COVID-19, Business Continuity Planning & Dynamics 365 CRM

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This Company Achieved Record Breaking Sales Thanks to COVID-19, but Couldn’t Keep Up. the Right CRM Solution Could Have Made All the Difference


In recent weeks, COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on businesses in virtually every industry. Many organizations are currently focused on business continuity: they’re concerned with how they can continue operating under these difficult conditions.


But business continuity planning shouldn’t just be limited to getting through the difficult times. On the contrary, it’s also important to think about how you’ll continue to keep up in the face of unanticipated success. A recent customer experience I had was the perfect reminder of this.


A Surprising Story in the Face of COVID-19


Like most of us who are stuck working from home, I’ve been doing my best to stay active -- and any excuse to get out of the house for a little physical activity is a good thing. With this in mind, I decided to buy a new bicycle. I’d always wanted a classic beach cruiser, and now was the time to finally make that purchase.


When I went online to shop around, however, I was surprised to find that most stores were sold out. I couldn’t even find a used bike for sale in my area, much less a brand new one.


Finally, I found a manufacturer with excellent reviews that produces its bicycles in California. The company had grown from a startup based in the CEO’s then-garage to a business of more than 40 employees and $8 million in annual sales. I made my purchase, happy to support a growing domestic business.


CRM Challenges from COVID-19


It’s been over a month, and unfortunately, I still haven’t received my bike.


Of course, businesses all across the country are struggling to meet customer demand in the face of COVID-19. On the other hand, though, the bike was supposed to be in stock, and the company’s website indicated that it would ship within 5 business days.


When I reached out to customer service, I received an auto-response with some disappointing information. First off, the company indicated that it was now receiving 3-4x more emails per day than usual, and was struggling to keep up. Customers with existing orders could expect a delay of 5 days or more before receiving a reply -- despite the fact that the bicycle company hired more staff to try to keep up. Further, their outdated inventory system had caused them to sell a number of items that they didn’t actually have in stock, and they had to stop accepting new orders as of April 17th. Finally, they indicated that they hoped to reopen the website and start taking new orders again in May.


Business Continuity with the Right CRM Solution


With so many companies struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, businesses like this one are the exception to the rule: they actually saw a major increase in demand for their products as a result of COVID-19.


Unfortunately, they weren’t prepared for the spike in sales. As a result, they’re both missing out on sales and damaging their reputation with customers.


As the head of the marketing team at AKA Enterprise Solutions, I know that this business could benefit from our CRM expertise. With a scalable cloud solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365, they’d be in a better position to keep up with a sudden jump in demand. A solid CRM solution is essential for customer tracking and communication, especially when the unexpected happens.


In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are realizing how important it is to have a business continuity plan in place for unpredictable times. If you’re ready to develop a plan of your own, AKA can help: contact us to learn more.


Not sure if this is the right time to start on a new project? Take a look at our recent blog, 3 Reasons Why the COVID-19 Era is the Best Time to Move Forward with Your CRM Software Project.


AKA specializes in making it easier to do business, simplifying processes and reducing risks. With agility, expertise, and original industry solutions, we embrace projects other technology firms avoid—regardless of their complexity. As a true strategic partner, we help organizations slay the dragons that are keeping them from innovating their way to greatness. Call us at 212-502-3900!

Article by: Amy Spencer | 212-502-3900

Amy leads the marketing team that is responsible for go-to-market strategies, messaging, and demand generation for AKA’s financial services and life sciences practices, as well as the company’s cross-industry offerings. She is also responsible for the processes and systems, such as marketing automation and CRM, that the team employs to align marketing with sales for a greater impact. Amy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from The College of New Jersey and has 25+ years of experience driving the marketing strategy and execution for technology and professional services firms.

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