SME research panels – helping to shape business and government strategies
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 SMEs 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, etc. 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% in March 2009 to 81.7% in September 2013reflecting the investment that has been put into improving customer relationships’. By researching what their customers think and want they 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 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. 648 small to medium enterprise 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% of survey respondents felt that their telcos support and contact facilities were excellent/good 28% felt they were poor/very poor. 14% rated their telcos coverage and service as excellent and 15% rates their telcos customer service as poor.
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 would like to be part of the Stable Research SME panel click here.