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Customer interaction drives Australian SMB website adoption: Survey

Seventy four per cent of small and medium businesses (SMBs) now using Web for customer service

More Australian SMBs are developing websites in order to improve customer service and generate sales leads, according to a Telstra Business survey.

The survey, which canvassed 321 business owners during October 2011, found 81 per cent of respondents now had a website. Seventy four per cent were using the Web to interact with customers, while 64 per cent viewed it as an ideal tool for promotional purposes.

Thirty eight per cent used their website to generate sales leads, while 26 per cent indicated they used social media for direct sales.

In addition, 21 per cent had implemented social media in their internal business. However, six in 10 SMB owners indicated that staff should not be able to access social media in the workplace.

Online advertising was favoured over print by 19 per cent of the respondents.

Telstra Business group managing director, Will Irving, said in a statement that adding new customers was a top priority for two thirds of SMBs in 2012 and building a stronger Web presence could achieve that.

"The phone is still the main [way] of directly connecting with customers for half of those surveyed, although this occurs more often via a smartphone that can access the Web," he said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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