82% of 854 B2C small businesses surveyed by Constant Contact last October said that referrals and repeat business from loyal customers were the top growth drivers of their businesses in 2013, followed by online marketing tools (66%), a stronger economy (50%), and skilled employees (47%).
How did they acquire loyal satisfied customers? 90% said by offering great products and/or services. More than half of surveyed participants indicated that sustained customer communications through email was the main driver of customer satisfaction, and 49% contributed customer loyalty to social media channels.
More than half of small businesses that participated in the survey defined growth as driving more revenue, but this is not an easy task to achieve. Almost 30% of respondents said finding new customers is the biggest hurdle to achieving growth, with lack of time (23%), the lagging economy (16%), and a lack of funds to invest in growth (10%) also causing headaches. Obviously one can argue that it all comes down to money. With more funds to invest business owners that are short on time could hire more help to boost lead generation.
The Constant Contact-sponsored survey was conducted among 854 B-to-C small businesses from the Constant Contact customer base.