The coronavirus wasn’t just a public health crisis; it was a crisis that affected people’s morale. In some form or another, every business and individual that comes to mind is forever changed by the pandemic.
But the burden is more challenging for businesses. They have to please their customers despite going through the same pandemic as them. They have to face difficulties that affect their revenues. Companies had to set aside plans for the future while also trying to deliver hope to their customers.
Singapore’s SMRT company, which is responsible for operating the country’s mass transport system, is at the forefront of this new phenomenon.
When SMRT CEO Neo Kian Hong took the helm of the company, he was quick to eliminate the culture of blaming from the company. This means that even someone in high-ranking positions like him is responsible for what happens to the company.
Science-based Approach to Protocols and Policies
The most important thing that SMRT did was to rely on science when making its protocols and policies during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. With science at the core of its pandemic response program, the company ensured safety protocols reminders on every platform.
They also placed personnel on every platform so commuters had someone they could turn to in cases of emergencies.
Upon understanding how the virus spreads through droplets, the company and the operators decided to discourage commuters from talking loudly inside the trains.
The goal is to prevent people from spreading the virus through saliva droplets. This minimized everyone’s exposure to the virus. Not to mention, passengers must wear masks, and they are encouraged to use the sanitation areas on every platform.
Retrofitting Buses and Trains for COVID-19 Operations
Together with its private partners, SMRT retrofitted its existing buses to complement the government’s and private sector’s COVID-19 initiatives.
Among many services they delivered is the mass transfer of patients from one facility to another, as well as to hospitals and dormitories. The company equipped the buses with all the tools they need to deliver high-quality services to passengers.
The buses provided point-to-point transportation for COVID-19-related operations. Some medical front-liners were able to take advantage of such services. This enabled the continuous mobility of the economy and critical health care services during the pandemic.
Assured Mobility amid the Pandemic
Aside from partnering with private companies to deliver services amid the pandemic, the one thing that SMRT did that made a huge impact on the lives of the people is the assurance that there are buses and trains available for their daily commute.
While other companies decided to transition to a work-from-home setup, there are still critical industries that failed to do so. For these industries, going to the office or the factory is a necessity. Businesses cannot survive without workers doing their tasks in person.
That kind of assurance gave hope to employees that they can catch a bus or train when they need to, that these critical services are going to be available to them. In fact, SMRT even redirected some routes to help medical front-liners reach their destinations faster. This kind of consideration is not lost on those who are trying to find hope amid the crisis.
The Use of Marketing as a Tool to Support COVID-19 Efforts
The efforts of the company did not stop at providing these critical services. They used essential marketing strategies to disseminate the right information to the commuters. They partnered with private companies and the public sector to launch programs that will give hope to the people.
Despite the crisis that they face, it’s essential for people to realize that life goes on for many in public service.
The use of marketing campaigns also boosted the confidence of the people. They know that the company is on top of things; that knowledge alone will give them hope that there’s a new normal waiting for them once the pandemic is over.
Whenever there are changes in the protocols, the commuters are rest assured that they will find the information through traditional and new media.
Companies have to take a stand for the people that they serve. They had to be symbols of hope in one of the most difficult times in modern history. It is through their roles during the pandemic that the people will see their characters, as well as the values that they stand for.
This particular company did just that—prove to the people that they are more than about service; they are about giving hope, too.