A new report from O2 Business has confirmed that a small business’ web presence plays a large part in the buying process for customers.
According to the study, 78% of respondents always go online to research a small business before using them. If the business doesn’t have a website, a quarter of customers will go elsewhere.
In addition, 71% expect to communicate with a business quickly and easily, while one in five expect to do this at any time of the day or night.
Once a customer chooses who to do business with, it’s down to good service to ensure they return and help businesses maintain a positive reputation — 7 out of 10 (72%) of customers will never forgive a small business if they receive bad customer service.
More than two thirds (67%) said they would share their bad experience with an average of eight other people.
Paul Lawton, General Manager of SMB at O2, said “We believe customers should be at the heart of any business…A company’s website or email address is often the first thing a customer sees and first impressions online are as important as they are face-to-face.”