The importance of customer engagement to small businesses has grown as the economy continues to struggle to recover and, according to new survey data from Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT), small business owners are evaluating their technology tools through an engagement lens. Sixty percent of respondents said online survey tools were the most effective at engaging existing customers, followed closely by digital loyalty/frequent shopper tracking systems (56 percent), with customer relationship management systems (46 percent), email marketing (45 percent), and contact management tools (38 percent ) rounding out the top five responses.
“Eighty-two percent of small business owners have said their main source of new business is referrals, so it’s no surprise they’re taking a hard look at technologies that boost social visibility and feed the referral engine,” said Joel Hughes, senior vice president, strategy and corporate development, Constant Contact. “To succeed, small business owners have the difficult task of keeping pace with a rapidly evolving technology landscape. When you consider that they now see digital loyalty, which was not even on the horizon a few years ago, as the second most effective way to engage customers, I think they’re up to the challenge.”
The Art of Attraction
Another newcomer to the scene is the daily deal, which has already made a big impression on small business. Though sometimes viewed as controversial, when small business owners were asked which technology tools they see as most effective in attracting new customers:
- 53 percent said daily deals.
- 51 percent said Internet ads.
- 38 percent said web listing sites.
- 37 percent said social media ads.
- 29 percent said online coupons.
- 77 percent said websites.
- 69 percent said blogs.
- 60 percent said social media.
- 59 percent said video hosting sites, like YouTube.
- 52 percent said event management tools.
- 50 percent said email marketing.