New Research Indicates Online Engagement is Key to Small Business Success

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New Research Indicates Online Engagement is Key to Small Business Success

Recently nearly 200 North American entrepreneurs, marketers, small business owners and technology decision makers from a wide range of industries were surveyed. Seventy-five percent of the respondents represented small businesses with five or few employees.

Nearly 40% of small businesses believe the volume of new clients they get online 'needs improvement,' making online client engagement even more paramount to the businesses success. Online engagement tools such as online scheduling, online payments and document sharing can significantly increase client engagement.

One of the most important takeaways included 67% of small businesses leveraging online engagement technologies reported an increase in new clients directly through their website versus only 34% from businesses that did not have these online tools. Not only did small businesses increase clients, their daily interaction with customers increase 10% and the business was more likely to engagement with the client on a weekly basis.

Of those not currently suing any form of client engagement technology, 50% are less likely to automate back end office tasks such as reminders, email, appointment booking, billing and payments. This creates a bigger burden on businesses to perform these tasks manually, which can consume precious time from other key business activities. When asked which tasks small businesses would automate to save time, the top three included booking appointments, scheduling confirmations and reminders and follow up emails. Billing and Payments followed.

Respondents also indicated that less than half or 45% are using mobile. Those that are using mobile rely on it to manage less than 10% of their daily activities.

With the rapid adoption of mobile devices, the use of mobile and a mobile-ready website is no longer an option. By offering mobile, the consumer can choose the SMB immediately, at the point of engagement. SMBs an offer a mobile app or mobile portal for the clients to view transactions, messages or request a service. Or the business can hope that the user will jot down their phone number and call them later, and not hop to the next competitor.

These responses indicate that SMBs are slow to understand that this disconnect with mobile will quickly become a vast abyss. Consumers routinely access bank accounts, review homes for sale or buy household items through mobile sites. SMBs will need to offer the same mobile experience in order to stay in business. Small businesses that do not accommodate the growing mobile market will surely be left behind.

An easy way to bridge the gap in web and mobile engagement is for small businesses to deploy a  LiveSite. LiveSite can quickly increase client engagement by 200% to 300% with little to no effort on the part of the business. Integrating a LiveSite is easy, cost-effective and takes minutes. With a LiveSite, clients can communicate, share documents, schedule appointments, and pay for services anytime, on any device. LiveSite optimizes websites, mobile, social and even email, providing clients of small businesses a personalized, self-service experience that increases retention and customer satisfaction.

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