As the world stepped into the 20s of this century, small- and medium-sized business (SMB) owners and managers were immersed in advancing technologies like customer relationships management (CRM). Who knew that a little virus invisible to the human eye would tear the global economy down?
The COVID-19 outbreak brought along unpredictable health and economic crisis as well as unprecedented challenges. While throwing many big companies out of business, the pandemic obviously impacted the SMB landscape deeply. Yet the SMBs didn’t give in; they evolved, with a good number of them reflecting confidence about their future meandering through uncertainty.
The recently released fourth edition of the Small and Medium Business Trends Report from Salesforce has done a remarkable job explaining how over 2,300 global SMBs are metamorphosing through the pandemic. The research covered a survey of business leaders in March and August 2020 and analyzed the findings, which are extremely intriguing.
The study shows how SMB operations have shifted over the past seven months: the convincing report can help businesses to adapt and prepare for the new normal as the present scenario continues to be ruled by a virus.
Let’s now look at the insights we got from the report:
SMBs are focusing more on customer communications than ever
As meeting customer expectations has become super more challenging, SMBs have got added work to do. They not only have to satisfy customers with their services but also take care of safety, sanitation, local health mandates, and maintain contactlessness. But it doesn’t stop there. Even after all of the aspects are taken care of, the next thing is to make the customers aware of those efforts, which is another task. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 55% of the ventures surveyed have become more cautious about their communication with the customers. Also, about half have expanded ways of letting the customers reach them.
Moreover, small- and medium-sized businesses admitted to turning to technology to pull their customers closer: over 50% responded that it boosted their customer interactions. If we look at it from a bigger perspective, this is because businesses are meeting their potential customers where they’re the most active — 63% and 61% of millennial and Gen Z consumers, respectively, confirmed their likelihood to support digitally-active small businesses.
The SMB landscape has thus witnessed a revolution: from paying attention to offering online orders and contactless delivery, to doubling down on email and social media contact options, SMBs are focusing on building customer relationships harder than ever. Many SMBs now swear by business technologies like customer relationship management (CRM) for their efficiency in delivering customer service, justifying the surge in its usage during the pandemic.
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