The Engagement Challenge: The Need For Service

62% of small businesses are failing to use their cloud software to its fullest extent. Mono recently collaborated on a white paper together with the Local Search Association (LSA) to dig into where small businesses are succeeding with SaaS and where they are challenged. 

As a SMB SaaS provider, Mono’s goal is to develop best-in-class technology for SMBs to succeed online and successfully engage with their customers. Yet, it’s important to acknowledge that users need guidance in getting started and maintaining platform engagement. We recently commissioned The Engagement Challenge report to encourage a more open conversation within the SMB SaaS industry to better understand what SMB users want, need and expect - and even more so, what best practices their digital service providers can employ to elicit engagement for their SMB clients.

The engagement challenge for SMBs

To get an understanding of why small businesses are failing to fully leverage the business software that they’re paying for, the report looked at results from the recent Modern Commerce Monitor (formerly Tech Adoption Index) and asked SMBs why they weren’t using all the features. The top two responses were:

  • 31% of SMBs said: “We plan to use the features, but we just haven’t done it yet.” 
  • 23% of SMBs said: “We need more training on how to use the features.”

This is a clear indicator that small business SaaS users have an interest in engaging, but don’t necessarily know where to start. On the flipside, 69% of surveyed SMB SaaS professionals said they were investing more in onboarding/training to engage SMBs in their product. But how can digital service providers tackle the engagement challenge in practice? How do they elicit engagement on an ongoing basis?

An engagement-driven service approach

No matter how easy your product is, the lack of technical skills/know-how opens up the opportunity (and in some cases an absolute need) for a service layer to encourage and drive consistent engagement. While it’s great that B2SMB digital service providers see the value in investing in onboarding and training to meet the needs of users who are slow to start - the real challenge is in driving continuous engagement. This rings especially true with 46% of SMBs stating that with regard to cloud software usage they “used it heavily at first, then our usage tapered off over time”.

To prevent SMB usage from tapering off over time and risk the chance of churn, digital service providers need to take a more long-term approach of regular, ongoing service-driven engagement. We’ve previously addressed the do-it-with-me (DIWM) opportunity and SMBs need for a trusted digital advisor to help them along the way. This is also highlighted in the report in an interview with Perry Evans, President at ThriveHive, who notes that the human interaction aspect of the DIWM approach is essential to winning over small business customers and driving engagement, satisfaction and ultimately their business in the digital world. 

Download “The Engagement Challenge” Report

Want to read the full report? Download the report to learn more about how other SMB SaaS professionals, including Perry Evans from ThriveHive, view the need to address ‘human service’ in the B2SMB market.