New survey research from omnichannel comms solutions firm Mitto explores how small and mid-sized business (SMB) leaders view customer experience within their organization and what might be holding them back from deploying CX technologies.
The survey results show SMBs understand the importance of omnichannel for positive CX and debunks the myth that only larger enterprises have the resources to deliver strong CX. In fact, the researchers found that most SMBs (59 percent) believe their CX matches up with or exceeds that of competing enterprises.
The survey revealed that most SMBs appreciate how critical CX is for a brand and almost two-thirds (58 percent) reported that ensuring a positive CX is a high or top priority for the business. When asked about the biggest drivers for a positive CX, the majority of SMBs pointed to the implementation of omnichannel messaging. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of SMB leaders said access to this technology was vital and that the coming year will demand new communication strategies.
In 2023, more than half (55 percent) of SMBs are preparing to incorporate new omnichannel technology. For the brands that are not yet planning to integrate omnichannel messaging into the business, a lack of knowledge about the technology (31 percent) or uncertainty regarding which channels to prioritize (28 percent) were disclosed to be the two most common barriers to deploying.
“SMBs know the importance of positive CX better than anyone and recognize that a brand has limited chances to create these positive experiences before they risk losing the customer completely,” said Andrea Giacomini, CEO of Mitto, in a news release. “While almost half of SMBs are incorporating omnichannel messaging across multiple channels, many are under the incorrect assumption that this technology is out of their reach due to a lack of budget or skill, when in fact, many omnichannel solutions are able to be deployed at a reasonable cost, quickly and with little training required.”
SMB compared to the enterprise
When looking deeper into how smaller brands view themselves against enterprises, SMBs showcased a higher level of customer satisfaction which was one of the most significant indicators of a positive CX (with 32 percent reported). For SMBs who believe their CX was less effective than an enterprise competitor, more than one-third said the biggest hurdle was less budget available, while 30 percent attributed the gap to a lack of access to the same technology that enterprises have.
Six in ten (60 percent) SMBs understand that CX directly affects a brand’s level of customer loyalty, which could ultimately impact the business’ bottom line. More than one-third of SMBs said its customers would either return a product or cancel a service if a negative situation was experienced. While a negative CX could lead to a loss of customers, more than half of SMB brands recognize that they may only have two chances to create a positive experience before they lose a customer, whereas 31 percent believe they only have a single instance.
Additional key findings:
- Only 23 percent of SMBs have more than half of their sales coming in digitally.
- Social media remains a top communication opportunity for SMBs with 40 percent reporting that these channels are where most customer engagement takes place.
- Almost one-quarter of SMBs reported their customers would never do business with the brand again if they had a negative CX.
These findings are based on a Pollfish survey of 1,000 Americans who work for businesses with less than 100 employees. The survey ran in October 2022.