Almost two-thirds (64%) of SMBs are optimistic about growth in the year ahead
The majority (54%) of organizations state that the biggest growth driver in 2024 will be increasing connections and relationships with customers
72% of SMBs say their main focus next year will be customer satisfaction
Aircall, the customer communication and engagement platform, today launches The Voice of SMBs 2024 global report. Surveying 1,400 employees at small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across North America, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, and the UK, the report explores the priorities of SMBs over the course of 2024 and their focus areas for efficient business growth.
Aircall has long established itself as a growth partner for SMBs, and this report unveils unique insights in a bid to help SMBs across the world better understand how businesses move forward in 2024. When SMBs represent 95% of the world's companies and 70% of the world's population, Aircall sees the actionable insights and analysis therein to empower them to grow effectively in 2024 and turn challenges into opportunities for the SMB community.
Despite a challenging business climate, the report highlights that almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents feel optimistic about growth in the year ahead. The majority (54%) of organizations stated that the biggest growth driver in 2024 will be increasing connections and relationships with customers—also the top growth driver across every region surveyed. Further, four key insights were seen as fundamental to problem-solving, adapting, and responding to the shifting business landscape SMBs find themselves in.
A Different SMB Mindset and Approach
With 61% of businesses saying they are prioritizing customer experiences over growth in the next year, it’s clear that there is a sea change in how businesses are looking to succeed in 2024. A challenging year for small businesses has meant leaders are reappraising the insights key to their success. According to The Voice of SMBs 2024 report, these are:
Growth Beyond the Numbers: A new definition of growth—one that looks beyond the numbers—means that 54% of organizations state that one of the biggest growth drivers in 2024 will be increasing connections and relationships with customers. This was the top growth driver across every region, meaning selling at all costs is out of fashion—something evidenced by the news that Google and Yahoo are planning to crack down on bulk email sends.
AI as Your Sidekick: how SMBs can achieve this, despite the everyday pressures they face, comes down to technology. For instance, 2023, according to many, has been the year of AI and 48% of businesses say AI-supported tools will help drive customer satisfaction in the year ahead.
The Art of Human Connection: 72% state that their business’s main focus next year will be the satisfaction of its customers, showing the degree to which meaningful conversations and interactions have returned to the front of mind for customer-facing teams.
A Focus on Coaching: growing businesses will be focusing even further on reducing turnover of staff and ensuring they have the right talent at hand. Almost two-thirds (65%) highlight that they have a good or extensive training, coaching, and development program. However, one-third (35%) either have no training, coaching, or development program or one that needs significant further investment.
Aircall’s CEO, Scott Chancellor comments: “I joined as Aircall CEO at the end of 2023, and this report excited and surprised me as soon as I saw it. Like Aircall itself, I am passionate about small businesses, and The Voice of SMBs 2024 isn’t just a report—it’s a resource-packed guide with actionable insights and tips that will help SMBs problem-solve, adapt, and respond to the shifting business landscape they find themselves in. With the correct strategies in place, SMBs can navigate tight budgets, and big competition—and unlock a kind of growth to be proud of.”
In October 2023, Sapio Research conducted quantitative research on behalf of Aircall to understand business’ plans toward growth and how they intend to achieve it.
Aircall and Sapio Research co-designed the questionnaire and surveyed the behaviors and attitudes of 1400 workers in either Sales, Customer support, IT or Operations departments or roles across Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the UK, and the U.S.
Respondents completed 21 questions; the sample spanned across eight industries, and company sizes with less than 500 employees, and all levels of seniority, from founders and C-level executives to individual contributors.
Published on January 25, 2024.