The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a dramatic evolution in the ways that smaller businesses interact with their customers.
In fact, 92 percent of all small business personnel surveyed in a new study from Moxtra say their organizations have adopted new technologies during the pandemic.
Moxtra surveyed 1,500 small business personnel and 1,500 small business customers across three key sectors: financial services, legal and real estate – all industries that need to carefully manage secure client communications.
It finds there has been a 30 percent increase in consumers who say digital capabilities are a primary requirement when searching for a small service provider. In addition, 66 percent of respondents say the pandemic has made them more likely to use small businesses in the future.
It’s now the case that 84 percent of small business customers say they would consider seeking an alternative provider if digital capabilities were lacking. However, 63 percent of overall respondents say that the number of digital tools and technologies their company uses makes some tasks more complex.
“This year, businesses learned that digital resilience was critical to surviving the pandemic — however, digital resilience is also critical to surviving in today’s digital age, period,” says Leena Iyar, chief brand officer for Moxtra. “However, the findings of this report indicate that consumers are demanding that businesses provide a simpler, more streamlined and more effective digital experience, or else they’ll move on to a competitor who will.”
Among other findings 89 percent of small business customers agree that it’s important to be able to reach out digitally to a small business instead of scheduling an appointment or phone call. While only 40 percent of consumers say digital capabilities were a primary requirement when searching for a small-sized service provider before COVID-19, now 52 percent say digital capabilities are a primary requirement.
“Small businesses are making headway with new technology. But just like the consumers they engage with, these businesses are also struggling to streamline interactions with the prevalence of disparate, disconnected technologies,” adds Iyar. “By leveraging a high-touch, comprehensive portal, businesses will be able to provide holistic virtual experiences that mirror customers’ natural behaviour.”