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99% Indian SMBs Plan To Offer Permanent Contactless Services To Customers: Salesforce Research

"In India, 99 per cent of SMBs plan to offer contactless services permanently leading with secure digital payments (78 per cent), mobile order (68 per cent), and digital customer service (62 per cent)," it said.

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Salesforce, which deals with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) service, in its report "Small and Medium Business Trends,” has said 99 per cent of Indian SMBs plan to offer permanent contactless services to customers. 

"In India, 99 per cent of SMBs plan to offer contactless services permanently leading with secure digital payments (78 per cent), mobile order (68 per cent), and digital customer service (62 per cent)," it said. 

The report analyzes the responses of more than 2,500 Small And Midsize Business (SMB) owners and leaders around the world to determine how support from local communities has affected SMBs, what SMBs are doing to deepen trust with customers and employees, the role technology plays in their growth and what has changed for SMBs over the past year and how that impacts their future. The research was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Salesforce. 

According to the research, as SMBs struggled to maintain revenue streams through the pandemic shutdowns, Governments and local communities alike stepped up to help. A total of 62 per cent of SMBs in India say financial support from their community has been vital to their business’ survival over the past year.

Arun Kumar Parameswaran, SVP and Managing Director - Sales and Distribution, Salesforce India, said, “The grit and innovation of SMBs during a time of great change has been a triumph. This has also been a testament to the perseverance and creativity of SMBs and the communities in which they operate. It is truly inspiring to see how Indian SMBS are leveraging technology to transform their operations and push forward after a year of change.”

After a period of turmoil, SMBs are focusing on meeting customer expectations and deepening trust by providing employees with transparent communications and flexibility. Since the pandemic began, 59 per cent of SMBs in India have expanded ways customers can reach them and 48 per cent have prioritized deepening relationships over one-time transactions, mentioned the report. 

Parth Updaphyay, Chief Product Officer, Eduvanz, said, “Despite a tough year, the pandemic was helpful in aiding the faster adoption of technology in the financial services sector aided by support from the regulators. As a digital-first start-up, the nimbleness and agility gave us the opportunity to innovate rapidly in a post-pandemic world where no-contact processes have become the need of the hour. We believe in the power of technology as we continue to strive for impact and scale ensuring equitable distribution of knowledge.”

In India, 100 per cent SMBs with some of their operations online moved more online in the last year and 82 per cent of them feel the operational shifts made over the last year will benefit their business long-term. 61 per cent of growing SMBs in India have accelerated investments in Marketing over the past year, according to the research.