A Stoic New Year
It’s been said a million times, but what a shocking and strange year it was.
If, however, as MD of Customerwise, I’m ever going to write a blog post again, it would seem wrong not to touch on the events of 2020, and do so honestly, sharing my own interpretation of it, and most importantly, the situation we are now in and the outlook for businesses.
2020 was perhaps the most significant year in human history in terms of sudden, massive changes to daily life across the entire globe, and ahead of us, further huge to global society seem almost certain.
According to the World Economic Forum and other prominent voices, we’re apparently looking at a total “reset” of the global financial and societal order.
What we’ve known as capitalism looks set to be coming to a fairly speedy end.
National governments across the globe are assuming more authority at a rapid pace and, naturally, it will be the largest, multinational businesses that have the greatest influence and lobbying power over government, so they will be best placed to protect and promote their own interests. So, we’re going to see even more rapid centralisation of economic power.
In this new world, it seems inevitable that smaller businesses are going to continue to suffer, and many will close. More people are going to become dependent (for economic survival and for goods and services) on governments and mega-corporations.
The picture looks a little gloomy to say the least, particularly for small businesses. Many independent businesses (particularly in B2C markets) have already closed or become nonviable. And for the rest, things look set to become increasingly competitive and difficult.
Here at Customerwise, I feel that we’ve been in a relatively fortunate position. 2020 was set to be a breakthrough year. The first lockdown put a stop on all activity for us for several months, as it did for many. However, thankfully, somehow, 2020 still managed to be a breakthrough year.
We’ve been lucky to have a spread of clients in diverse industries. Hospitality and leisure businesses made up only a small proportion of our client base and our pipeline, and very few of our clients are among the very small B2C businesses that have been hit hardest by the events of 2020.
During 2020, the work that we’ve been carrying out for clients has been increasingly focused on:
- Telephone Mystery Shopping: for clients in the automotive, retail, financial services, and insurance industries, and on larger scale projects and programmes (for industry studies or data gathering for specific markets).
- Online: Mystery Shopping (online interactions, online gaming, online queries and quote submissions), Client v Competitor website studies, Video (e.g. Zoom) sales consultations, online class appraisals, etc.
- B2B: Mystery Shopping and competitor Mystery Shopping, research and consultancy.
We hope and plan to see continued growth in these areas.
The trends are clearly in place towards less travel and mobility, fewer face-to-face interactions, and an increasingly virtual world with more remote contact. Our intention is to move with the times, and to help businesses to be as competitive as they can be in what are sure to be difficult times ahead.
If we can help your business in any way to become more competitive (through a better understanding of your own performance, your competitors or your market), please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Of course, we’ll continue to be as competitive as we can too, and if there is any way at all that we can help small businesses to retain and increase their success, we’ll do our very best to be as flexible as possible, offering services that are as affordable as possible.
Either way, I wish everybody out there the best possible year in 2021.