Creative solutions, adaptability and flexibility are key for any business during the pandemic and beyond

Serving Clients During Covid 19

When the COVID-19 outbreak hit the U.S. in March and life as we knew it changed overnight, companies and organizations in nearly every industry, sector and size were forced to re-think their business models; how they conduct business, and how to best serve and support their customers during this time.

As a health and wellness company with an integrated portfolio of solutions, we also found ourselves quickly adapting, using our supply chain in new ways, devising creative solutions and remaining flexible every step of the way. The lessons we’re learning today about being a strong partner, while also doing good, can provide a model for businesses looking to make the most impact now and years down the line.

1. Communicate and Collaborate

For companies to continue to thrive, it’s imperative that communication and collaboration are at the forefront of everything they do. They must seek to understand—and work together—to understand their customers’ needs and the gaps that exist, so they can quickly adapt and offer up the right solutions.

For example, while most businesses were downsizing in March, some of our customers providing essential services were growing to meet demand. Yet with long hours and new stressors, these partners grew concerned about the risk of stress and burnout among their employees.

We knew that the fitness expertise of our Prime® Fitness and SilverSneakers® products could help solve for these issues. However, instead of the traditional strength training, aerobics and flexibility classes offered by our products, these employees needed wellness offerings that were more restorative in nature.

After communicating how to best redeploy our national network of resources to make the greatest impact, we offered one-on-one sessions focused on guided meditation, stress relief and stress management techniques while complying with physical distancing guidelines. Within 3 weeks, our team members were in dozens of locations across the country supporting our customers’ workforce.

2. Consider Partnerships

When thinking about the relationships they have established or are cultivating, companies should consider all of their options but also recognize that although a partner may be the right fit, now may not be the right time. Our philosophy on partnerships is never, “no,” sometimes it’s “not right now.”

During the coronavirus crisis, needs are constantly changing. By maintaining a strong network of partnerships and potential partners, companies have the ability to respond quickly when customers have emerging and unexpected needs. Now is the right time to reconsider partnerships that may not have been a great fit previously, but can help support customers.

At Tivity Health, we are constantly evaluating new partnerships to help address the needs we solve for, but also finding value in existing relationships for the changing nature of members’ and customers’ needs.

3. Get Creative With Channels

For companies to make the biggest impact, they must be able to quickly find creative ways to re-purpose existing products and solutions, use their supply chains in new ways, and be flexible when delivering solutions to better serve customers.

For example, with gyms and fitness facilities closed, we had to quickly pivot our SilverSneakers solutions. We have a national network of fitness instructors who are trained to teach classes at participating locations and SilverSneakers FLEX® locations. Our clients’ members can still benefit from that knowledge and infrastructure, we just needed to pivot our classes and instructors to a digital workout experience.

Instead of thinking about digital solutions as an adjunct solution, it has now become the primary experience for exercise. In fact, according to our recent SilverSneakers Pulse survey, one-third of members said they will continue to take virtual exercise classes after it becomes safe to go to the gym.

Companies may also find there are new opportunities for suppliers to become customers. For example, when our SilverSneakers locations needed help offering virtual classes, we could support those locations with our virtual classes and help them facilitate digital opportunities.

We have also used our supply chain in new ways to help older adults facing food insecurity. While our Nutrisystem product is designed to assist with weight loss, we are able to bundle the meals differently for older adults, so that they can meet their nutritional requirements in a safe, convenient way. Nearly half of the Nutrisystem portfolio is shelf-stable, and that flexibility offers more health plans and local agencies the help necessary to fill the gaps.

4. Use Data To Inform New Solutions

During times of crisis, it’s important that companies gather data to understand industry trends and the changing needs of customers.  With data, they can make informed decisions that will better support their members now and when the pandemic subsides. Data insights help companies be proactive and better prepared to help their customers return to normal.

In fact, according to our SilverSneakers Pulse survey, we found that compared to the time before the COVID pandemic, three times as many older adults say they often lack companionship and feel isolated. As a result, we started to offer virtual social hours, now being referred to as SilverSneakers Connect.

In fact, according to our SilverSneakers Pulse survey, we found that compared to the time before the COVID pandemic, three times as many older adults say they often lack companionship and feel isolated. As a result, we started to offer virtual social hours, now being referred to as SilverSneakers Connect.

5. Put Business Aside and Think Human

While the coronavirus outbreak has created significant challenges for companies, as they re-think their solutions and find new opportunities, it will likely strengthen relationships with partners.

However, it’s also important to set the business aside, and put compassion, humility and humanity first. Within the past month, we’ve seen many companies offer flexibility in billing, delivery and support, discounts, complementary offerings, and concessions all in an effort to better support their customers.

For us, working with our partners has allowed thousands of people to keep their jobs or return to work. We have also found ways to give back, such as our donation of South Beach Diet® meals and snacks to FiftyForward, a local organization in middle Tennessee providing food and services to older adults in need.

While business will eventually return to normal, companies must recognize that it likely won’t be business as usual. What their customers need today will still be relevant months—maybe even years—down the line. The coronavirus crisis has proven our strength and resiliency as a nation, and these lessons can help pull us through now and well into the future.

At Tivity Health, we are on a mission to impact key social determinants of health and revolutionize a new approach to health and wellness.
To learn more about our solutions for Medicare Advantage plans, contact us today.