09 26 2013

09 26 2013

Survey Finds Majority of Small Businesses Underestimate the Importance of Web Relationships

Most small business owners understand the importance of client relationships. Customers are the backbone of the economy and any business model – without customers, there would simply be no business. That’s why so many entrepreneurs spend significant amounts of time focusing on building strong in-person relationships with customers. A recent study has found, however, that many businesses are ignoring the increasingly important nature of web relationships.

According to a Web.com Group study, small businesses that ignore the importance of web-based client interactions are missing out on customer engagement opportunities as well as opportunities to bring in higher revenues. The study, which surveyed 3,000 consumers and small business decision-makers across the U.S., found consumers strongly prefer to work with small businesses they have a personal connection with. According to the study, personal involvement, connection and engagement are the most important factors consumers cited as to why they would choose a small business over a large corporation.

Consumers respond to strong web presence

More than 80 percent of consumers said it’s important that small businesses are “easy to do business with,” as well as “customer-focused,” “personal, intimate, human” and “there when you need them most.” Customers expect these personal relationships to be forged online as well as in stores – 83 percent of consumers surveyed said that having a website and social media presence is important to them.

The study showed the true importance of going online for small businesses, as the survey found small businesses that meet customer expectations for an online presence have a large opportunity to increase sales, customer loyalty and engagement. According to the report, 58 percent of consumers would be influenced to further interact with a small business that meets online expectations. Of those 58 percent, around half said they would seriously consider a small business over a larger company and would be inclined to place these small businesses on their list of favorite companies. Furthermore, 60 percent of those same consumers said they would be likely to find out more about a business by browsing through a company website, and would also recommend a tech-savvy business to family and friends.

Some entrepreneurs struggle with technology, however, making it easy for them to fall short of customer expectations. The study found there is a 33 percent gap between how important customers said web interaction is and the service small business owners are actually receiving.

Website design, graphics, up-to-date computers and other tech services can be expensive, which is another reason why small business owners find it hard to prioritize online relationships with customers.

If a small business owner needs top-of-the-line technology or equipment, they can come to National Funding for assistance. National Funding can help with equipment financing and leasing, as well as with getting a small business loan to promote company operations online.

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The Merchant and Owner(s)/Officer(s) identified in the application (individually, an “Applicant”) each represents, acknowledges and agrees that (1) all information and documents provided to National Funding, Inc. (“NF”) including credit card processor statements are true, accurate and complete, (2) Applicant will immediately notify NF of any change in such information or financial condition, (3) Applicant authorizes NF to disclose all information and documents that NF may obtain including credit reports to other persons or entities (collectively, “Assignees”) that may be involved with or acquire commercial loans having daily repayment features and/or Merchant Cash Advance transactions, including without limitation the application therefor (collectively, “Transactions”) and each Assignee is authorized to use such information and documents, and share such information and documents with other Assignees, in connection with potential Transactions, (4) each Assignee will rely upon the accuracy and completeness of such information and documents, (5) NF, Assignees, and each of their representatives, successors, assigns and designees (collectively, “Recipients”) are authorized to request and receive any investigative reports, credit reports, statements from creditors or financial institutions, verification of information, or any other information that a Recipient deems necessary, (6) Applicant waives and releases any claims against Recipients and any information-providers arising from any act or omission relating to the requesting, receiving or release of information, and (7) each Owner/Officer represents that he or she is authorized to sign this form on behalf of Merchant.(8) I consent to receive direct mail, faxes, and e-mails sent by National Funding and its affiliates for the purposes of transmitting account updates, requests for information and notices, and (9) this request is for business and not for consumer purposes.

 

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