2019 was a big year for Australia financially. Early in the year the final report for the banking Royal Commission was delivered, with the effects felt most sharply in the economy through significantly restricted lending by Australia’s major banks. Consequently, this led to rapid growth in the non-bank lending sector, where there are far less regulations. We also saw the lowest cash rates in Australian history, as the RBA attempted to promote spending by slashing rates from 1.5% – a number that was already considered quite low – to 0.75%.
So much happened in the financial sector over the past 12 months that it is easy for many businesses to head into the new year complacent about what is to come. It feels like so much has already happened, what else could possibly come along?
But now is not the time for complacency, now is the time for growth. We all know growth is important, both personally and professionally. From a business perspective growth is not only a sign of a company’s success, it is also the to key long-term survival. In order to be competitive and stay relevant, a company needs to grow.
Below are four growth trends that you might not have previously considered relevant to your business. Read on to learn more about these trends and help your business grow in 2020 and beyond.
1. Increased personalisation of customer service
Through personalisation, the last decade saw customers go from “Ah, they know my name!” to “How do they know I bought that!?”.
No matter the industry, modern day customers gravitate towards businesses which reduce informational ‘noise’ and instead provide them with a personalised service. This means that most businesses this decade are going to have to increase their customer service game to provide existing and prospective clients with a truly bespoke experience.
One way to achieve this is through tailored marketing correspondence and unique suggestions. This could be in the form of one-to-one offers, only available to an individual customer or a communication recommending new products or services similar to those the customer has previously purchased or engaged with. While some may be unsettled by this level of familiarity, when done right, personalisation of this nature is an effective way to find new customers, as well as retain existing ones.
Remember, clients like to be treated as individuals and want a personal experience, so think about what your business could do better to personalise your customer experience in 2020.
2. Employee happiness as a key performance indicator
Few things produce a greater return on investment than the low-cost act of recognising your employees. Letting your employees know that they matter is important. It’s paramount for staff members to feel like they’re part of a team, doing a worthwhile job and contributing to the success of the company, and with good reason, employee happiness correlates directly with productivity.
The casual act of praise can significantly increase your employees’ happiness, and while you may not have the budget for a program like Google’s free snacks, colourful open workspaces and recreational facilities, it is worth considering what employee perks you can offer in 2020 to maintain high workplace morale.
3. The increase of artificial intelligence
Possibly one of the biggest changes set to occur this decade is the expected increase in machines taking over tasks. From window cleaning to inventory management and from administrative tasks like data entry to sales automation via chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI) can help to streamline many daily processes. While AI was a major stepping-stone for many businesses in 2019, it looks likely to go mainstream this year and into the coming years. This essentially means that anyone with a transaction-based job or business will likely be having a forced career change before the end of the decade. The big question worth asking is: how will your business adopt it?
4. Voice search optimisation
Smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home device became increasingly popular in 2019, with sales not looking to slow down any time soon. With talking being the most natural way of communicating and voice searches being easier to perform compared to typing, it makes sense that the volume of voice searches is expected to increase hugely in 2020 and beyond. Your organisation might therefore want to think about optimising its online presence for voice searches in 2020.