What brokers need to know about SME customers going into 2022

New research reveals where customers are on pandemic recovery and the importance of tech

What brokers need to know about SME customers going into 2022


By Mike Wood

New research from data insight experts Experian has shown where customer sentiments lie in 2022, and given brokers a steer regarding what they should be talking to their commercial clients about.
The data showed that customers are increasingly optimistic about economic recovery from the pandemic, while also looking to maintain their online habits going forward.

The survey was conducted in September and went out to 3,000 consumers and 900 businesses in 10 countries, including Australia, explained Mat Demetriou, general manager of decision analytics for Australia and New Zealand.

“We explored three key topics,” he explained. “One was around perceptions of economic recovery, the second was around business priorities for next year and the third was changing consumer behaviours online.”

“From an Australian perspective, overall there seems to be increased optimism around economic recovery with nearly half of respondents saying that the domestic economy has somewhat, mostly or completely recovered.

“Obviously, that also means that 50% are unsure or disagree, which isn’t surprising given that Covid has affected different industries in different ways.”

The tech side of SMEs and other businesses was also vital, with customers maintaining their online presence despite the end of restrictions.

“The other key takeaways were that customers seem ready to spend as we begin the new phase of the post-pandemic economic recovery, and that consumers are reporting that they are spending 25% more time online than they were a year ago,” said Demetriou.

“There’s a lot of focus on improving online experiences, things like convenience, security and privacy.

There’s an arms race around improving digital experiences, particularly in applying for loans and increasing turnaround times. We’re going to continue to see significant investment in technology to underpin that.

“The Australian businesses that we survey had three key priorities, and one was around implementing new analytics methods and building AI models to improve customer decisions.

“The second was continued investment in cloud infrastructure and the third was about optimising credit scoring models over time to find better, faster methods to deploy them.”

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