Think you know your customers?

Or are they invisible to you?

There are many things small businesses need to get right in order to succeed. And customer retention is high on the list.

Customer retention is one of a number of issues analysed in a new report commissioned by Salesforce Australia, SMBs in the Digital Race for the Customer which looked at how high performing businesses are succeeding in a rapidly changing business landscape.

The report showed around 47% of small and medium business (SMBs) ranked customer retention as their top priority. Despite this, a surprising proportion of small businesses remain uninformed about even the most basic customer information.

Analysis of the survey of over 500 SMB leaders reveals that almost half (48%) of those with no digital tools or online transactions don’t know what proportion of their sales are to new or existing customers – leaving them in the dark when it comes to successful customer retention.

This lack of knowledge also impacts on the customer experience, slowing responses to customer enquiries and complaints.

SMBs can combat these issues and start to build more personalised relationships with their customers by capturing customer data through digital tools.

Digitally savvy SMBs hold considerable advantage

SMB adopters of these digital technologies are gaining real competitive advantage. Obtaining quality customer insights can drive marketing strategy, allowing them to effectively engage with new, as well as existing customers, for additional sales.

Indeed, economic analysis reveals that SMBs that invest more in online tools generally enjoy higher revenue growth. It’s estimated that every 1% increase in online tool spending leads to an approximately 2.9 percentage point increase in annual revenue growth, or $100,000 extra revenue a year for the average SMB.

SMBs that invest appropriately in online tools can also analyse customer data for early indications of emerging trends, predict customers’ future needs and deliver a superior customer experience.

As more SMBs take advantage of digital strategies such as customer loyalty schemes and online customer engagement – and more are planning on using digital channels over the next five years– those that don’t risk being left behind.

Discover the other trends and edge out the competition in the ‘digital race’ for the customer.