COVID-19 Is Proving That Consumer Voices Can Influence Business Decisions

Last week, major corporations learned firsthand the power of values-based consumers. Many received harsh backlash after applying for and receiving funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), intended to help small businesses keep their workforces employed amid the COVID-19 crisisThe US government allocated $349 billion to the program, but many small businesses were denied after larger players received loans, depleting the available funds. This didn’t sit well with many consumers, who made their feelings known on social media. Later, Shake Shack announced that it will return the $10 million it received from the PPP. Since that announcement, others have followed suit, including universities such as Harvard, Princeton, and StanfordBusinesses cannot ignore the role values play in consumer decision making. Follow along as we explore how the pandemic will further transform values-based decision making.

Bad Bots Pivot To Grocery Deliveries

Pre-pandemic, attackers would deploy inventory-hoarding and checkout-abuse bots to buy up items such as special-edition sneakers or tickets to Broadway shows, leaving nothing for customers before selling them to those same customers at high markups. In recent weeks, bots have targeted necessities like toilet paper, groceries, and grocery delivery times. Motherboard reports that bots are finding and reserving the times before we humans have a chance. Most of the developers quoted in the Motherboard article professed good intentions: to help themselves, their friends, or their family get a delivery slot. But the reality is that these bots are problematic. They make it more difficult for less technologysavvy citizens to secure grocery deliveryonly widening the gulf between the haves and have-nots in this pandemic. And how do grocery stores and delivery services protect their customers from less scrupulous developers that use bots to hoard and price-gouge delivery times and merchandise? Grocery store chains and delivery services were the first to be targeted during the pandemic, but others will follow. To get your products to your customers fairly, you must implement bot management solutions.

Vengeful Insider Allegedly Damages PPE Supply Chain After Termination

The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic creates the perfect conditions for insider threat. The recent incident at Stradis Healthcare, which manufactures personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, shows how much damage an insider can do. According to the criminal complaint filed by the US Department of Justice, the former VP of finance at Stradis Healthcare allegedly created accounts that remained active after his termination. He then logged in to the company’s enterprise resource planning system, modified 100,000-plus accounts, and deleted over 2,000 more after receipt of his final paycheckPrior to his termination in early March, the former VP received two reprimands (for unnamed reasons), which are usually a strong indicator that an insider may eventually turn malicious. Unfortunately, it appears that monitoring was either not in place or it was not sufficient to detect his actions. Mitigating insider threat has never been more of a challenge than it is now, but it has also never been more important as industries face critical shortfalls during the phases of pandemic recovery.

Whistleblower Protections Are Inadequate, But More Employees Are Motivated To Speak Out

At a time when 50% of US workers express anxiety over returning to work, organizations and governmental agencies must do more to understand employee concerns and adjust accordingly. But so far, the administration has not proven its interest or willingness to listen and has fired or reassigned those who speak out. Earlier this month, Navy Captain Brett Crozier was relieved of duty after asking superiors for resources to treat and contain COVID-19‘s spread among the USS Theodore Roosevelt’s 5,000 crew members. Since then, 660 sailors have tested positive, seven were hospitalized, and one has died. Now, Dr. Rick Bright, a vaccine expert, says he was removed as director of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for insisting on rigorous vetting of the anti-malaria drug touted by the president as a panacea for the coronavirus. He’s since filed a formal whistleblower complaint. If we hope to successfully reopen the government and kick-start the economy, we’ll need to close the gaping hole in whistleblower protection. We must collectively insist on anonymous methods for voicing concerns and reporting violations, update policies for investigation, and shore up protocols for protecting whistleblowers from retaliation. If federal employers don’t do more to enable whistleblowers and learn from their reports, they should expect to see an avalanche of information that they’d like to keep private play out in the media.

The Pandemic Gives You A Blank Slate For Designing Your Ideal Work-At-Home Contact Center

Over the past six weeks, at least 2 million customer service agents around the world have shifted from answering customer calls in brick-and-mortar contact centers to working at home. Brands hastily constructed jury-rigged remote-work organizations, processes, and technological foundations. Almost no one considers the results ideal — the goal was speed, not refinement. But going forward, don’t be satisfied with replicating what you had in your brick-and-mortar contact centers. Once operations stabilize, act as if you’ve got a tabula rasa and design your ideal remote-work contact center. To help you do thiswe’ve created a framework — Forrester’s 30-60-90-Day COVID-19 Response Plan For Customer Service — that spans four key pillars of contact center operations: people, objectives, strategy, and technology. Next, we’ll publish in-depth research on each of those pillars, so stay tuned.

Build A COVID-19 Facilities And Risk Dashboard With The Help Of Free Maps From Esri

If your teams are pulling up the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center to track the latest testing, infection, morbidity, and recovery analysis, youre in good company. The site has been pinged a billion times since the pandemic began. It turns out that Esri, the geographic information system (GIS) pioneer and giant, is supporting that COVID-19 map and thousands of others. Forrester learned from Dr. Este Geraghty of Esri’s medical group that Esri has opened up resources for finding testing facilities, doing local demographic analysis that correlates with population risk, and more. This kind of open mapping platform gives you COVID-19 location intelligence to build a dashboard for your employee experience executives to use as part of your pandemic management protocol. And Esri is offering it for free during the duration of the crisis.