30 Nov 2021, 16:38 — 6 min read
Since the start of the pandemic, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Asia have found innovative ways to be at pace with the evolving customer expectations and to drive business growth. In the face of great upheaval, the grit and resourcefulness of SMEs have been on full display.
But for almost two years since the start of the pandemic, what will be the new mandate for business transformation? And, what will be SME’s roadmap to the future of growth and success?
With 2022 on the horizon, Philippines SMEs must reflect on past learnings and continue to evolve for the future. Thus, Salesforce is excited to launch the latest fifth edition of the Small and Medium Business Trends Report to help SMEs in the Philippines get their business back to growth, reinvent and succeed in the future.
In the report launched recently in September, Salesforce has surveyed 2,500+ small business owners and leaders worldwide including Asia and the new research reveals how SMEs are meeting today’s challenges and building resilience for the future.
Here are the four key takeaways and sneak-peak from the report:
Globally, two-thirds of SME leaders say that community and government support has been important to their company’s survival during the pandemic, with 69% of SME leaders worldwide saying that it has helped their businesses survive. SME leaders have stepped up to cater to customer needs and build trust during the pandemic. Omni-channel, personalized engagements, quick and seamless customer service, and connected customer experience have built trust and loyalty when it’s most needed.
As remote working has scattered employees far and wide, keeping staff engaged and supporting their well-being over the past months has been crucial to the success of growing SMEs. Meeting employee expectations for flexible schedules, remote work, and COVID-safe workplaces has been imperative for successful SMEs.
The report reveals that SME leaders have created trusted relationships with employees by responding to their needs, asking for feedback, and allowing autonomy.
All SME leaders surveyed worldwide have moved a portion of their operations in the past year, with almost half between 51% and 100% moving it online. This will help them cater to the new digital imperative in customer service and to enable a safer remote working environment.
Many leaders are making these changes permanently, which will continue to benefit them in the long term. This is a crucial step to building resilience in SMEs. 78% of growing SMEs say their business survived the pandemic because of digitization and 51% are accelerating their investment in customer service to manage customers’ expectations and deepen customer relationships in the evolving digital landscape.
The question, What kinds of technology are growing SMEs investing in? is shown in the findings that since growing SMEs have moved the majority of their operations online, prioritizing customer service, sales, marketing, and IT operations, the types of software that they use include customer service software, email marketing software, and eCommerce software. The research also shows that even the majority of stagnant or declining SMEs are investing in these four areas.
After an extended period of uncertainty, many SMEs are finding the steps they’ve taken to survive the impact of the pandemic have made them more efficient. 95% of SME owners feel the operational shifts they’ve made over the last year will benefit their businesses going forward. Implementing digital solutions to deal with the demands of a socially distanced customer base has set SMEs up well to cope with future consumer trends. 79% of SMEs plan to make contactless services available permanently. Secure digital payments, digital customer service, and eCommerce are set to become the standard ingredients of a contactless shopping experience.
The past two years have been a rollercoaster ride for SMEs worldwide, in Asia—including the Philippines. For many, the dips have far outweighed the peaks. However, this latest research demonstrates that the reputation SMEs have for being agile in the face of change and resiliency in the face of challenge is well-deserved. As savvy SMEs prioritize solutions and relationships that fortify their businesses, they will be well equipped to weather whatever may come their way. That said, agility and innovation are necessary for long-term growth and success.
If you haven’t developed your 2022 business strategy, start the new year with a clear action plan and achieve them with high performance. You may download the complimentary report to use this knowledge in reinventing your workplace and engage with your customers for success in the 2022 and beyond.
Salesforce is a global leader in integrated customer relationship management, which gives all departments in a company – from marketing and sales to commerce and service – a single, shared view of every user, allowing them to deliver the personalized experiences that their customers expect in the digital age. Salesforce helps small and fast growing businesses around Southeast Asia find more customers, win their business, and keep them happy so you can scale and succeed.
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