Small business owners are being reminded of the importance of friendly customer service to ensure customer loyalty and business growth, as a new report has found that many SMEs are overlooking this.
The report, published by Barclays, found that a smile and a friendly hello is the most common reason why consumers feel loyal to a business, with 59 per cent of respondents saying so. Although when small businesses were surveyed, it found that just 53 per cent of businesses actually employ this tactic.
Brilliant customer service and remembering a customer’s usual order are credited as other top reasons as to why customers remained loyal to a business, but it was found that only half of businesses actually take the time to remember previous orders.
“While the majority of decision makers recognise the importance of personal relations with customers, they are failing to develop their own customer loyalty strategies. SMEs are in a unique position to embrace these traditional values of loyalty and should consciously build on their natural competitive advantage of being a smaller business as this can make a real difference to business survival and growth,” said Professor Robert Blackburn, from the Small Business Research Centre at Kingston University, who also took part in the report.
It was found that just 31 per cent of the SME respondents made retaining or growing their current customer base a main business priority to achieve growth over the next 12 months.
“The research shows just how important loyalty is and how something as simple as a smile and a friendly hello, or remembering a customer’s order can help the profitability of SMEs,” says Sue Hayes, managing director of Barclays Business Banking.
“This campaign is about resurrecting the ‘lost art of loyalty’ and empowering SMEs to capitalise on this to help their business grow.”
08 Direct is firm believer in great customer service and our account managers are dedicated to ensuring that each and every customer is satisfied with the services they receive. We compiled our top 10 tips of how to provide great customer service, check them out here!