B2B News for October 19, 2021: The Small Business Week Edition

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Today is day three of Small Business Week. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has been planning the event and observing it with networking events and seminars since 1979.

This year’s virtual events calendar can be found here: https://www.bdc.ca/en/small-business-week/bdc-hosted-events

Other observances and opinions on what it is like to be a small business owner/operator can be found on the socials by following the hashtag #bdcsmw.

Some of those shared experiences are going to be full of stress and worry. According to new research released by Intuit QuickBooks Canada 3 in 5 Canadian small businesses are experiencing up to $50,000 in late payments. As a result, many owners are cutting back on resources and supplies or laying off employees. The results come from a recent “pulse-check survey” of 583 small business owners across the product and service industries in Canada.

A snap shot of the results include: 

  • Nearly 1 in 5 (17%) Canadian small businesses experienced decreased revenues of more than 20% during the pandemic.
  • Over half (61%) of Canadian small businesses are experiencing up to $50,000 in outstanding payments today 
  • Late payments have a domino effect on small businesses: Nearly 2 in 5 (37%) Canadian small business owners have had to scale back on resources and supplies because of late payments
  • 1 in 5 (20%) of Canadian small business owners have had to lay off employees because of late payments 

Press release: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/invoicing/how-to-reduce-the-impact-of-late-payments-on-small-business-owners/

One area where no business should be cutting back is on customer service. More than half (54%) of consumers want a company to solve their issues the first time they speak, but only one-third of businesses prioritize first-contact resolution. That’s according to a new report from Genesys, a cloud provider of customer experience orchestration.  Their State of Customer Experience report examines consumer preferences and how businesses are approaching customer experience (CX).

Customer experience is seen as a main driver of consumer trust and loyalty. It has become a board-level priority for more than half (58%) of companies surveyed. 70% of consumers believe companies are only as good as its customer service.

“Businesses are missing the mark when it comes to fully understanding what it takes to meet customer expectations, especially of first-contact resolution,” said Ginger Conlon, Customer Experience Advocate at Genesys. “We’re in a reality where consumers expect a company to know who they are and engage with the best agent that’s equipped to meet their needs. Moving beyond efficiency and focusing on delivering the right data and orchestrating the next-best action in the ideal moment and channel are paths to success.”

Findings from the report include: 

  • Voice remains the most-used channel (68%), but digital channels are surging
  • More than a quarter (27%) of millennials and Generation Z consumers said they only buy from ethical and sustainable brands

More information: https://www.genesys.com/blog/post/customer-experience-defines-brand-success-for-consumers-today

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Kate Baggott

Kate Baggott is a former Managing Editor of B2BNN. Her technology and business journalism has appeared in the Technology Review, the Globe and Mail, Canada Computes, the Vancouver Sun and the Bay Street Bull. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories. Find links to recent articles by following her on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-baggott-9a0306/