Author Ross Farrelly, Director, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, IBM A/NZ
You can feel it in the air. Summer’s on its way and there’s a spring in our step. In October, business confidence in NSW leapt by 42pts in September, while Victoria climbed by 16pts.[i] But it’s not just the change of season that is making Australians feel so optimistic. We are also finally emerging from various Covid lockdowns which started back in March 2020 and have been intermittent on various states since then.
The post-lockdown economic impact on the Australian economy is forecast to be significant. It’s been estimated that Aussies have squirreled away a $230 billion extra savings during the lockdowns[ii]. All that foregone spending we previously made pre-Covid (no – can be construed as prejudiced/bigoted) soon add up. Pent up demand for travel, accommodation, experiences and dining is expected to be high.
Hospitality powerhouse Merivale recently stated that usually they’d be recruiting for the peak summer period, but this year they are seeking more than double the number of staff than they would have pre-Covid.[iii]
Countries overseas have seen a similar boom as they emerge from lockdown. Sectors leading the surge in consumer spending in the post lockdown US economy were dining, travel, vacations and sporting events.
Nonetheless, just as Covid presenting many challenges to companies, the post lockdown surge in business activity will also mean that companies will need to adapt quickly to new conditions.
To take advantage of the new condition, companies will need to meet a number of challenges such as:
- Re-hiring and inducting new staff
- Retraining staff
- Addressing customer enquiries about new trading conditions such as changed check in procedures when travelling.
- Responding to customer enquiries about refunds, credits and postponed activities which may have carried over during lockdowns
To maximise the benefit derived from this post lockdown boom, companies need to meet these challenges in as cost effective manner as possible.
When Covid first hit, IBM assisted companies across the globe to meet the challenges of covid. Organisations such as La Trobe university turned to IBM to help them manage a flood of student enquiries when the virus affected their operations.
In the same way, IBM technologies can assist your company takes advantage of the new opportunities presented in the post lock down economy in a cost effective manner.
Watson Assistant, IBM’s world leading virtual agent, can help you deal with both customer enquiries and new hire FAQs as you ramp up in 2021 / 22.
We are currently offering eligible companies access to our Watson Assistant Jumpstart program.
Watson Assistant Jumpstart offers free access to both services and software to implement Watson Assistant in your organisation. Outcomes include:
- Production-ready MVP in 4 weeks
- Proof that AI can provide value
- Minimal disruption to current initiatives
Value based upon industry-proven metrics including; deflecting calls, reducing direct labour, improving NPS.
Contact me at email@example.com or 0433449800 to learn more about Watson Assistant Jumpstart