Headshot of Varsha Rao, CEO of Nurx.
Varsha Rao, CEO of Nurx, pivoted her business to respond to unique customer needs during COVID-19. — Nurx

Like most business leaders, Varsha Rao, CEO of health care platform Nurx, went into 2020 with big plans for what she and her team wanted to accomplish. She ended up “ripping up that gameplan” in favor of a shift she never thought she’d make: turning her online birth control startup into a multi-specialty platform that makes health care more convenient and affordable to everyone.

Nurx’s engaged and vocal customer base is the reason for the company’s pivot—and for its success — during the pandemic, said Rao. Listening to your consumers is the key to success for a company that’s going through a huge shift.

“A lot has changed in a year, and for us at Nurx, that all ties back to being responsive to what patients were telling us along the way,” she told CO—. “Your loyal clients are worthy partners in your growth. You can’t know what’s working and what’s not working with your product and with your business unless you are directly in contact regularly with the people using it.”

[Read: How 5 Small Businesses Are Channeling Creativity During COVID-19]

Adapting and pivoting to customers’ needs

Before COVID-19, demand for Nurx’s birth control home delivery service was steadily growing. When the pandemic struck, demand skyrocketed.

“So many people were suddenly stuck at home and couldn’t see doctors or wait in line at the pharmacy,” said Rao.

As Nurx managed this new influx of customer inquiries, Rao began to listen closely to what their customers needed from them while they were dealing with the unknown of COVID-19.

“Because of our beginnings as a birth control startup, we had been focusing on sexual health, but during the pandemic we increasingly heard from our patients that they had additional needs they wished Nurx could treat,” explained Rao.

Your loyal clients are worthy partners in your growth. You can’t know what’s working and what’s not working with your product and with your business unless you are directly in contact regularly with the people using it.

Varsha Rao, CEO, Nurx

Based on patient feedback, Nurx began offering a treatment protocol for migraines, as customers were experiencing increased headaches from the stress of the pandemic. Additionally, when the company saw consumers struggling with breakouts caused by masks, Rao and her team launched an acne treatment for home delivery.

Today, Nurx is focused on making health care more convenient and affordable for its customers. Nurx users can receive virtual health exams, get prescription medication delivered to their home, access diagnostic tests and receive ongoing care by medical providers through the company’s integrated telehealth platform.

Tapping into the power of teamwork

Rao explained that one of the toughest challenges for Nurx during the pandemic was bringing everyone on her team on the same page while trusting and relying on the leaders throughout the organization.

“We had just laid out clearly for everyone in the weeks prior what our priorities were, and now we had to gather back together to say we were going in a different direction,” said Rao.

[Read: 8 Collaborative Business Tools to Boost Your Team's Productivity]

Even through the unknown, Rao applauds her team for being “nimble enough to rise to the occasion.”

“It’s during moments of crisis and when you face unexpected obstacles that you get the confirmation that you’ve hired the right people to work together and face challenges,” she said.

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