UK and US small to medium-sized enterprises demand more value-added services from telcos
Dubber, a provider of call recording and voice analytics software solutions, has conducted an SME (small to medium-sized enterprise) market survey across the UK and US, looking at the role of telephony for business in both geographical regions.
This cross-Atlantic survey reveals a near-mirrored response in the demand for mobile operators to offer more value-added services to SME businesses, beyond minutes, text and data.
The survey also demonstrated the demand across both UK and US for UC platform systems to streamline workforce communications and make them more manageable. For the first time these services are available to SMEs where before it has only been accessible to large corporations with big budgets.
Topline statistics in the UK and US SME survey results are:
- The use of a phone as a tool for business remains high –In the UK, 71.4 % of SMEs confirm they use the telephone for “all” or “some” of their day. In the US, this figure rises to 83.99%.
- Business is becoming more personal – mobile is our chosen handset for doing business–the survey reveals the dominant phone system used in both US and UK office’s is a personal mobile. 38.3% of UK workers use their personal mobile, only 10% use a fixed work phone while in the US 39.67% of workers use their mobile.
- Workers are ‘always-on’ but desire additional services –71% of UK SME work force use instant messaging in addition to phone system however, 42.5% have stipulated call recording as a service they would choose to have on their phone if available. US counterparts also marked call recording as their favoured service of choice with 37.19% showing leaning to this service with instant messaging coming in second at 19.1%.
- Telephony providers are failing to upsell and share the full range of telecoms services available to customers –35% of UK respondents claim they have not been offered additional services by their telephony provider. US service providers are only marginally better at this with 30% of American SMEs noting they have not been offered additional service options.
- Customers’ desire for innovation and product enhancement is prevalent but stronger in the US – SMEs want a streamlined services approach and UC platform.The level of digital distraction is growing as workers are encouraged to communicate over multiple digital channels. In the UK 64.2% claimed they would like to have all of their business communication (mobile, internal messaging, conference call facilities) provided to them on one platform. In the US 72.5% request the same; showing a considerably stronger call for innovation.
James Slaney, co-founder of Dubber commented, “The survey shows a remarkably similar response from both the US and UK. The main difference in state-side SME customers is their more passionate call for innovative services. The UK is always fast to market and focused on delivering services well but the US market looks beyond ticking boxes.
SMEs in the US marketplace want to differentiate themselves and to be ahead of the curve in using enhanced new product functions – which is seen in the 72.5% of customers calling for UC Platform services to be implemented now.”
Slaney continued, “Combined with the pressure to reverse declining revenues, customer demand means it is now time for telcos to better anticipate the needs of the ‘always on’ mobile user, by offering them streamlined, mobile solutions. The mobile work force has grown and the key to understanding mobility is embracing the concept of ‘always connected, anywhere, anytime’ access to key services and information.”
On the demand for call recording, from 42.5% of those surveyed, Slaney added, “For a workforce that logs onto phones, computers and tablets interchangeably, the ability to create a constant thread via cloud-based solutions –, where they are able to quickly access their latest conversation and identify any actions from it –, provides a simple and flexible solution for people on the move.”
“There is a clear demand in both UK and US for a greater variety of value add services in order to drive greater efficiencies in SMEs businesses’ every day productivity. By utilising Communications Platforms as a Services (CPaaS), these solutions are increasingly accessible to SMEs, and with mobile increasingly the communications medium of choice, operators are uniquely positioned to provide the supply that meets demand.”
Dubber surveyed 168 UK, and 144 US based SMEs using Google Consumer Surveys, asking the following questions:
- How often do you use the telephone as a business tool?
- What phone system do you use for work?
- How many people are in your company?
- What sector is your business in?
- What additional services do you use on top of your phone system?
- What services would you have on your phone system which aren’t currently available?
- Has your telephony provider given options for additional services on top of your normal phone service?
- If you don’t have already, would you like to have all your business communications provided to you on one platform? (i.e mobile, internal messaging, desk phone, conferencing)
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