New research* suggests it’s not all doom and gloom for businesses – with 85% optimistic about their future growth. Multi-country research revealed that many businesses are thriving in spite of the challenging economic climate. Despite 54% of respondents expecting the downturn to be the worst in more than two decades, 81% saw their sales grow in 2022, and 85% expect growth in 2023.
As a result, businesses are eschewing the recent trend of cutting back, and are instead going on an ‘efficiency offensive’. This strategy prioritises investing in technology and employees in tandem to improve performance and customer retention, which was identified as a key objective for this year.
Richard McGuinness , VP of Sales EMEA at ClickUp said: “Optimism is in the air thanks to better-than-expected performance for many businesses over the last couple of years. Combined with a healthy dose of realism due to ongoing uncertainty and volatility, businesses are focussing on smart, long-term investments in technology and people. Prioritising operational efficiency will be a major growth strategy for businesses in 2023 and beyond, ultimately enabling them to better serve their existing customers while improving their appeal to prospects.”
Customer retention is the key to growth
Businesses are focused on customer retention as a key strategy for growth in 2023, with 40% of respondents listing customer satisfaction and retention as the number one metric they’ll be tracking.
By providing a high-quality customer experience, businesses can improve customer loyalty and increase sales. To achieve this, businesses are looking to technology to reduce busywork, freeing up people and resources to focus on customer service.
Tech and automation will play a crucial role in driving efficiency
ClickUp’s research found that 75% of respondents are planning to increase their tech investments this year, while 50% are reprioritising projects and investments. The key priorities were identified as efficiency, automation, and scalability.
The data reveals that 61% are planning to automate and consolidate operations. By using better tools, cloud services, and AI, businesses are looking to automate routine tasks and create scalable systems, enabling greater efficiency and agility.
People also play an important part in the efficiency offensive
While there is often concern about the impact of technology and automation on jobs, nearly 40% of respondents plan to increase headcount this year, indicating that businesses are looking to invest in both technology and people to improve efficiency and productivity. In fact, respondents who said they were increasing investment in tech are less likely to reduce headcount this year and are more likely to plan on increasing headcount.
There is also a focus on retaining staff, with adopting and supporting flexible work cited as the top strategy for keeping employees on their books, according to 70% of survey respondents.