Because we’re frugal (cheap?), we used Survey Monkey’s free service to carry out our survey last week. What we didn’t realize is that the ‘free survey’ only allows analysis of the first 100 answers. So even though we had over 300 responses, the following results are from the first 100 responses. We believe they still give us a very good pulse.
We asked; If SBC could organise discounts on certain business services, would you consider buying these through SBC? 97% of you said Yes. (Yikes! – that’s some level of responsibility you’re putting on our shoulders.)
Of the 3% that said no, one made a very good point and said that discounts were never real and that you would expect a 10% discount from the supplier anyway, if you went to it directly. That’s food for thought and we’ll use it in discussions with potential suppliers.
Answers to the next question have potentially given us a road map on the services you want to see us offering. We asked you to rank the services you would like to see us offering discounts for. 76% ranked website/ommerce services first, 41% ranked online accounting second, 38% ranked online sales pipeline management as a close third and 27% ranked call answering as an important fourth service. 16% said we should also consider these added services: Sales/marketing services, cloud hosting services, business planning support, printing services and insurance. (We have a pile of emails from SBC members saying they’d like to offer services to the community and they seem to match the additional suggestions we got in the survey 🙂
The responses to the next 2 questions frightened us a little bit. They dealt with how much people would expect to pay for these services and how much they were paying. There’s way too much detail to put into the article. However the summary is that the sweet spot for a bundle of services covering website services, online accounts management, sales pipe management and call answering is 100/200 Euro/STG per month (Ballpark). The frightening bit – this excludes the ‘extra’ charges that 10% of respondents shared with us. These included having to pay extra for backing up website data, charges for C panels, SSL certs, charges for adding additional seats, fees for merchant ids and payment provider services, charges for opening up functionality you thought you’d bought, fees for Newsletter software, additional telephony fees, etc., etc. Some respondents – small companies – shared in detail what they were paying – ALL IN – and it was adding up to 400 Euro plus per month.
Transparency is Critical
Knowing this now, we should have asked how important transparency is when you are purchasing online. We didn’t. Instead we asked people to rate trusted brand, security, price, peer recommendation and needing to know the company you are purchasing from. Not surprisingly security was seen as critical. Trusted brand came next, then price. About half said that peer recommendation and needing to know the company were also important.
About 8% of respondents gave additional comments saying that it should be clear what the customer is paying for, that there should be free trials and that there should be no contracts locking customers in.
What did the last question on what you would like us to offer tell us? That the important services you want are: Website/eCommerce services, call answering, online accounting, online sales pipe management, sales prospecting/networking, telephony, online banking and cloud software. Did we learn anything else? Yes, that you wanted value for money and transparency in the pricing you were paying and the services you were getting in return.
As usual, a genuine thanks to all that took the time. You’re brilliant!
Speaking of brilliant. The details of all the companies that made the Business Achievers Regional finals and those that are going forward to the gala final are up over here.