Published October 1, 2020
As more businesses reopen or expand operations, business owners find themselves adjusting their stores, restaurants and banks to the new way of life for consumers today. If you’re like many businesses, you’re rethinking your layout, creating social distance, empowering employees to work remotely, helping customers pivot to digital and self-service technologies, retraining staff on new processes and implementing deep cleaning protocols.
You’re not alone. According to PwC, 63 percent of CFOs plan changes to products and services, and 32 percent are looking to tech-driven solutions. Thirty-three percent are considering changes in their distribution channels and 25 percent are thinking about new supply chain strategies. And 53% of CFOs said combining digital and physical would improve the company over the long term.
That’s because consumers are changing, too—and fast. An incredible 75 percent of U.S. consumers tried a new shopping behavior due to the pandemic. And loyalty is decreasing, with 36 percent of consumers trying a new brand. Of those that switched to new brands, 73 percent said they’ll continue.
And while all of this feels like a new normal, these changes are likely to be lasting. (In fact, in one study in the U.K., only 12% of people said they’d welcome a return to the old normal.) That means accommodating for distancing, cleaning, changing consumer preferences and evolving operating models will be happening for a long time.
Speaking of time—doing all of this preparation, planning and pivoting takes time. In fact, time is likely one of your most valuable assets right now.
Think about the last time your technology didn’t work.
Maybe your ATM was down. Customers came by but made a U-turn because your brand promise wasn’t available to them when they needed it. Your focus has been on managing through these unprecedented times and navigating the new digital landscape, but a physical device interrupted your customer experience. You need an easy way to keep eyes on both.
Or if you’re a restaurant operator, you’ve been focused on how to reopen your restaurant for in-house dining, but there’s so much to consider you’re not sure where to start. You assume your POS network is still working, but is it? You haven’t had the time to monitor it.
Maybe you’re in retail. You’ve just expanded store hours to allow time for deep cleaning. No matter what’s happening, every lane has to remain open. Consumers are counting on you as an essential business to ensure they get what their families need.
You could focus on monitoring inventory and managing deep cleaning, training new staff, reorganizing your layout and enabling your digital transformation. Meanwhile, you’d have a trusted partner making sure your checkout lanes remain open, your restaurant technology keeps serving your guests and your ATMs remain up and running, so your brand can be there for your customers.
“When we focus on maintaining ATMs for our banking customers, we realize that it’s the community that ultimately benefits. This is true around the world—now more than ever. In difficult times like this, cash is king and an ATM that is online is a breath of fresh air to citizens,” says Jose Victor Montenegro, Bank of the Philippines. “Sometimes it’s even a lifeline. You guys are essential in making sure that cash is available to the people who need it in a difficult time like this.”
Read more: NCR and Microsoft joined forces to simplify the business of keeping technology running.
Using Microsoft’s Azure cloud and artificial intelligence technologies as part of NCR Digital Connected Services, customers can expect a simple, low-touch workflow to create tickets and get near real-time insights while global service professionals proactively monitor, manage and maintain their technology.