Businesses today face constant change. New technologies, discoveries and inventions have always created change in business, but with the rise of the Internet and mobile communication, the pace of that change has increased exponentially in just the past few decades.
For instance, look at what happened to the taxi industry when Uber came along, or what’s currently happening to retail businesses with the rise of online shopping.
So how do you prepare for disruption in your industry and make sure your company survives (and even thrives)?
Here are three recommendations on how to deal with disruption:
- Listen to your customers
Not being customer-centric is the biggest threat to any business. Ask your customers regularly about what their problems or pain points are and listen carefully to their answers. If they tell you about issues with your product or service – and especially if they reference ways a competitor does things better – take note.
Then, with customer feedback in mind, look for new and innovative ways to solve problems or simplify processes within your business. Don’t assume that customers are afraid to change. When given new options that meet their needs and solve their problems, consumers will quickly latch on to a different model, provider or service.
- Build loyalty through personalisation
One thing that Amazon, and many online retailers do, is to personalise the customer experience. When you buy something from them, they recommend something else they think you’d like, or they remind you in an email that it’s time to order the same thing again, or they allow you to set up a subscription for easy reordering.
By capturing information about what each customer wants and buys – and then using that information to re-sell and up-sell – they make the buying process simpler and easier for customers, and thereby build loyalty that keeps customers coming back.
If you can gather data on customer wants and preferences, and then use that data to anticipate their needs while helping them save time, you’ll make it easy for them to remain loyal to your business.
- Be ready, strategically, culturally and financially
Change will come in your industry and it will create both challenges and opportunities for your business. In order to tackle those challenges and take advantage of any opportunities, you’ll need to be financially secure and ready to spend money on finding (and maybe retraining) employees and altering certain parts of your business.
If you have a strategic plan, the right teams and culture, and are financially prepared, you can beat your competition, gain revenue, grow and establish business sustainability.
Remember: Disruption is not the enemy – if you’re prepared, it could be the best thing that’s ever happened to your business.