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SMBs: Do You Speak My Language?

While advertising and media remain important, the new frontier is the adoption and use of technology by SMBs to deliver better customer experiences and drive more favorable business economics. LSA has been at the forefront of doing this with the launch of the Tech Adoption Index. The latest Wave and discussion of key SMB metrics will be presented on Day 2 of the Engage conference, June 3 – 4 in Washington, D.C.

Back to the headline: what language do you speak? I am referring to how SMBs communicate with their customers. According to a study by Zipwhip, 61% of small businesses do not yet use text as a communication tool. Yet, two-thirds of consumers would prefer to text a business about appointments or scheduling issues. So there’s clearly a disconnect. And its highly likely that this gulf will widen as consumers accelerate their use of mobile devices – no end in sight.

According to the Zipwhip study, consumers are:

  • Sending 25% more text messages than email everyday (this is likely to only increase)
  • 74% of consumers report having zero unread text messages (I have thousands of unread emails; you probably do too)
  • 74% of consumers respond to a text message from a business within one hour (immediacy is vital today)

If business owners neglect to get a customer’s mobile phone number then they can hardly use messaging platforms to engage. So it’s imperative that business owners train their staff and associates to gather the necessary customer information (i.e., name, mobile phone and email) and store it in a database — sorry 3M but using a “post-it” is no longer going to cut it.

If you sell SaaS solutions to SMBs, make sure you give them a small but important piece of advice: collect and store your customer’s information. Enough of the paper and pencil, the post-it, the rolodex; if SMBs plan to compete and earn the trust of the best customers in the marketplace, they better start behaving like their running 21st century business.

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