The vast majority of small businesses are still failing to make the most of social media. Only 6% of SMEs are monitoring social media to better understand their customers, according to a survey from Sage.
About 83% of business owners think the economic conditions have made it more important to deliver a good customer experience. But of the 1,200 SMEs surveyed, only 1% believe that engaging with customers on social media by responding to comments or criticisms is a key part to delivering this, the research found.
The past two years have been characterised by a highly challenging and competitive landscape, but firms that are not listening to their customers are putting themselves at serious disadvantage, said Matthew Forrest, head of SME marketing at Sage.
"Making the time to get regular feedback from customers and check satisfaction levels is an essential mechanism for understanding what is working well and identifying areas for improvement from the customers' perspective," he said.