sme: 99% of Indian SMEs plan to offer contactless services on a permanent basis – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/sme-sector/99-of-indian-smes-plan-to-offer-contactless-services-on-a-permanent-basis/articleshow/86199664.cmsSynopsis

The report stated that businesses which were partially digital before the pandemic moved their operations completely online last year.

BANGALORE: With Covid-19 pandemic fueling the digital transformation for businesses, 99% of Indian SMBs plan to offer contactless services permanently, leading with secure digital payments (78%), mobile order (68%) and digital customer service (62%), says the latest Salesforce research.

According to the Small and Medium Business Trends report based on a survey conducted by The Harris Poll, the SME sector is looking for investments in technology to help their businesses survive.

The report stated that businesses which were partially digital before the pandemic moved their operations completely online last year. 82% of them feel that this shift will benefit their business in the long run. 60% maintain that their business could not have survived the pandemic using a decade old technology and ideas.

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The report which was an analysis of responses from 2,500 SMEs concluded that more than half of the companies accelerated investments in sales and customer service technology over the past year. These businesses foresee long-term changes from the pandemic. Many SMEs were forced to relook at their strategies in order to keep their businesses afloat, which in turn made their operations more efficient.

The other key takeaways from the report include the mention of the growing trend that SMEs are now focusing on meeting customer expectations by providing employees with transparent communications and flexibility. Since the pandemic began 59% of the companies have expanded ways in which customers can reach out them and 48% have prioritised deepening relationships over one-time transactions.

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As most businesses struggled to maintain revenue streams through the pandemic shutdowns, governments and local communities stepped up to help. 62% say financial support from their community has been vital to their business’ survival over the past year.

The survey conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Salesforce between 21 June 2021 and 12 July 2021 among SMBs in North America, South America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region took response from businesses with 2-200 employees and annual revenue of less than $1 billion.

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