Sydney, Australia, June 24, 2020 -- The coronavirus crisis could be a blessing in disguise for some Australian job seekers as major companies close their overseas call centres and hire local workers.
New data suggests thousands of new jobs will be created with international borders expected to remain closed for an extended period.
The Customer Conversation Report from LivePerson also revealed that waiting on hold may be a thing of the past as customers and brands transition to digital messaging apps.
Since the COVID-19 lockdown began in March, there has been a near six-fold increase in Australians using platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and SMS to communicate with companies.
'Our data reveals that the COVID-19 lockdown has seen take up of messaging channels skyrocket as companies were first overwhelmed by surges in customer enquiries, and then disrupted by the closure of call centres and store fronts due health and safety concerns,' LivePerson's General Manager for the Asia Pacific region Andrew Cannington said.
"However, this shift from voice to messaging-based customer conversations has not happened overnight. It has been driven by consumer demand for things to be done differently.
'The reality is that most of us don't want to pick up the phone and wait on hold. We'd rather use SMS, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger when it suits us, like we do with family and friends.'
Major Australian telcos like Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Australia have already begun to make the shift, along with the country's big four banks.
Telstra have hired an extra 1000 call centre workers to fill the void left by overseas shutdowns in places like India and the Philippines.
Multinational IT services company Datacom is also in the process of hiring 2,000 workers to fill positions in Australian call centres.
'This period has been really tough for brands and their customer contact staff but it's resulting in innovation,' Mr Cannington said.
'Smart brands are picking up on this, and those that haven't risk being left behind. In fact, we predict that most, if not all of the companies that have pivoted to messaging in response to the pandemic will embrace it permanently.
'Brands are realising that their staff can work from home when needed, that technology can help them better do their jobs and that customers prefer engaging with them using messaging instead of a telephone call.'
About 980,000 jobs have been lost since the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
LivePerson makes life easier by transforming how people communicate with brands. Our customers use our conversational commerce solutions to orchestrate humans and AI, at scale, and create a convenient, deeply personal relationship — a conversational relationship — with their consumers.
Published: Friday, June 26, 2020
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