Organisational change – it’s a popular subject for hundreds of thousands of management books, podcasts, thought leadership articles, Ted Talks, lectures and workshops the world over. And the year that was 2020 is going to continue to fuel this tangle of media for decades to come – because nothing brought change as the last 12 months did!
There was (and is) the pandemic, of course, but there were also plenty of happenings beyond it – the Aussie bushfires, the U.S. election and many disparate world protests have all contributed to the 2020 zeitgeist. For small-medium businesses, change was both critical and inevitable in responding to that.
Being ready for colossal, abrupt change was our lesson. But how do we make that happen?
At Roobix, we believe that to be ready for abrupt change, you need to A) reflect on past change and B) make ongoing operational change a natural part of your business.
To explain that, we’ll go through a few examples from our 2020.
Reflecting on past change
On 1st November 2018, Roobix 2.0 was born. As some of our readers might know, before we purchased the assets of Titan Interactive we were a very small team catering to other small businesses. After the acquisition, we became the largest independent marketing provider in Western Australia.
That was a huge change for us.
After two years of excitement, frustration, wins and losses, we’ve been able to settle into a comfortable swing of things – but we won’t be in a hurry to forget that difficult time. Understanding what worked in our change management process was key to responding well to the COVID-19 outbreak when it arose in 2020.
Fostering long-term operational change
At Roobix, operational change is a natural part of our business. We make a point of never sitting still – because there’s always room for improvement. In 2020, we introduced three major changes to the business:
- After seeking client feedback, we learned we needed to improve on the accountability and genuine transparency of our engagement process.
- We significantly upscaled our dedicated quality assurance systems to make sure everything was formally checked by multiple gatekeepers before leaving the business.
- We formalised our commitment to automation and began using job management programs. The implementation of this software has allowed client communications to be tracked, recorded and monitored by management teams so we can continually review our interactions and deliverables and adjust accordingly.
We also tested and tracked everything we changed to make sure it was actually working. Thanks to our improved engagement process, upscaled QA process and job management software, our customer satisfaction rate grew 23% over the previous financial year to hit a high average of 90%+. Our client renewal rate increased by 35% over the previous financial year too.
It might seem counterintuitive to run a business that’s always changing – but it’s the best way to arm yourself against unexpected changes (like pandemics!) later down the track. At Roobix, we highlight the importance of every team member understanding the stepping stones in our journey. We are a proudly high-performance team, and to be high performance, you must create a culture where staff feel valued, reassured and supported when it comes to change.
Dealing with abrupt change
By reflecting on our big past changes and fostering ongoing operational change in our business, Roobix was able to handle the outbreak of COVID-19 pretty well. While we didn’t come out unscathed, the loyalty of our clients helped see us to the other side. From our acquisition, we knew we had to do what we could for our clients to make overnight changes to their business as easy as possible. To do that, we launched our #ForwardForWA initiative, which provided more than $200,000 in complimentary services to transition companies from standard to virtual operations overnight. And internally, because our team is well-used to necessary transition, working from home was a breeze!
Our message during the COVID lockdown was that if we each sacrifice a little, no one will suffer a lot – not our team members, not our clients, not even WA as a whole. Communications were clear, regular, transparent, and above all, genuine. Our team emerged stronger than ever, and that is why we say communication, genuine compassion and transparency are the heart of successful change.
All of these examples go to show how transformational change is both powerful and necessary. Our lessons learned from past change helped us manage the abrupt changes we needed this year. But we didn’t let those abrupt changes take away from the ongoing operational change that should always be in the background of your business.
At the end of the day, that’s what marketing is for – staying agile, staying relevant and staying on your feet. If you made any transformational changes this year – marketing, operational or otherwise – you’ve already strengthened your business. We’ll be here to keep helping you grow and change in 2021 and beyond.
Until next year,
The team at Roobix