COVID-19 is testing business resilience like never before. As organizations struggle to meet their stakeholders’ needs amid government-imposed social distancing measures and new work from home practices, they are increasingly turning to technology to fill the physical gaps.
We, too, have had to adjust to make sure no one falls between the cracks now that all our impromptu water cooler meetings are no longer happening.
Here’s how our team is using dashboards in Borealis stakeholder engagement software to keep the lines of communication open with our stakeholders and improve our engagement process. Perhaps these insights will be of use to your organization.
Meeting stakeholders' needs during a crisis is essential to business resilience
COVID-19 is not the only crisis we’ve faced in the last 20 years. We also survived the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2014 collapse of the extractive industry – which at the time, was our key clientele.
Having learned from these previous crises, we are now more creative in the use of our own stakeholder engagement software for recording all communications with our own stakeholders – users, suppliers and prospective clients. This experience has enabled us to stay on top of our stakeholders’ needs during this current pandemic and prioritize our actions accordingly.
Having these insights to plan, engage and measure stakeholder activities is what keeps us afloat during tough times. In fact, these insights help us come out stronger. During the extractive crisis, we expanded the functionalities of our stakeholder engagement platform to accommodate the needs of other industries such as energy and transportation. We also integrated additional features to manage other aspects of stakeholder management, such as government relations and public affairs. Borealis software is now used worldwide in industries ranging from consumer goods to oil and gas.
Creative uses of Borealis software during COVID-19 and other crises
Being a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business, our stakeholders are our customers, prospective clients and partners. We have always used our Borealis stakeholder engagement system to manage our relationships with these stakeholders, but in the current context, we have found new ways to help both our stakeholders and our own organization ride out this global crisis.
Smooth transition to work from home
Because Borealis software is a secure cloud-based application with configurable access rights, our team has always been able to access the information they need – whether they’re working in the office, on the field with stakeholders – and more recently, remotely from home. Transitioning to the new work from home practices was relatively straightforward for our team. We simply adapted by allowing more flexible work schedules to accommodate family obligations while schools were temporarily closed in Canada.
Easy and secure access to information
All information and systems from our various departments (Customer Success, Product Marketing, Helpdesk and Sales) has been integrated into our Borealis platform. Everyone with access rights has the information they need right at their fingertips and are able to continue working efficiently.
4 analytics dashboards in Borealis our CEO uses in times of crisis
Crisis often leads to knee-jerk reactions rather than strategic planning. But during a crisis, regular and meaningful communication with stakeholders becomes more important than ever.
Here are the 4 dashboards our CEO is using to ensure this communication is happening.
1. Dashboard displaying meaningful conversations
Tracking our team’s activities has always been part of what we do. To make sure important information is getting across and is available to everyone at all times, we built a dashboard that lets us see at a glance all meaningful conversations and emails we have had with customers for a given period. Not only can we click on each conversation to see what was said, but the Account Director responsible for that customer is notified immediately. This serves as a fair substitute for those informal or impromptu discussions that would normally happen at the office. It also helps us ensure there won’t be any gaps in our corporate memory once we return.
2. Dashboard displaying customers that were contacted
We have set up various dashboards to give our management team real-time visibility on our top priorities so that they can ensure company resources are allocated at the right place and at the right time to meet our stakeholders’ expectations during this critical period. With our “Organizations contacted by staff” dashboard, we can easily see the workload for each staff member, and access the conversations they have had with each organization. If needed, a manager can step in on specific issues to get the ball rolling.
3. Dashboard displaying engagement plans per location
Many of our customers are also managing their own crisis. Their issues are reflected in not only how they are using the software, but also how their country is handling the crisis. For example, some regions have blocked access to small and remote villages to avoid bringing in the COVID-19 virus. We make sure to include this contextual information in our system so that we can adapt our engagement plans for each customer accordingly.
These engagement plans are highly visible within the whole company and available to all remote staff for daily discussion. Moreover, we can access detailed information directly from the map. For example, by clicking any given purple circle, we can directly access the details of the engagement.
4. Dashboards displaying priority engagement plans
Our stakeholder engagement plans include specific actions for each client. Thanks to our priority engagement plans dashboard, our CEO can see how these plans are progressing.
Maintaining sales during COVID-19
Most of our sales come from existing clients, referrals and from relationships we build within our professional network. Being experts in stakeholder engagement, we naturally view our sales funnel as a great opportunity to engage with these stakeholders to better understand their needs and adapt our software accordingly.
During a time of crisis, we know that projects will be delayed, priorities will shift, budgets rerouted, etc. This will obviously have a sizeable short-term impact on our business, but we consider this period critical for our own stakeholder engagement. We know that we need to nurture our relationships to support our prospective clients for the long haul. Communication is key and our sales team is more active than ever. Although now, they are engaging remotely rather than physically travelling the globe.
All this time being saved on travel is allowing us to prioritize for the future and prepare for the post-crisis period. We are now talking to businesses in industries we traditionally haven’t served. Many of them are now thinking of how they can be better prepared for future crises and are looking to set up processes that will enable them to remotely manage their public affairs and government relations, grievance management, regulatory and compliance management and other key aspects of stakeholder management.
We are also talking to some prospective clients that have temporarily lost their budget to invest in an information management system for stakeholder engagement. During these conversations, we are taking the time to discuss and brainstorm their needs. We are using this feedback to shape our product roadmap, just as we have done in previous crises.
Borealis software is the world’s most widely used software for managing stakeholder relations. Our team has been helping businesses in various industries around the world achieve corporate social responsibility for 20 years.