2020 Lessons Learned

Businesses that depended on in-person interaction with customers saw that come to a halt in March of 2020. As you look back you realized you had to pivot your business in one way or another to interact with your customers. So did TIMIT. Virtual became the reality for communicating with existing and prospective customers. From a service offering perspective the challenge was how to quickly help customers adapt to this new reality. Technology services providers focus was on leveraging digital processes to help businesses avoid incurring new costs associated with COVID regulations. Businesses learned the advantages of digital processes, and there is no going back.

An Example

An obvious example is TIMIT COVID digital screening. Some businesses had hired new staff and were doing manual screening at the door. They quickly discovered this was costly, difficult, and actually unsafe. By providing them with digital screening services we started hearing them tell us …

“This is so easy! Why isn’t everyone doing it this way?”

“Thank you! We are saving a lot of money and feel safer about the whole process.”

“The old way was horrible. This is such a nice change!”

Leveraging Learnings

We all hope COVID relief and a return to some level of normalcy will be accelerated and come sooner than later. Yet we have learned some lessons from these challenges. Businesses have learned how easy some things are to improve, and that they can reduce overhead costs in the process. Businesses have learned that the big and scary thought of “digital transformation” actually can come in phases and is a rewarding journey not a tumultuous endeavor. Here are some questions to ask yourself that may help you continue to improve your internal business processes and your customer experience.

  • What manual processes does your business do that you no longer think about? (Maybe they are administrative things you’ve just done this way forever, and they are completely out of mind until there is a problem.)
    • If you stopped doing them what would happen?
    • If you made them faster and/or lower cost how would that help your business? Your customers’ experience?
  • When you consider why your business exist, and what you do best, what are the CORE things you do that support that?
    • Are these aligned with what your customers expect from you?
    • Is the lion share of investment, your attention, and the focus of your entire organization dedicated to these?

An Exercise to help

And here is a Six-Step exercise you can do yourself or with your team:

Step One

List out all the different work you do each day. List the things others do that you depend on getting done for you. Then decide which category the work falls into:

    1. Critical that I do it to be successful and to serve my customers.
    2. Critical support I require to be successful and to serve my customers.
    3. Important it gets done, but I’m not familiar with how it is done, or how valuable it is to my customers.
    4. Have no idea why it is being done, but it seems to be a necessary administrative task.
    5. Something I am forced to do that is unclear how it helps me be successful or adds value for my customers.
    6. Clearly something we have done for as long as I know, but it has no present purpose or value.


Step Two

Then put each of these into one of the four quadrants below.

Four quadrant matrix to categorize Cost, Operational, Customer and Strategic focus of a business.


Step Three

List out ideas you believe can improve your businesses level of success and improve your customers’ experience. (This may be based upon what you are hearing from customers, how your competition is winning, customer attrition rate, market dynamics or other analytics.)

Step Four

Define each of these ideas in terms of one of the following, or another aspect that describes the expected outcome.

This is critical to start doing for our business to be successful.

    • This is critical to start doing for our business to be successful.
    • This changes the process of how we interact and delivery goods/services to our customers.
    • This stops us from doing certain things all-together.
    • This changes the way we support our internal business and/or our customers.
Step Five

Define how the outcomes of taking action on these ideas can be measured in terms of numbers that are meaningful to your business and your customers (e.g. ROI, Revenue growth, Market share, NPS, etc.)

Step Six

Categorize them into one of the four quadrants along with the things already being done.


Now you have the elements to help decide what changes may be necessary to your business strategy. Prioritizing these elements you can create your first plan of action to make immediate improvements in your business efficiency – drive down costs – and to make your customers happier – improve your customers’ experience.

What will you change based on what you may have learned surviving that challenges brought on in 2020? What can you afford not to change to survive going forward?

Like to discuss your ideas with us?  Schedule a call with us now!