The government assures us that now is not the time to plan their exit strategy as there are too many variables. Others might think that, for small and medium sized businesses, now is the time to work out what you want to do, and what you need to do.
Email marketing lends itself to home working as most of the functions required are completed online. However, no one suggested the lockdown would go smoothly. The imposed speed of implementation demanded new systems to be established and training for staff arranged in short time.
We have specific concerns. The security of data was one of the most important, not only to ensure the trust of subscribers to email marketing lists is not betrayed, but also the worry of financial penalty from the ICO. The reassurance from them that they will take the circumstances of the restrictions placed on us by Coronavirus was reassuring to an extent. However, it only goes so far.
Sooner or later, let us hope it is the former, the lockdown will be eased. Details are unpredictable, but we can assume that it is unlikely to be done in the form of raising them all at once. It’s likely to be staged. We have to prepare for all eventualities though, but there are ways to make plans that will probably be effective.
If home working is working for you, then there’s no reason why you should not stick with it regardless of government decisions. If it is not, then find out why. You do not have to order your staff back to their desks as soon as the green light comes on unless there is some fundamental reason for doing so. Even then, it is unlikely that you will need them all to return. Work out who will be essential, inform them well before time, and ensure they are happy to do so.
You will have been dealing with a public that has been limited in its expectations, and once they are released, their needs and desires will change. What you offer them must take this into account. That said, it is unlikely that everyone will change their methods of working at once as many companies will phase-in their own return to work.
Whether the public will be sympathetic with poor service once it is announced that restrictions are lifted, even partially, is open to argument. Poor delivery times appear to be the norm. It seems to be accepted by and large, but you might wonder for how long. What is unlikely to be forgiven is poor performance as a result of your lack of planning. There will be companies out there on the hunt for disaffected subscribers. As you will be in all probability.
Nothing is going to be predictable. Everyone will have to modify working practices in short time, especially for us in email marketing. Feel reassured that if you have a plan flexible enough to deal with most eventualities, you’ll be ahead of the game.