Leaders appear in times of crises. When the world outside rapidly evolves into unknown territory, with the ground beneath seeming to shake: this is the moment to take the initiative, take stock of the entire processes of a company, and communicate this to all stakeholders.
We’ve been living in surreal times. The coronavirus pandemic has swept the planet and has halted our everyday routines that is unprecedented on a global scale. And while many industries have come to a screeching halt — along with the enormous implications involved — the ecommerce industry has been relatively fortunate.
Yet because of all the uncertainty, fully checking all processes will help you to determine whether your company does need to adapt, modify services, or — ideally — get the all clear and continue as before. And by relaying this onto your entire team, customers, partners, and other stakeholders, it will bring reassurance and clarify the continuity of your services — in a time when many are taking a hit, suspending certain parts of business, or completely shutting down temporarily.
Whether you’re seeing spikes in traffic that are becoming difficult to manage, or peaks in transactions that are putting pressure on your inventory, you need to keep your Salesforce Commerce Cloud site running smoothly. And here’s how to do that.
Double down on operations
Firstly, reassess your core workflows and consider ramping up the number of meetings each day or each week. This is particularly important if the majority of your team or teams are working from home. Core teams in customer service, production, and development would all benefit from extra virtual meetups — especially if they’re used to regular and consistent meetings.
When working from home, the quality that comes with being face-to-face with other team members is inevitably lost, and the ambience of the office where everyone is visibly in range becomes more obscure. This is why cranking up the calls and video conferences would go some way to combat this.
For the larger-sized companies that spread into multiple countries, cultures and languages, your tech and customer service teams are likely located in different places. And so when you do have workers scattered across timezones, strategize how to ensure maximum support for your site, and consider flexible working hours to throw site coverage beyond those regular, non-quarantined times that we all dearly miss already. And so in the meantime, build and maintain your operational resilience.
You know those highly unlikely scenarios that you’re told to plan for, — yet are likely to test the creativity of the darkest depths of your mind rather than how your company would react — well, they need to be tested. Stress-tested protocols: dust them off and open them up, because they’re going to guide your business through major events and huge global shifts.
Go through each section and work through the scenarios and its effect on the technical side, business planning, dev and strategy team, marketing team, etc. Here you can work out each team’s response and workflows, and ensure you have a proper continuity plan.
While assessing your processes and ensuring that your site is in the best shape — given the stressful circumstances — it is worth bearing in mind that… we are all humans. Your employees, your core team, your family; we are all affected and may experience stress and anxiety. Share your thoughts, and offer reassurance. Salesforce even has their own mindfulness advice specifically for employees, which you can take advantage of, or adapt, and share it to all of your team.
Talk to your customers
Global crises are never events that we can control but we can direct our response to it. Having a crisis communication plan has never been more necessary to reach out to your customers and assure them on your position.
You can communicate to your customers in two essential ways: via your website or via email. Lay out the impact the current pandemic is having on your business, what you are doing in response, and the next steps that you are going to take.
We tend to seek closer connections during times of uncertainty. And providing clarity to customers will go some way to showing that you’re aware and that you care. Because it’s often overlooked that companies are also part of communities, and they have a role to play in times of crises.
Messages of reassurance and links to useful resources are particularly proactive ways to ensure that you’re staying on top of — what currently seems like daily — changes.
PS: UV is one of the world’s leading Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware) consultancies. Contact us to see how we can work together.