Navigating a turbulent economy - pandemic and other global events have increased the cadence and severity of business challenges. Agility and adaptability have never been more important for organisations. These enable organisations to survive the short-term disruption of these new challenges.

This blog highlights four areas where companies are challenged and must ensure resiliency to utilise their agility. Imagine sailing across a sea where a sudden wind change can put a boat at risk. It can survive the immediate danger of capsizing if built well. If the crew reacts quickly, the boat can turn and take advantage of the new wind direction.

Challenge 1: Focusing on customer and employee challenges

There are several stages to addressing this challenge.

  1. Implement tools that enable better engagement with both customers and employees
  2. Seek an understanding of the challenges and priorities of these stakeholders
  3. Design, develop and deliver products and services that are aligned with those challenges and priorities

This alignment is across the whole organisation with collaboration and communication tools to ensure that it can deliver the excellent customer service that customers desire. The trick is to ensure that the internal alignment works to the benefit of employees, ensuring their engagement and delivering a superior customer experience to all customers.

In addition, unify the data gathered throughout a customer journey to give a full picture to any customer-facing employee in an organisation. This helps them improve customer experience. They can respond to enquiries faster, more accurately and more smoothly for the customer. Forecasting, powered by AI, can predict what a customer may like to consider in future. It achieves this by assessing past purchasing behaviour and is a useful tool to drive future business less aggressively.

Organisations often take a siloed approach to their customer operations tools. These include disconnected tools such as video conferencing, collaboration, project management, CRM, marketing and communication. Zoho offers a single customer experience platform that allows organisations to understand, engage and make better decisions with customers.

Sridhar Iyengar, Managing Director of Europe, commented, “Using that common customer experience platform helps teams to understand everything that the customer wants along their journey.”

For its customers, Zoho approaches this in four ways:

  • It has created open feedback loops across different channels using its technology
  • It engages using internal customer account managers and customer advisory boards
  • The Zoho leadership team answers questions from staff and customers about company priorities and escalations
  • Hosting regular training and workshops for customers through events such as Zoho User Groups, Zoho Meetups and the annual Zoholics customer conference

Challenge 2: Resources/Capital are less available and more expensive

In the current economic climate, capital is harder to come by. It is also often more expensive to service any payments on loans. Organisations must, therefore, preserve their resources and align their use to the business’s strategic priorities.

Capital expenditure, or the rebalancing of resources, should aim to shift the needle, achieve short-term profitability, and deliver against the long-term vision. A focused approach is best, aligning investment with the two or three strategic priorities the leadership focuses on.

For example, if customer satisfaction needs improvement, they can invest in the customer support organisation, whether people or technology. An organisation may need to increase the number of leads it generates. It can use technology to generate and track those leads from advertising to the CRM on a single platform. This is where a single platform approach ensures leads can convert to opportunities and sales without revenue leakage.

Challenge 3: Software Vendor Due Diligence

Much has been spoken about supply chain risk, software vendor due diligence is just as important. Iyengar put it this way, “The first thing that comes to mind is evaluating the health of your vendors. Who can stay with you on this digital journey? Who can sustain and also keep offering innovative services? They must do so within affordable limits because you don’t want your vendors to be expensive.”

Zoho promises a stable platform with a growing list of solutions. It is also not a closed environment, with a burgeoning marketplace and open APIs for an organisation to choose other third-party applications.

Iyengar added, “Although we talk about Zoho One and the unified platforms, our sales team never try to force sell everything to a customer. We let customers choose and decide.”

For example, a customer may choose to deploy Zoho CRM. They may then add other applications, such as Zoho Backstage (events) or Zoho Campaigns (email marketing).

Challenge 4: A turbulent business atmosphere brings frequent new risks

Since the pandemic began, organisations seem to face a new challenge or crisis every month. Business leaders can react quickly to the immediate threat, but the harder challenge is to react in a way aligned with the company’s long-term vision. Organisations must therefore nurture adaptability and agility to increase organisational resilience.

Iyengar defines agility and adaptability as. “Agility is the ability to respond fast to a given threat and make a change. Adaptability allows you to sustain that and transform that into the regular way of working within the organisation.”

While agility is useful, business leaders must also identify when to react. The pandemic showed how priorities changed. Initially, organisations needed to invest in employee well-being. Once that was in place, they could focus on adjusting and improving the customer experience in line with the changes enforced by the pandemic. Each risk must be assessed against the strategic plan and the vision. Whilst priorities change, the organisation needs to remember its chosen destination.


In these troubled times, organisations must learn how to navigate the tricky economic currents and new challenges they must face. To prepare their organisations for these risks, they must find the right suppliers that are consistent and innovative. The solutions they decide to deploy must focus on delivering business value and align with their strategic priorities, regardless of the stakeholders it relates to.

To achieve this, Iyengar stated, “A trio of leadership, culture, and tools creates that ability to be agile and adaptable to cope with the turbulence.”

ZohoWith 55+ apps in nearly every major business category, including sales, marketing, customer support, accounting and back office operations, and an array of productivity and collaboration tools, Zoho Corporation is one of the world’s most prolific technology companies.

Zoho is privately held and profitable. Zoho respects user privacy and does not have an ad-revenue model in any part of its business, including its free products. Zoho operates its own datacentres across the world, including two in Europe. More than 80 million users around the world, across hundreds of thousands of companies, rely on Zoho every day to run their businesses, including Zoho itself.


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