The 3 Things Companies
Need to Thrive in a Pandemic 

COVID-19 has been relentlessly shaking the business world: some companies have struggled to remain afloat, a lot have closed down, while a select few have flourished despite the turmoil, paradigm shifts, and ongoing recession.

Video communications platform Zoom experienced a hyper-growth in daily meeting participants during the pandemic—200 million in March then 300 million in April. Online marketplace Etsy went through an upturn with a record-high of 3.14 million active sellers. Uber, while being massively hit, saw a 103% surge in delivery revenue.

We invited these companies to the TaskUs CX Summit to share their strategies and how resilience, agility, and purpose formed their responses in helping them find opportunity in adversity. Here are their three quick takeaways that could help your business thrive amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: 

1. Rethink Your Business Strategies

From being a “one business, one support service,” Zoom branched into an enterprise, mass market, online premiere, access, and self-service.

Uber had to rethink priorities drastically. 

Etsy, which for many was synonymous with weddings, birthdays and other events impacted by the COVID pandemic, had to come up with creative support strategies for sellers who experienced revenue loss. "Adjust strategies not for the business you had," mentioned Brendan Mulryan, Etsy’s Vice President of Member Services, "but with the business you’re trying to build.”

2. Adapt to the New Workforce Environment

The new normal changed not only business strategies but also flexible working arrangements. Work-from-home—or from practically anywhere—is here to stay, but hybrid solutions are also being explored. “A big part of the social life of Uber employees normally plays in the office and I think that is where my concern is,” shared Isabelle Le Blanc, Uber’s Head of Vendor Management, EMEA. “It's important to have that connection to the mothership on a face-to-face basis, as a team member and as a human being. Being one to two days a week in the office, if you can, contributes also to the fun you have and the interpersonal connection that you have.” She also added that it is important to adopt and implement technology that can ensure people to work basically everywhere.

This then leads to the topic of engaging the remote workforce. There is no “one size fits all” strategy as it will depend on the company’s culture. What is important is to have clear communication, inclusive engagement, and meaningful motivation.

3. Innovate Now—and Fast!

Use the situation to do things differently.

What this crisis has heightened is businesses’ “need for speed.” Because of shortages in medical masks, thousands of sellers stepped up to produce masks and other PPE. This was a unique opportunity for Etsy, which positioned itself to fill a real need and to attract a new cohort of buyers. This also created an opportunity for the online marketplace to introduce new buyers to a whole new world of unique and special items from 3M+ independent sellers that made Etsy what it is.

On the other hand, Zoom’s meteoric rise of users led to a growth in unexpected situations of platform use, such as weddings, worship events, and other social gatherings. This resulted eventually in challenges for the platform in support and services. As a solution, Zoom acquired the use of AI technologies, adopted a segmentation strategy to identify the common customer and question types, and automated quick responses to more frequently asked questions.

Mobility platform Uber pivoted from moving people from A to B to bringing necessities to people’s homes. “If your business needs are somewhere else, you need to deprioritize one thing and start prioritizing the other thing,” shared Le Blanc. “Otherwise, you miss out on both sides as a company.”

We shook things up with our roundtable discussions at the last TaskUs CX Summit, but let’s keep the conversation going. For more industry insights, go to

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November 04, 2020