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Smile Your Way to Business Success

|Feb 15|magazine7 min read

In the international marketplace, a smile and a friendly greeting might be the simple gestures that help boost your business. And according to financial group BDO’s just-released Service 2020 report, 30 per cent of Australian businesses need to work on just that.

Thirty per cent represents the number of firms who regard their customer service as either ‘average’ or ‘below average’ in Service 2020: Megatrends for the decade ahead, which surveyed 479 global business leaders.

“Average customer service is simply not going to cut it in a global marketplace,” said BDO Executive Director Cameron MacMillan in a media release. “Increased global competition will mean that having the right products at the right price is no longer a guarantee of success. Companies need to work hard to develop service levels that will become a differentiator for them in their industry.”

In Australia, being remote and less populous will make it more challenging to truly stand out in the global marketplace. Job retention for Australian citizens is also a concern for the region as more companies move their operations overseas.

Click here to read the February issue of Business Review Australia

“The challenge for businesses in Australia will be to secure - and retain - the right people, develop a clear strategy for emerging markets and understand the role of outsourcing to deliver more specific services,” Mr MacMillan said. “While outsourcing to countries like India and China to lower wage costs might be a tempting strategy, companies may need to consider the impact on their customers and their perceptions that Australian jobs are being lost to overseas countries.”

The report focuses on these eight megatrends, which will be released separately over the coming months:

  1. Global competition will drive up service standards;
  2. Companies must maintain service standards in the face of ‘the need for speed’;
  3. Firms must learn to use the increased transparency brought by social media to their advantage;
  4. Companies must use new sources and types of data to rethink the way they track and personalise their service;
  5. Good employees will remain fundamental to good service but with technology as an enabler;
  6. More firms will outsource aspects of customer service to new kinds of specialists;
  7. The rise of the mass affluent and other customer segments will force companies to find new product or service niches; and
  8. Customer expectations, including the purpose of the store, are evolving with new technology.

“The Service 2020 report explores how successful organisations have built – and sustained – excellent client service, and outlines eight predictions on how customer service will change in the coming decade,” saidBDO Australia National Chairman Tony Schiffmann.

The first report may be viewed here.