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Freeze vs Strategise: Top Businesses’ Response to the Pandemic

Freeze vs Strategise: How Top Businesses Responded to the COVID-19 Pandemic

We bring you the strongest pandemic response strategies from two leading UK brands to help you decide the next steps for your business.

It goes without saying that adapting to the new normal has been a steep learning curve for everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to face challenges of a monumental scale – and quickly.

Our recent research shows there have been two key approaches from businesses when responding to the pandemic – freezing, by pausing operations and ending projects often due to government guidance and for financial reasons, or strategising, by adjusting business models and taking extra steps to work with purpose and agility to help their clients and consumers during COVID-19.

For many, such as hairdressers and pubs, they’ve had no choice but to freeze their businesses at short notice, while others have adapted their businesses to respond to the crisis.

Here are the key things we’ve learned from PillTime and CitySprint on how they adapted their sales process and set themselves up for growth success.

How CitySprint strategised to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

CitySprint is the UK’s leading same-day delivery service and had to rapidly adapt to cope with the increase in demand. With 33 service centres and 15 million critical deliveries a year, CitySprint faced a huge increase in emergencies. Because speed is critical to CitySprint, implementing Salesforce allowed CitySprint to adapt and respond to the new climate effectively.

With 14,000 customers across the UK, covering almost all sectors, the impact of COVID-19 on CitySprint was drastic. It was clear things had to adapt both internally and externally. In March, they founded a COVID-19 pandemic taskforce, adapted their sickness policy, and surveyed staff in their home environment to supply the right equipment to sustain profitability through the pandemic.

They actually saw an increase in productivity amongst contact centre staff working from home.

In London, CitySprint’s service centre demand grew 47% in 10 days as they supported firms in the city, who were quickly adapting by sending equipment to employees’ homes. Expecting a similar surge when employees move back to the office, CitySprint now has data and time on their side to prepare for the influx of demand.

But it hasn’t all been plain sailing.

Their premium retail delivery evening service previously allowed shoppers to fit deliveries into their busy working lives – but with everyone at home, the service was rendered obsolete and so this team were furloughed. On the contrary, some areas saw a surge in demand, such as their DIY deliveries – with people spending more time at home, they now had more time to make improvements.

How PillTime adapted their strategy for the COVID-19 pandemic

With physical retailers forced to quickly close their doors and a 129% surge in UK online shopping in April alone, many businesses faced a choice between freezing or pivoting their strategy to eCommerce.

PillTime is an innovative online pharmacy focused on delivering the right medicine doses in easy-to-read packaging. Using Salesforce to link their sales, marketing and communications allowed them to maximise their team’s resources with customisation of sales processes.

They knew they had to act quickly, as their service is an essential lifeline for many old and vulnerable customers, some of whom were forced to remain in their homes under government guidance, leaving them in desperate need of access to their medication.

All of their employees adapted quickly to remote working to follow the UK’s guidelines on the COVID-19 pandemic, and with everyone in the company from management to customer service staff working from home, they scaled up from 500,000 monthly orders to the same amount weekly. This huge growth during lockdown would have been a logistical headache if they hadn’t implemented the Salesforce suite – the small team was able to benefit from a queueing system and 360 customer view to help them make intelligent decisions at speed and scale, allowing them to focus on key business decisions while Salesforce took care of their backend business processes that would have otherwise slowed them down.

How are you responding?

These are two fantastic examples of businesses responding to these unprecedented times in innovative and pragmatic ways to improve their ROI and increase their sales. Your team can get ahead too by streamlining your team’s processes – we’ve provided insights and practical advice on maximising your sales team’s productivity with this free ebook: Boost Sales Productivity: Get More from Your Sales Team

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