By Daniel Hunter

j2 Global's latest survey, in which 1000 business people across the UK were asked about their company’s biggest concerns, has revealed that the economic outlook continues to weigh on the minds of UK businesses.

Consumer confidence and red tape share the spoils as the major worries for UK businesses with 26% and 25% of respondents respectively stating this was the biggest concern for their organisation.

Just below this were staffing issues (23%) — whether the loss of experienced staff or the difficulty in capturing the right kind of new-hires — finding and retaining the right staff continues to be a big concern.

The survey also asked respondents what they would do if, when they made a call to a business or tradesperson, the call went unanswered. Surprisingly, almost two thirds of respondents (59%) said that they would not leave a message if the call was unanswered, with more than a third preferring to call the next business on the list.

“This is one of the key areas where small businesses are continuing to miss out on potential sales. We all have experience in having our calls unanswered, and - in the age of instant communications — consumers are voting with their feet and moving on to the next business,” Paul Kinsella, Vice President, General Manager, j2 Global Europe, said.

“For the companies themselves, we see how crucial that first interaction with a business is. So, whether it’s a lack of staffing or technology, these businesses will continue to miss out on potential trade — that’s one of the primary reasons we developed our eReceptionist product. This product allows small and medium businesses to have their calls answered and routed, 24/7, without additional staffing costs. This means that customers reach the right person in the business for that first, crucial interaction.”

The survey also asked respondents what their most trusted method of communication was when sending sensitive documents such as bank forms, legal documents or work contracts that require a signature. While the survey found that post remained the most trusted means at 51%, Fax was alsoidentified as one of the most trusted means of the safe transit of important documents.

“As businesses continue to rely on fax, what a Next Gen Fax service, such as eFax, allows is the safe delivery of documents to a multitude of devices, so that businesses can receive — and electronically sign — important documents anywhere” continues Mr Kinsella.

“With business increasingly being conducted away from the desk, portability of documents is key to the timely conclusion of important decisions such as legal matters and order fulfilment. With eFax, not only can you send and receive these documents, you can store them in our cloud storage, allowing you to retrieve them anytime, anywhere.”

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