• The Editor

A Complete Reset

Updated: May 5, 2020

There is now absolutely no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has reset everything we knew about business, global travel and even ourselves. While at first it was believed that the virus was yet another flu that could be shaken-off with a shrug, it has proved more devastating to the lives of over 200 000 families worldwide, and reset the way in which we meet,travel, do business and!

Perhaps the most significant impact that are seeing is the change in the way people behave. Gone are the days of a friendly handshake, a Mediterranean hug or even the distance we stand from one another. This has been replaced by a phenomenon called 'social distancing'. It is affecting the way we talk, meet, greet and respond to one-another in ways that not even Arthur C Clark could have imagined. And yes, it has set new protocols in the way that we deal with our customers.

In order to do business into the future, businesses have to adapt and change the way they have been operating for many years - even to the point of changing industries and professions. Because the single-most lasting effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be the trust we have in one another not to transmit or pass this virus and the degree to which businesses can meet and exceed the fear, health and safety concerns of their clients.

Yes, providing and insisting on masks is now a way of life - although the jury is still very-much out on the effectiveness of this measure, but your clients are going to want assurance that their concerns are being taken seriously. Not just in terms of a passing fad, but in very real, visible and committed measures. Gone are the days when they will simply just accept your word for their safety and welcome to the new demand for independent verification of performance.

The hospitality industry is no stranger to certification, nor of the power that it has to affect the choices made by the travelling public. From a Star rating to the environmental rating of businesses in tourism, guests are influenced and encouraged to believe in independent ratings of performance. Now, we will see a similar approach to the hotel sector, and while there are commendable efforts being made by brands such as Radisson,Hilton and others to improve and extend their cleaning practices and procedures, the public have seen through the self-claims made by brands and will now begin demanding independent verification as the norm when selecting and supporting businesses in general.

After all, lives now depend on the measures you implement in your business - from systems and procedures, to controls and checks and to communication about - and commitment to their fears and expectations. What this crisis has taught us is that we cannot simply go through the motions and expect clients to glibly accept what we offer. There has been a reset and that must of necessity include our attitudes to external verification in whatever form makes sense to our business.

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