A new piece of research commissioned by the Broker Network
has revealed what tops the list of concerns for UK SMEs, and what they value most from their brokers.
The report polled over 500 SMEs across the UK to see where their priorities lie. The research found 30% stated that damage to their reputation is the biggest threat to their business. This was followed by 24% citing regulatory changes as the biggest issue, and 17% fearing employee issues.
Speaking to Insurance Business UK,
chief network officer at the Broker Network
Richard Pitt said the feedback he has received from the network’s member brokers is this research will change the way they think about their customers.
“The feedback we’ve had from some of our members, regional brokers, is this is really groundbreaking research because we’ve never thought about it in this way before,” said Pitt. “What they’ve been saying is ‘we’ve been looking after the same customers the same way for many years, and we didn’t realise that actually reputation protection was the number one concern for SMEs’.”
What was also unexpected in the survey was how many small businesses were relatively unconcerned with their online reputation. Instead, they more feared how traditional word of mouth might affect their reputation.
“A lot of SMEs do local business and word of mouth is still hugely important. Bad news travels quickly and is often irreparable,” said Pitt. “It’s the thing that sits in the memory longest and it’s really difficult to turn that around.”
The survey also looked at what customers value most from a broker. The three biggest aspects were rewards for loyalty, making sure brokers understood their business, and a broker who would look after businesses when things went wrong.
For the latter two, a majority of SMEs reported their broker was doing this. Although in terms of rewarding loyalty, only 23% of businesses said their broker was providing this service.
“If you look at just that single point, 77% say that brokers don’t currently reward customer loyalty, and yet one of the three things customers are looking for in a broker is reward for loyalty,” said Pitt. “What this research is pointing to is if you want a great business in the eyes of your customer, they’re looking for you to create reward strategies for loyalty.”
Pitt said the Broker Network
is working with its members to support them in messaging this to their customers.
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