Selling your design services amidst COVID-19

Businesses of every type have been impacted by the pandemic. Here’s how I’ve kept my teams afloat during these strange times. COVID-19 has changed every facet of our lives and has made an indelible mark our global interactions. Within a few weeks, the norm has become keeping a distance of 6 feet from one another, wearing face masks and disposable gloves, and washing every package delivered with some type of aerosol disinfectant.

With our focus on experience design, our day-to-day involves talking with existing customers, new business pitches, communicating between developers and designers, and public speaking. Within a week nearly every protocol we followed had to be reconfigured in order to address the concerns of the pandemic. Luckily for us, we found ourselves in comfortable waters with regards to product/team management. But unfortunately, nearly all of our new business proposals dried up.

So how are we surviving it?

The term “Remote Team” has been redefined

Remote teams have been in use for decades, but the term remote no longer means offshore. Your teammates could be working within a few streets of each other. There’s been a slight change to our design hand-off protocols and experience research. Normally we only used these platforms to conducted user studies, but now we now use hangouts or bluejeans to discuss handoffs too.

Our calendars have taken a new role

For some, using your calendar is just a way to organize calls and meetings. But with working from home becoming the norm overnight, we’ve seen a spike in our calendar usage. We seldom had to block out calendar time to get work done. Now it’s the only way we can get work done.

We’ve also seen an uptick in the number of productive hours due to the quarantine. That’s at least 1 — 2 hours spent in traffic is now translated to billable time.

Serving your clients in new ways

Once we realized the pandemic was real, we began advising our clients on Curbside Service and No Contact Interactions. We foresaw this industry sky-rocketing and immediately made it the center of attention to our clients.

We introduced several ideas that helped bolster their service offerings and continue to remain a part of their customers’ daily routine. For example, we advised our fitness client to embrace an inexpensive LiveStream via table / phone to their clients to keep them motivated during these tough times. It’s an easy way to keep their clients in shape since without the need to purchase a smart mirror.

Increasing communications

It should be no surprise the slow-down experienced with delivered items. Due to the increase of items needing to be delivered. But a bigger slow-down is with internet providers. Their bandwidth capabilities have choked due to the rise of work-from-home needs. This results in truncated meetings, and more importantly, missed deadlines.

To avoid issues, we took an upfront approach and explained to our partners and clients the consequences of bandwidth issues we all faced. This increased communication provided transparency and comfort to know we were aware of all the issues impacting the delivery chain.

Final Remarks

COVID-19 will teach us to be more efficient and aware of new experiences we’ll need to consider as society adjusts. We’ll be presenting our new findings within the next few weeks on what the newer state of business is as this pandemic starts to flatten out.

With that, please be safe, remain 6 feet part, and wash your hands after reading this.