Made it through last year and feeling reasonably optimistic about the future? While Australia’s recovery is still a work in progress, things seem to be moving in the right direction.

Government investment in infrastructure and the HomeBuilder Scheme have created a boom for the building industry, while ICT suppliers are being kept busy with digital transformation initiatives. Yes, some sectors like hospitality and travel are still struggling but the forthcoming half price travel program may give both a much needed boost.

By year’s end, some 300,000 people are likely to have returned to the workforce, according to Deloitte Access Economics, which has predicted the unemployment rate will fall below six per cent by 2023.

Gearing up to grow

It’s hard to take advantage of growth opportunities if your business isn’t running well. The contact centre is the customer service hub in most organisations and optimising yours will mean you’re well placed to handle any uptick in activity that comes along this year.

If you’re still using a legacy, on-premises solution, now is a good time to consider trading up to a robust, cloud-based platform that allows you to scale up easily if you take on extra agents – and send them home to work if unplanned disruption puts the office off limits.

Expanding your channels

The events of last year saw Australians’ adoption of digital technologies accelerate and their online activity increase. Online retail spending grew by almost 50 per cent in 2020 – to a whopping $45.61 billion, according to NAB’s Online Retail Sales Index: January 2021.

With more consumers habituated to transacting digitally, enabling people to connect with your business whenever and however suits them best should be a priority.

That’s why it makes sense to consider going omni-channel – adding digital channels like SMS, web chat and email to your contact centre. While once upon a time this may have entailed integrating an array of specialised systems, modern cloud platforms make it easy to add the extra functionality.

Lag behind in doing so and there’s a risk you’ll lose business to competitors whose customer service looks and feels more flexible and responsive than yours.

Being prepared for better days

With Australia’s vaccination program gathering pace, businesses can begin to focus on the future. A robust cloud contact centre will help your enterprise make the most of the opportunities our recovering economy is likely to generate.