The Biggest Challenges Facing Small Businesses

Many small and medium sized businesses are facing the same challenges, from hospitality to car dealerships and even recruitment agencies. The challenge they face is having enough staff in the right places at the right time to meet customer expectations.

Customer experience is key for repeat business and growth, so missing in-bound calls and not being responsive in returning them, is missed business opportunity altogether.

Despite the engagement choices that customers now have, voice still reigns supreme as the preferred method of engagement, and the key route to revenue for SMB companies.

With a whopping 85% of small business revenue coming via phone, it’s vital that business managers understand what can be done to increase productivity through voice.

The importance of call insights certainly comes in to play. If businesses could interpret meaningful trends from call information, such as whether they have enough staff covering inbound calls, at the right time of day, and on the right day itself, it would ensure that calls are handled effectively, maximizing brand engagement, customer experience and of course revenue opportunity.

The challenges to overcome for SMBs:

Around 58% of small businesses now believe their organization will emerge stronger in the years ahead than it was before the global pandemic. However, many of these companies also know that in order to achieve their desired outcomes, they’ll need to invest in overcoming some critical challenges.

A survey conducted by Forbes into 500 small business owners throughout the US, identified a number of specific challenges and priorities companies need to address in the years ahead. Some of the most significant trends to emerge revolved around customer experience.

80% of the respondents in the Forbes survey said they were keen to invest in better customer experiences going forward. One of the reasons many customers prefer to buy from SMBs is the level of personalised support they can offer. Customers build emotional relationships with their favourite restaurants, local store owners, and service providers.

However, many businesses struggle to enhance the customer experience without clear insights into what their customers want. Without the right business intelligence, it can be difficult to determine which strategies will pay off, and which will just lead to more strain on a business’s limited budget.

Talent and workforce management:

Employee experience and customer experience undoubtedly go hand-in-hand. Happy, engaged, and empowered employees are more likely to deliver the memorable experiences that today’s customers are looking for. Around 73% of companies are planning on investing in their team, creating happier people for customers to interact with every day.

However, while 35% of companies say they want to boost employee engagement by improving work-life balance, many don’t have the insights they need to understand which strategies will effectively enhance team performance.

Efficiency and workflows

According to Forbes’ study, around 38% of business owners in the SMB landscape are looking for ways to improve internal efficiency and workflows. After all, in a small business environment, time is definitely money. The more efficient employees are at serving customers, completing tasks, and collaborating with colleagues, the more the business can grow.

To stay ahead of the curve, small businesses need to be able to keep track of where they’re missing out on business opportunities with clients. They need to be able to track employee activity in the home, office, and hybrid world, and identify meaningful patterns and trends. At the same time, they need a way to ensure they always have the right number of people, in the right place to serve customers, at the right times.


Addressing SMB Challenges with Business Insights:

Many of the biggest challenges facing smaller businesses today are exacerbated by a lack of visibility. Without the right tools and technologies in the workplace, smaller companies can’t track the meaningful business insights that would lead to positive changes in customer experience, employee engagement, and efficiency.

Unfortunately, many smaller companies believe investing in business insights means working with complicated technology and tools, or hiring ‘data analysts’ to track trends. As a result, some small businesses aren’t taking advantage of information that could help to transform their operations. However, new solutions are emerging on the market, specifically to assist SMBs.

These ‘business insights’ tools provide SMBs with an intuitive, streamlined, and stress-free way to detect potential solutions to their biggest issues. For instance, Akixi provides small companies with a dedicated way to draw guidance directly from every call they have with a customer.

With an easily accessible ecosystem, Akixi helps businesses to overcome some of their most significant challenges, and achieve crucial goals like:

– Serving more customers

A third of SMBs say serving more customers is one of their biggest goals going forward. The more customers you can serve, the more your profits can grow. However, to effectively scale and support more customers, you need to know how many employees need to be available in certain environments at specific times.

With call metrics, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at when your customers are most likely to engage with your business, so you can always be ready for peaks in demand. This means fewer lost opportunities, better business efficiency, and improved scheduling for your teams.

– Increasing productivity

Running a small business is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s changing landscape. The rise of hybrid and remote work means smaller companies as well as enterprises are dealing with distributed employees across a range of environments. The right tools for business insights make it easier to ensure you’re making the most of the resources you have.

You can gain insights into productivity and performance levels for employees working on the front line, working from home, or operating from behind a desk. Plus, you’ll have a view into meaningful trends and patterns which can help to inspire better business decisions going forward. Not only will the right insights improve productivity, but they’ll give you the guidance you need to improve employee experiences and engagement levels too.

– Recapturing lost callers

For small businesses, every customer and every interaction counts. Whether it’s a repeat customer for your hairdressing salon, or a new customer hoping to try your restaurant for the first time. Unfortunately, with only a certain number of employees available to handle requests at any given time, it’s easy to miss out on opportunities.

A call metrics tool like Akixi Insights, can help you to instantly see when you’ve missed an opportunity to engage with a customer, so you can call them back and get a second chance at making a positive impression. You can even use your insights in real time to help prioritise the calls that matter most to your business, from VIP to repeat customers.

Empower Your Small Business:

Small businesses have an amazing opportunity to pave the way for phenomenal growth in the coming years. However, the only way to overcome common challenges, and make sure you’re investing in the right opportunities for your business, is to invest in visibility.

Opening the door to meaningful business insights ensures you can pinpoint the areas where your company is struggling and unlock new chances for growth. Don’t leave the future of your business to chance. Enlighten, empower, and optimize your team and your business operations, with Akixi Insights – making the complex, simple.



The Biggest Challenges Facing Small Businesses
Hilary King