One of the most significant events of 2020 is the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from the serious implications on people’s health, it caused profound effects on businesses and the economy on a global scale. Businesses had to adapt and transform to survive. Although the full economic effects of this pandemic are still unclear, we can summarize that the pandemic has completely changed the business landscape.
The lockdown caused by the pandemic significantly reduced the ability for people to move about. Although the movement is restricted, there was still a need for items to be transported from one place to another. This presented an opportunity for Lala Move to expand. Lala Move is a Hong Kong-based company that provides on-demand deliveries via its online and web application. Founded in 2013, they currently operate in 21 cities which include China, Southeast Asia, India, and Latin America. Using the Lala Move app, a client chooses to transfer an item from one point to another, at a designated time and place. The mode of transfer can be chosen by the client (according to specifications), which ranges from a motorcycle to a lorry.
Growing at an exponential rate in a short period of time is challenging for any company. Prior to the lockdown, Lala Move was growing at a 10-15% monthly rate. During the lockdown, they suddenly grew to 100% in a week! The main reason they were able to cope successfully was the reactive fast decision making within the company. Being a small, growing company with an agile infrastructure allowed the company to transform and respond quickly to the growing demand during the pandemic. They did this by carrying out a few business strategies.
Below are 5 ways that Lala Move transformed their business during the pandemic.
Expanding the Customer Support Team
For every business, the customer service department plays a very important role. Despite the sudden growth during the lockdown, Lala Move still wanted customers to have a pleasant experience on the platform. This is why the customer support team was the first to scale up during lockdown- to cater to the sudden influx of demand and to ensure smooth satisfactory use of the app for customers.
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>Lala Move focused on managing customer expectations by expanding the customer support team. Initially, this was done by moving their existing staff from other departments. As demand increased further, they started hiring new employees for the customer support team and the operations team.
Digital Hiring and Training Strategies
Hiring new employees during lockdown posed several difficulties. Physical interviews were not possible. Lala Move managed this by going digital- from screening suitable candidates to conducting online interviews. Fortunately, applications were pouring in as people were looking for jobs during the lockdown.
To get a functional team working as soon as possible, swift and accessible training had to be provided but physical training and large gatherings were impossible due to the lockdown. Lala Move started providing online training instead via video conferencing tools or a simple online browser. This was effective- it was easily accessible, catered to a large group of people and was simple enough for those unfamiliar with online applications. On the whole, it took Lala Move 2-3 weeks to sort out this new business strategy- from hiring to training. This was something unimaginable for the company, pre-lockdown.
Introducing a new service to cater to the current needs
Buy4u was a new service introduced by Lala Move during the lockdown period. It served as a purchasing service whereby a driver/rider purchased items and delivered them to the customer. The success of this service was largely due to the timing of it being introduced, during the lockdown. For example, it allowed customers to have their groceries delivered to their doorstep without leaving their house physically.
Moving forward, Lala Move believes more businesses will encourage working from home and hire freelancers to mitigate risk. Remote work or working from home was imposed by many companies during the lockdown period. This move worked well for Lala Move, more so with the sudden influx of employees and limited office space Contrary to popular belief, Lala Move found that working from home did not affect the quality of work of their staff.
Lala Move is different from a traditional logistics company as they leveraged on-demand gig workers. Due to this, Lala Move was able to adapt to demand more effectively. Being competitively priced and having a failure rate of 1% also set them apart from other businesses.
The current global pandemic and lockdown is an example of how volatile and unpredictable the economy can be. Hence, business transformation strategies are essential to support the growth of every business. The COVID 19 pandemic has taught Lala Move that a challenging situation always presents an opportunity for growth.
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