The COVID-19 pandemic has exhausted Australians on many fronts, which you’re probably too tired to hear listed again.
Unsurprisingly, this period in history has also worn down consumer tolerance for poor business communication.
While Australians rallied around local businesses that struggled during yo-yoing restrictions, they’ve been quick to blacklist the ones that don’t cater to their habits and preferences, according to new research from Podium.
The communications and payments platform for local businesses enlisted Antenna, an independent consumer research agency, to find out what consumers want from local businesses in the wake of the pandemic.
In early August 2022, Antenna conducted an online survey of a representative sample of 1015 Australians. The results found that convenience trumps cost for most Aussies.
Convenience more important than price
Forty-eight percent of respondents said, as a result of the pandemic and the digitisation of businesses, they have less tolerance for local businesses that don’t offer easy, convenient or customer-friendly means of communication. Fifty-five percent said they’d prioritise businesses based on their convenience, even if they were more expensive than a competitor.
Emails are an important marketing tool for businesses, but excessive and annoying marketing is more harmful to businesses than they realise.
The survey found 46 percent of us delete an email without opening it every day because businesses have oversaturated email marketing. Seventy-three percent of survey respondents said they’d blacklist a business for spamming them with marketing materials, even if they subscribed to the online newsletter first.
SMS steps in
Interestingly, younger people are more inclined towards businesses that communicate using SMS. Almost 50 percent of respondents under 35 were more likely to respond to a business over text, and to continue to use that business in the future.
Indeed, almost half of Australians said that businesses that use SMS to communicate appear more professional than those that don’t.
“Support for local business is strong and inspiring in Australia, but consumers are clearly losing patience for businesses that fail to cater to their habits and preferences,” says Podium’s Dave Scheine.
“As global economic headwinds circle, and Australian households become more cautious about their discretionary spending, every lead, interaction and sale takes on added significance for local businesses. Those who recognise how their audience is changing, then cater to their habits with convenient communications strategies, will be better placed to succeed.”