Online presence critical for customer service - Business Works
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Online presence critical for customer service

Paul Lawton, General Manager of SMB, O2 New research shows that a whopping seven out of ten consumers (72%) will never forgive a small business if they receive poor customer service and more than two thirds (67%) will also share their bad experience with an average of eight friends and family. This new research from O2 Business highlights the need for small businesses to invest in new technology to grow and thrive.

  • Seven out of ten customers never forgive a small business if they experience bad service
  • Over half of consumers believe all businesses, no matter what size, should have a website
  • Four in five now go online to research a small business before they use them
excellent communication is most important

The research reveals that excellent communication is most important to small business customers, with seven out of ten (71%) saying they expect to be able to contact a business quickly and easily. One in five customers even expect to have the ability to communicate with a business for instance sending an email at any time, day or night.

As consumers become more digitally savvy, an increasing number are also choosing businesses based on their presence and reputation online. Nearly two thirds (63%) considered small businesses that have a web and social media presence as progressive and up-to-date and nearly half (46%) felt they were also customer focused. Nearly four in five (78%) said they automatically go online to research a small business before they use them and, perhaps even more alarming for small business owners who dont have a website, a quarter of consumers said they simply wont use them.

key requirements: customer service, the ability to respond and flexibility

"We believe customers should be at the heart of any business and this includes our own organisation," said Paul Lawton, General Manager of SMB at O2. "As the research shows, customer service and the ability to respond and be flexible is a key requirement for small businesses. The sort of packages we offer are perfect for this, as small businesses need to be increasingly flexible and agile to meet the needs of their customers and connect with them on any device even if theyre on the move."

"Technology not only helps a business develop strong customer relationships, but also build a credible reputation online. As our research shows, a companys website or e-mail address is often the first thing a customer sees and first impressions online are as important as they are face-to-face."

The small businesses that consumers feel are most poorly served by technology are independent local shops, such as grocers, butchers or clothes shops (39%). These are followed by tradesman, builders and plumbers (25%), restaurants and take-aways (24%) and a surprising 23% of computing and web design companies. At the other end of the spectrum, people see those offering business or wedding services, catering, loans and financial services as the most technologically savvy.


For more information, please visit the O2 YouTube site: www.youtube.com/user/o2ukbusiness



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