Smile! Your customers are watching. Friendly service is the secret weapon for local businesses looking to attract customers away from large retailers and firms, according to a new survey.
Australian small businesses are well-positioned to provide the customer service consumers want and expect but aren’t necessarily receiving from the bigger end of town, the survey concludes.
The American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, a survey conducted in Australia and 11 other countries, found the overwhelming majority of respondents (81%) feel businesses either take their customers for granted or don’t do anything extra to keep them.
“Australian small businesses have an advantage because their size makes it easier to be flexible to changes in market conditions so that they can deliver high quality customer service,” said Jason Fryer, head of Small Business Services Australia, American Express. “Customers want and expect a superior service experience and over time will pay more for it.”
The survey concludes that business that don’t go the extra mile not only risk losing customers, they are losing the opportunity to increase revenue, with 60% of consumers willing to spend an average of 8% more if the goods or service is delivered with exceptional customer care.
American Express gave three customer-service tips for small-business owners:
- Know your customer: Good service comes down to forming relationships. Get to know customers’ likes, dislikes and purchasing behaviour so you can enhance their experience with your business and let them know that you care.
- Solve problems swiftly and efficiently: People are increasingly short on time, so if a problem arises and you can demonstrate you can solve it swiftly, you will firmly establish that you are good at your job.
- Make it easy for them: Customer interactions with your business should be enjoyable and hassle-free. If it’s too much effort for a person to interact with your business, they won’t bother and will go elsewhere.
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