Customers over growth revealed to be top survival technique

Looking after existing customers has been cited as the most popular reason for surviving during the recession, the Bank of Cyprus UK says.

Over half of respondents in the Bank of Cyprus UK’s Owner Managed Business Barometer research study believe that a key tactic of staying in operation has been the service provided to existing customers.

While 53 per cent picked it as their top factor, 18 per cent revealed that they had changed their business focus to remain competitive.

The findings form part of the Bank of Cyprus UK’s look at business optimism in Britain which questioned 500 business decision makers with ownership, or part ownership, of a company with less than 50 staff.

Of those, 38 per cent forecast a growth in sales and revenue during the next quarter, up from the 31 per cent who mentioned it in the first quarter of the year.

Tony Leahy, head of HR and communications at Bank of Cyprus UK, comments, ‘In the current climate any bit of optimism from the smaller end of the UK business community is to be welcomed.

‘The fact that almost half of the respondents anticipate growth over the next 12 months is heartening, but should not be taken for granted.’

Further results from the research report reveals that 20 per cent of all those interviewed do not believe there is any ‘real barrier’ to growth prospects in the coming year. This is despite 48 per cent highlighting lack of confidence as an obstacle.

Leahy adds, ‘The fortunes of sole traders or owner-managed businesses are heavily influenced by what happens in the local economy, so it is not surprising that a focus on customer retention (rather than growth) has been key to their survival.’

See also: Customer acquisition vs retention: Which side works best?

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor at our sister publication from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd.

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Customer Retention