Business and government really do want to know what SMEs think – and they’re willing to pay for it. Here’s why it’s worth any business owners’ while to get involved in SME research panels.
Remember the last time you got to the end of your business activity statement and the Tax Office wanted to know how many hours and minutes it took you to compile? Or, what about the latest customer service questionnaire that you filled in?
As all SME business owners know, developing effective strategies involves finding out what people want, not just guessing and hoping you get it right. Government agencies, banks, insurance companies, retailers, universities and other training institutions are no different. They shape their approach to their customers, products and marketing plans based on the feedback they receive.
It’s important to them and it’s important their shareholders. For example, as part of their 2013 annual review the NAB’s Group CEO Cameron Clyne highlighted that, “…our customer satisfaction scores have gone from 68.9 per cent in March 2009 to 81.7 per cent in September 2013,reflecting the investment that has been put into improving customer relationships”.
By researching what their customers think and want, NAB are able to not only benchmark their customer service results, but they can invest in new areas to meet changing customer expectations.
But, what about when their customers are SMEs? A recent BRW article titled ‘Winning with SMEs: Why big business is thinking small’, highlighted that in a bid to satisfy SME owners changing needs, Telstra has opened 88 business centres over the past two years, mostly in suburban areas throughout Australia. The centres are mostly used by micro and small businesses to have one-on-one conversations with Telstra and to better understand what products and services suit their needs. Research obviously continues to play a role in Telstra’s decision making.
Earlier this year Stable Research and McNair Ingenuity conducted a survey for the SME Association of Australia (SMEA). 648 SME business owners and managers responded to the survey across 75 different industries. While a large portion of the survey focused on general business conditions a number of questions related to SME experiences with banks, insurance companies, telcos and superannuation.
While 31 per cent of survey respondents felt that their telcos support and contact facilities were excellent/good, 28 per cent felt they were poor/very poor. 14 per cent rated their telcos coverage and service as excellent and 15 per cent rated their telcos customer service as poor.
You’re invited to be the voice of business and drive change
Stable Research is regularly engaged by government bodies and companies across all sectors to find out more about SMEs, their thoughts and experiences. Business and government really do want to know what SMEs think – and they’re willing to pay for it!
If you want to help shape business and government strategies, then you can do so now by joining the Stable Research SME Panel. It’s free to join, you can make a difference by telling government bodies what you really think of them, and you’ll even be rewarded for your time. If you’d like to be a part of the Stable Research SME Panel, registering is quick and easy. You can do so now by visiting www.stableresearch.com.au/panel/small-business-panel/.
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