Consumer Tech Expectations High for SMBs

by Kim Mays

Customer expectations do not always match what the small to midsize businesses are providing.

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Top Issues Affecting SMB Employees Today

As a company that provides online tools for small to midsize businesses (SMBs), GoDaddy had a curiosity about what consumers expected of these businesses technology-wise and also how SMBs used current technologies to respond to customers. The results of two GoDaddy surveys provide an eye-opening picture about the gap between tech-savvy consumers and the often behind-the-times SMBs they frequent.

According to the consumer-related study, customers prefer that the businesses they shop have a decent online presence and can respond quickly and efficiently to emailed requests. More than half (65 percent) of surveyed users would choose to shop with an SMB that has its own domain-based email address and modern website. Those shoppers also expect a fairly quick response to questions sent via email—53 percent think four hours is sufficient time, while 25 percent would like a reply in an hour.

Sadly, customer expectations do not always match what SMBs are providing. Of the SMB owners surveyed, 61 percent said their email address does not reflect their own domain name. Another 40 percent of those owners did not feel qualified to manage IT and tech tools in relation to their businesses. However, 78 percent of the 600 SMB owners do use productivity software and feel that business is going well.

Other surprising results of the survey included that 79 percent do not understand how software is delivered via the cloud. However, SMBs do value technology—72 percent felt that anytime access to email, documents and calendars would be preferred over having an assistant.

In an interview with SmallBizTrends, Steven Aldrich, senior vice president for GoDaddy, said that previous studies of SMBs have shown that a lot of small businesses (50 percent) still track their business progress via spreadsheets and a pencil and paper. According to Aldrich:

In the survey, this time a huge percentage of these small business owners, 40%, are taking 6 or more hours and many of them actually said it was taking days to just organize the information for their taxes. One of the things we know that means is the business owners are either not spending time with their customers, not spending time with their family, or not sleeping. None of those three things are good.

GoDaddy now provides online bookkeeping and 365 Office to SMBs to help them better utilize their time via technology. The company also provides business cloud storage for collaboration and anytime access needs.

Originally published on IT Business Edge.
This article was originally published on Thursday Apr 24th 2014
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