybrid work/office options.
Companies will have to navigate a long-term shift to remote work by setting up facilitative tech solutions as well as communicating expectations with employees. COVID-19 has caused a realization for many business owners that it is possible for a majority of their operations to be handled remotely, to the benefit of the employees, customers, and the business itself.
While there is no denying that this has been an incredibly difficult period for businesses across the country, challenges can force growth and learning as well. With the lessons we’re learning from our current crisis, we can move on to become more prepared and efficient in the future.