How three businesses built resilience during COVID-19

5-minute read
Presented by business nbn™ and Salesforce
For the best chance of survival, businesses need to be nimble enough to pivot quickly, yet stable enough to be ready for growth.

Especially now, the ability of businesses to use digital tools to find this 'sweet spot' has helped some to not only survive the COVID-19 pandemic but thrive through it and discover new strengths.

So, what can we learn from those businesses that transformed their practices and adapted quickly to the 'new normal'?

So, what can we learn from those businesses that transformed their practices and adapted quickly to the 'new normal'?
We spoke with three small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to discover how they harnessed services over their nbn network connectivity, and the power of cloud-based technology, to become more resilient and pursue opportunities for growth.*^

Using data to find new ways to provide value

When the team at CreativeCubes.Co, a provider of flexible co-working spaces in Melbourne, first gathered to discuss what the COVID-19 shutdowns meant for them, the mood was sombre.

“It was an absolute kick in the guts,” says Tobi Skovron, co-founder and CEO.

Yet, after the initial shock wore off, the team turned to technology to find opportunities to help build resilience.

The business was able to glean insights from its cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform to understand how clients were behaving during the crisis.

And what they found? 

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Many of their customers were looking to CreativeCubes.Co for help during the challenging time.

SMB customers were hungry for advice and guidance, and many were happy to continue to pay a fee to be given valuable information.

Large businesses also began looking to co-working spaces as an alternative to expensive CBD office space.

Services over the nbn network proved to be an asset for CreativeCubes.Co as well, with clients relying on the connectivity to help with their own transformations and to facilitate remote work.

“Because of the tech, we were able to jump on these opportunities as soon they were identified,” Skovron says.

Integrating your systems to cope with growth

James Morton, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at high-end furniture supplier Living Edge, recently realised that customers were having very different experiences at various touchpoints.

“There was no connection between the online experience that customers were having with us, and the discussions they might be having with our sales team,” Morton says.

Morton and his business partners agreed to a transformation process that would see Living Edge's CRM and e-commerce platforms integrated to ensure they offered a consistent customer and employee experience.

“Now we’ve got a fully integrated digital experience for every customer segment. It has dramatically streamlined our processes.”

“Now we’ve got a fully integrated digital experience for every customer segment," Morton says.

"It has dramatically streamlined our processes.”

This transformation has added value during the pandemic, allowing the team to better track project pipelines and offer new services to customers, such as creating work-from-home setups.

Streamlining your processes to make scaling easier

When Stephen Sloan needed to differentiate his insurance broking business, Insure 247, he felt the secret to success would be to eliminate some of the more painful parts of the insurance process.

“Traditional insurance is a paper chase," Sloan says.

"But we needed to deal with volume, so paper had no place in that process.

“That drove our need to become 100 per cent digital.”

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Through its CRM platform, the team was able to automate and streamline the more routine tasks, allowing Insure 247's people to concentrate on higher-value work.

“When COVID hit, we were far better prepared than other brokers – there was no interruption to our workflow or to customer experience,” says Sloan.

“Plus, the data is giving us the ability to identify – on behalf of our clients – risks they didn’t know they had.

"So, we hyper-personalise our service by being able to see into our clients’ futures, and they respond with loyalty.”

This is the last in our 'Presented by business nbnseries, which has brought together insights from leaders in technology and innovation to help SMBs build resilience through these trying times. Check out the other resources in this series to learn more about topics including AI improving customer experience, how data can boost supply chain performance, technology innovations that simplify retail, and more.

* This blog summarises some of the key findings from a document which was produced by nbn and Salesforce. The information contained in the document is general in nature. It is not intended to constitute, and should not be relied on as, commercial or legal advice for your particular circumstances. You should seek independent advice, before acting on information contained in this blog or the whitepaper. nbn does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness or currency of the information provided in this blog or the document. The respective products and services of nbn and Salesforce (including any products or services referred to in this blog or the document) are not affiliated with, and do not have the sponsorship, approval, support or endorsement of, the other party.

^ nbn is very happy with the experience of these businesses with the nbn™ broadband access network. Of course, end customer experiences may vary. An end customer’s experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ broadband access network, depends on the nbn™ access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to their premises, whether they are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside of nbn’s control (like their equipment quality, software, chosen broadband plan, signal reception, or how their provider designs its network). Speeds may also be impacted by the number of concurrent users on the nbn™ Fixed Wireless network, including during busy periods. Sky Muster™ satellite end customers may also experience latency.