vCita Survey Reveals 67 Percent of Small Businesses Reported an Increase in New Clientele Through Their Website Versus 34 Percent that Lack any Online Engagement Tools
SEATTLE – February 4, 2015 – New research tracking the engagement habits of small businesses revealed that online client engagement is the lifeblood of this business community. According to the data, sponsored by vCita, a company that works with and advises these businesses around their online client engagement, 67 percent of small businesses leveraging online engagement tools, such as online scheduling, payments and document sharing, reported an increase in obtaining new clientele directly through their website – versus only 34 percent from businesses that did not have these tools integrated into their website. The research surveyed nearly 200 North American entrepreneurs, marketers, small business owners and technology decision makers from a wide range of industries, with 75 percent of respondents representing small businesses with five or fewer employees.
According to the survey, nearly 40 percent of small businesses believe the volume of new clients they get online ‘needs improvement,’ therefore the need for more engagement opportunities is seen as critical. In addition to expanding the volume of new customers, online engagement tools enable small businesses to communicate and service clients more frequently, with respondents citing a 10 percent increase in daily interactions with customers and contact with them at least once per week via their website.
These technologies save businesses time and money on office tasks as well. In fact, half of the tech laggards (respondents not using any form of client engagement technology) said they are less likely to automate backend office tasks such as reminders, email, appointment booking, billing and payments. However, when asked which tasks they would automate if given the opportunity, the top three included scheduling confirmations and reminders, follow up emails and appointment booking.
Another area of opportunity for small businesses is mobile. Less than half (45 percent) of the respondents are leveraging their mobile devices to manage daily client interactions and related day-to-day backend tasks. Of those mobile users, they only utilize it to manage less than ten percent of their daily activities. With its rapid adoption amongst today’s millennial-influenced audience and a ubiquity that is unmatched, mobile is a key channel that can provide small businesses a competitive edge without requiring them to be at a desk or to be in front of a computer screen to handle client engagement activities. Additionally, with nearly 6 billion mobile devices worldwide it is a preferred channel that today’s consumer is beginning to prioritize when interacting with a business. This makes implementing mobile friendly websites a top task all small businesses should be focused on in 2015.
“Today, small businesses need every advantage they can get to stay relevant and compete for business against their larger counterparts, and having good client communication and retention is a huge aspect of accomplishing this task,” said Itzik Levy, founder and chief executive officer of vCita. “With a successful online client engagement strategy, small businesses can ensure they drive new and repeat business and easily streamline those interactions and eliminate hours of administrative work.”
For more information about small business client engagement and web engagement strategies, as well as other primary research and case studies by vCita, visit: http://blog.vcita.com/2015/02/client-engagement-research-vcita3.html.
vCita (www.vcita.com) is leader in web engagement software for small business. The vCita LiveSite platform redefines small business by driving more opportunities from the web, mobile, email and social. Businesses can extend their brand, drive more clients to engage and deliver amazing service. LiveSite is used as an online gateway to over 100,000 small businesses globally, offering messaging, online scheduling, payments, invoicing, file sharing and self-service client portal anytime, on any device. vCita increases the effectiveness of any web presence, strengthens customer relationships and provides a personalized experience clients have come to expect. Visit vCita at www.vcita.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 855.824.8244.
Cherie Wentz Blehm