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Consumers Report Small Businesses Excel at Customer Experience, New 8×8 Research Finds

8×8’s consumer survey ahead of Small Business Week finds that small businesses consistently outpace larger competitors in customer experience

8×8, Inc., a leading cloud provider of voice, video, chat and contact center solutions for one million users worldwide, announced the findings of its latest survey which explores the relationship between consumers and small businesses and the impact on customer experiences. Polling 1,000 consumers in the United States ages 18 and above, the survey found small businesses are still competitive in the digital economy, with over half (53 percent) reporting they patron small businesses at least several times a month, if not more. The findings were released to time with the United States National Small Business Week, May 5-11, 2019.

In survey of 1,000 US consumers sponsored by @8×8, small businesses outpace larger competitors in customer experience. #SmallBusinessWeek

Key findings of the survey include:

  • Small businesses are more likely to deliver positive customer experiences than their larger counterparts. When compared, 71 percent of consumers said they have a better experience when engaging with a small business versus large organizations. Furthermore, 80 percent would rate their experiences with small businesses overall as “good” or “very good.” Small businesses are also more likely to deliver on personalization, with only 30 percent of consumers polled stating they haven’t received the responsiveness or personalization they desire.
  • Experience continues to outweigh cost as a key differentiator. Consumers put a high premium on customer service, with 86 percent stating they’re willing to pay more for better experiences. These experiences are also more likely to have long-term benefits for small businesses, with 57 percent of consumers stating they’re more likely to leave a favorable review for a small business after a positive experience, compared to a larger brand.
  • Small businesses are held to a different standard than large brands. While consumers do think a personalized experience is important (82 percent), personalization is not necessarily expected. Nearly 60 percent of consumers polled don’t expect small businesses to know their purchase history.
  • Digital natives value customer experience, but it isn’t a deal-breaker. Nearly all millennials surveyed (94 percent) are willing to pay more for better customer service. They are, however, also the most tolerant of poor service, with the highest number (61 percent) stating they would continue to shop at a business after a poor experience compared to other generations.

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“When it comes to customer experience, relationships are everything,” said Samuel Wilson, Senior Vice President of Small Business and eCommerce at 8×8. “The digital marketplace has equalized the playing field, so standing out hinges on creating individual customer relationships. It’s an area in which small businesses have historically thrived. The greatest opportunity for small businesses, judging by the results of our study, is turning that expectation around personalization on its head. By leveraging data and analytics, tailoring every touchpoint has never been easier – small businesses need to lean into that strength.”

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“The way we look at customer service is changing because our customers themselves are changing,” said Steve Williams, President of Archoustics West, the exclusive distributor of the LogiSon Acoustic Network sound masking system in Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Mexico and Nevada. “They’re comfortable communicating across multiple channels, so it’s mission critical that we collaborate in the channels they most prefer. That accessibility can make all the difference in ensuring we’re providing the best possible experience.”

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