NEW YORK, June 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Yodle, a leader in local online marketing, today released the results of an in-depth survey on consumer behavior and preferences related to local service businesses. The survey, "Yodle Insights: What Consumers Want from Local Businesses", examines how U.S. consumers across the country find, choose, use and interact with these local businesses, and what they would most like from them. The survey also analyzes the local perception of businesses in 20 mid-market cities.
"We conducted this survey because we are committed to helping local businesses succeed," said Paul Bascobert, President of Local at Yodle. "Although this survey confirms that local businesses are embraced by consumers, the results highlight that there are untapped opportunities for them to reach more consumers and improve the customer experience."
Key findings from the survey, "Yodle Insights: What Consumers Want from Local Businesses," include:
1) Local business revenue is expected to grow. Most consumers (82%) are using local businesses, and during the next year almost half (48%) plan to increase their use. Less than 1% of survey respondents say they will decrease their use of local businesses over the next 12 months.
2) Consumers want more ways to connect online with local businesses. Consumers ranked website improvements as the change they are most interested in seeing from local businesses over the next year, and also identified offers for returning customers as the best way for a local business to stand out from its competition. When asked about a variety of different types of communication such as service/appointment reminders and advice/helpful tips, consumers identified a significant gap between what they are currently getting from local businesses and what they are open to receiving.
3) Online reviews are expected and satisfied customers are happy to help out. Three-quarters of consumers say that having reviews either gives the business a competitive advantage (36%) or is expected (40%). However, less than 1 in 10 consumers (7%) have been asked to write a review of a local business even though the vast majority (89%) are willing to do so if they had a positive experience and were asked.
4) Local businesses should compete on service and quality, not on price. Consumers believe that local businesses outperform national chains in many areas. For example, nearly all consumers (96%) think local businesses beat national chains on personalizing service. Although most consumers (77%) say national chains offer more competitive prices, nearly three-quarters (72%) are still willing to pay more to a local business for better quality work.
5) Local businesses need to have a comprehensive online presence. The vast majority of consumers (75%) today use the internet to find or research a business. In addition to search engines and websites, survey respondents are using review sites and social media to identify the businesses they want to work with.
About "Yodle Insights: What Consumers Want from Local Business" Survey
Yodle's survey, "Yodle Insights: What Consumers Want from Local Business," was conducted in April 2015 by Research Now, a third party research firm. The survey polled 6,058 consumers from across the country, including 200+ local respondents in 20 mid-market cities, for their perspective on service-oriented businesses such as healthcare providers, auto repair shops, contractors and professional services companies. The full report is available at www.yodle.com/m/consumersurvey. Additional data is available upon request to [email protected].
Yodle helps local businesses to find and keep their customers simply and profitably. Yodle delivers a comprehensive platform that makes online marketing easy, affordable, and transparent for its 50,000+ local business clients. Yodle's flagship product, Marketing Essentials™, includes a comprehensive desktop, mobile, web and social presence, reviews and offer management, and email campaign automation. Marketing Essentials can be supplemented with Yodle Ads, Yodle's proprietary and optimized paid search technology. Also offered by Yodle is Lighthouse 360®, which automates many of our clients' daily consumer interactions or office routines such as appointment reminders, leading to improved operational efficiency and business results. Additionally, Yodle offers Centermark®, intended to meet the unique marketing challenges of networked businesses helping them to unify, scale, and optimize their local and national strategies. Yodle currently has 200+ networked business clients including Miracle-Ear, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, and Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care.
Yodle has been included on the Forbes list of America's most promising companies for the last four years and has also won multiple awards for its business growth, job creation, technology innovation, and workplace and culture. For more information, visit www.yodle.com, www.lh360.com, www.yodlebrandnetworks.com or www.yodlecareers.com.