Over the last few months, the world as we know it has been turned upside down and as we start to rebuild following the recent pandemic, discovering what our new normal looks like is going to take time.
Like all other businesses across the UK, the pandemic has meant we at AO have had to take a close look at the way we serve our customers to continue to meet their expectations during these times.
Our priority has always been to protect our people and customers so we could continue to deliver safely. We made changes quickly, enabling those who could work from home to do so within three days and, for our front line workers, putting in place new ways of working and kit so that we could maintain social distancing in our operation from the warehouse to delivery. We turned off all the most essential installation services but gave our drivers and engineers discretion to help vulnerable customers safely and we are pleased to say that these services are now being reintroduced.
We are immensely proud that as a business we have managed to continue to operate throughout the crisis. Online has become a lifeline during the pandemic and the last few months have certainly been exceptional in terms of the changes in the online buying habits of consumers and businesses. The team at AO Business have witnessed how our business customers have embraced online – initially out of necessity, but now out of convenience.
We believe we have experienced five years of change in customer behaviour accelerated into just five weeks.”
We believe we have experienced five years of change in customer behaviour accelerated into just five weeks. We have seen people who would never have considered buying electricals and appliances online before, purchase from us and be impressed at how easy, quick, and reliable it can be. You can order a product, and have it delivered, installed and the old one taken away to be recycled the very next day and at a time that suits you, all from home.
But as we start to see a potential end to lockdown, how do we start to serve the post-COVID customer and what does the new world look like? Let us first be clear – we have never shut our doors during the crisis. Over the last few months, we have remained open for business, offering support to our landlord and lettings customers, raising quotations, and helping to place orders. Being part of a larger retail group has meant AO Business has been able to utilise the operational changes that were made to help keep the business delivering to customers during this unprecedented time, unlike other B2B businesses.
At AO Business, our business-to-business division, we recognise that we are all part of a giant ‘ecosystem’ where we are only as strong as our suppliers. This supply chain has been put to the test during the pandemic. Now as we return to normality, we are ready to keep supplying appliances to the UK’s landlords and lettings sector.
We’ve always known that AO’s model is the best way to buy electricals and circumstances mean its accelerating much faster than we could have imagined. We believe that behaviour changes forced over the last few months, will stay.As we look at the new ways of working and inevitably spend more time at home, we can help you offer the flexibility and convenience that your tenants will come to expect to keep plugged in and powering on.