Small Business Owners Turn to Productivity Software to Help Meet Skyrocketing Customer Expectations

customers expect a response within four hours of sending an email; survey examines how small businesses are staying competitive

GoDaddy April 24, 2014

GoDaddy, the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses, has announced the results of two surveys – one targeting small-business owners and another targeting their customers. The customers were asked about their expectations of SMBs, while SMBs were asked how they are using technology to handle customer demand. The findings revealed rising customer expectations are creating an increasingly competitive and fast-paced landscape for SMB owners and “solopreneurs.” Many of these SMB owners aren’t using current technology tools to help deliver a great customer experience.

The customer survey of 150 individuals examined customer expectations of SMBs. Ninety-four percent of customers report making an extra effort to shop at small and local businesses. Customers are especially selective about a company’s online presence, response time and overall professionalism. According to the results, consumers are nine times more likely to choose a business that uses a domain-based email address, with more than half of them (65 percent) noting the importance of a modern website for first impressions. Fifty three percent expect a response from a business within four hours of sending an email, with 25 percent of respondents expecting a response within one hour.

This expectation of quick, professional online communication demands that SMB owners rapidly adapt to available technologies and solutions or run the risk of losing customers to larger, better resourced, faster competitors. The second survey of 600 SMB owners examined how “solopreneurs” are handling those increased customer expectations and with which technology solutions they are leveraging to win in an increasingly competitive landscape.

The survey revealed that many SMB owners are not yet taking advantage of the wide array of productivity tools that are available. Sixty-one percent reported using a free email that does not match their Web address. Forty percent felt they are less qualified to manage their business technology tools compared to other aspects of their business. Businesses using the appropriate tools are a different story altogether: findings reveal 78 percent of SMB owners leveraging productivity software and tools feel confident about their business and consider their business to be doing “very well.”

“In order to run successful ventures, small-business owners must keep up with client demands and look professional at all hours of the day,” said GoDaddy Vice President of Applications Steven Aldrich. “Small businesses identify technology as the part of their business they are least qualified to handle on their own. At GoDaddy, we understand SMB owners wear many hats, and we are committed to providing simple IT solutions backed by 24/7 support to help them look professional anywhere and at any time, making it easier to compete with large companies and competitors.”

Microsoft Office 365 from GoDaddy empowers small businesses and “solopreneurs” with simple setup solutions, enabling them to successfully run their small business ventures from anywhere, at any time. In addition to business-class email and shared calendars, Office 365 from GoDaddy provides small businesses with OneDrive for Business cloud storage and Office Online tools to access, edit and share documents from any device.

“Microsoft partnered with GoDaddy to deliver Office 365 to small businesses in a one-stop shop for collaboration – allowing them to benefit from the same powerful technology that is used by Fortune 500 companies around the world,” said John Case, corporate vice president of office marketing for Microsoft. “We’re thrilled that in just a few short months so many small businesses are already using Office 365 from GoDaddy, gaining access to business-class email, shared calendars, instant messaging, online conferencing and always up-to-date documents, all powered

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