Covid-19 has provided so many lessons. The effects of the Pandemic are still being felt, so at a time where health is valued more than ever, it’s vital to make preparations now to ensure a stable future for our industry.
The service you offer is valuable and impacts the health and lives of so many.
Here at Coordinate Sport, our team spent time talking to some of our customers during the lockdown period, to listen, learn and where possible provide support.
What we all do now will determine the future success of our industry, so we feel it important to share some “best practice lessons” we picked up from our customers, many of whom are key players in the industry.
The future for sport, dance, physical activity and our stakeholders has already changed. We want all your businesses to be healthy and we in the sports industry know better than anyone, that you can never over prepare.
This guide lays out some of the most important lessons our industry has learned from the pandemic and how we can use those lessons to make the right preparations for the new school year.
It’s a critical skill in sport and it’s emerged that it’s no different for our businesses. This became immediately obvious because the success stories we’ve discovered from the pandemic, came from those businesses who were agile from “top to bottom”. It’s a key lesson moving forward; assess, adjust and implement — quickly!
The ability to do this by one of our customers, had a profound impact on their business. They kept the majority of their teams working, and continued billing for their services during the pandemic. How, you ask? They were agile.
They didn’t wait and saw it coming, before lockdown was even announced. They first looked at a way they could help. They reached out to local companies to find out how they could support those who needed to work; Key Workers. It turns out local NHS trusts were keen to explore how they could keep their staff working during the pandemic.
Our client sought advice from the “health protection team” at Public Health England, and implemented the guidance and required measures to deliver safely. They quickly became a silent hero on the frontline, by using Coordinate Sport to maintain compliance and help manage the influx of bookings they were able to deliver camps as a childcare solution for all local frontline NHS staff at suitable timings. Such a proud contribution for the company and their team.
Learning from this experience, in preparation for the school year, can be useful in so many ways.
We all know our sessions and facilities are going to look very different, so we need to prepare and continue demonstrating agility!
How is your delivery changing? How are you communicating those changes with your customers? What support have you offered to discuss what those changes will look like? What health and safety measures have you put in place and what tools are you using to manage the data?
All key questions you can be asking to ensure we continue to prioritise the health and physical literacy of young people, some of whom have been impacted physically from the lockdown.
A great example we’ve seen of a company educating their customers and sharing best practice for the delivery of sessions post COVID-19, can be found here and leads us nicely into our next business lesson….
Specifically the importance of learning and there have been so many learning opportunities for us all during the pandemic.
A notable one we’ve picked up from the industry is that those who were able to demonstrate agility, were companies who already had staff education and CPD at the heart of their businesses.
A great example is the need for delivery staff to adjust; the successful teams were able and open to do so, because they already had a wider skill set and openness to learn.
There have been no restrictions on learning for those companies that did need to shut and furlough their teams. Because of this, a huge success story we’ve seen is one company encouraging and sharing courses for their teams to complete during lockdown.
The uncertainty of these times meant that, when the industry reopened, this company was securing the future of their team. Encouraging education not only helped keep their team connected.
It also meant that preempting changes to the delivery of their sessions has their team already prepared. Something we think everyone should adopt, and there is still time before September.
What new skills do your team need? How are you sharing and encouraging that training? What funding is available and which companies are providing that training remotely?
Another important lesson from the pandemic, came at a cost for some companies in our industry.
It became apparent for so many, that some, had customers who weren’t willing to support their business (where they could) during these uncertain times.
This to us highlighted that unfortunately there must have been a lack of strong Customer relationships. This is the foundation for where value for your service comes from and is a critical building block businesses all need to focus on as we emerge from the pandemic.
Those who had successful customer relationships, got paid for their services whilst the country closed.
For schools the government guidelines were clear, they needed to continue paying for services to support local business. In addition though, we’ve seen consumers who valued their chosen brand to pay in the form of donations and continued payments for subscriptions and sessions.
It goes to show the importance of doing this well. In hindsight, if you had to highlight or communicate your value to your customers during lockdown, we urge you to review your Customer Success Journey and implement the required changes ready for the new school year.
Walk through, your customers’ experience of utilising your services. What are each of the stages and what does that experience feel like for your customer? How often do you communicate with them? Is it easy for the customer to communicate and interact with you? Are you proactive? What added value do you offer?
All key questions that, if answered correctly can improve customer relationships and how well they value your company and service.