Is it time for counter-cyclical thinking? Business implications of the Coronavirus

Image above, the Komosion team, available online

Is it time for countercyclical thinking as we grapple with the catastrophic implications of the Coronavirus?

In recent weeks – and days – almost every business we work with, including our own, has been grappling with the implications of the Coronavirus pandemic and how it has and will further reshape customer behaviours in the short and longer terms.

I think the response of our long-term client Flight Centre, for example, has been very measured. Of course, its share price has been savaged because travel businesses are right in the front line in a world where people have suddenly been forced to abandon plans to attend major events or travel internationally to get together.

It has almost 900 stores of which approximately 100 will close (although that could yet increase). Rather than engaging in corporate spin, founder Graham “Skroo” Turner acknowledged that the stores which are closing had once performed better and were going to need to close over time anyway – the Coronavirus crisis has accelerated a planned business transformation program.

Also, unlike businesses that have chosen to simply axe hundreds of jobs, Flight Centre has first looked to offer all staff shorter working weeks and redeployment for those working in stores to be closed to other locations.

“The Coronavirus has accelerated a planned
business transformation program …”

As with Flight Centre, or perhaps a little like counter-cyclical share investing, now may be the right time to move on changes to your business model.

And, if you would like support in either thinking through or executing any such initiatives, we would welcome an opportunity to help.

Some of the ways we can help include:

1. e-Commerce website and learning management system offerings for organisations looking to do more business digitally;

2. Rapid enablement of cloud services including Voice and AI based customer engagement channels via our AWS-certified team of experts;

3. Automation of marketing services – and internal processes; and

4. Virtual and in-person consulting and training services, including online customer and user research and support for organisations in crisis management, leadership, change management and rapid business transformation.

We have always aimed to be valuable by helping our clients innovate around their customers, including through enabling them to connect, engage and self-serve using digital tools and technologies.

In terms of the delivery of Komosion’s services to our clients, we remain happy to meet face-to-face, where appropriate, but also to increase our use of Zoom video conference meetings and work in online collaborative formats such the G Suite and Microsoft toolsets.

You may be considering a shift in your sales and marketing focus, the possibility of introducing relevant adjacent services, undertaking some online training or using this time of business disruption to introduce productivity or efficiency improvements.

As noted above, we have various consulting and digital products and services to support our clients in such activities.

As we all work through both the short and longer term economic and behavioural shocks I believe being in tune with and responding to new customer pain points will be more important than ever.

John O’Neill, Managing Director