Small businesses best at customer service

Four fifths of consumers in the UK believe that small, independently or locally-owned businesses provide the best customer service experience.

According to a report from American Express which compares and contrasts consumer views on customer service across the globe, the majority of the UK public believes that small businesses excel in both their knowledge of the products or services that they provide and in their understanding of the needs of their customers.

This sway of public opinion is also likely to be having a positive effect on small business turnover, with two thirds of UK consumers (66 per cent) saying that they are willing to spend more for products and services provided by a company that offers excellent customer service.

On average these consumers would be willing to pay 11 per cent more on a product or service, although one in ten said that they would pay as much as 20 per cent.

Simon Chrisp, head of customer service at American Express says, ‘When customers know that a company is listening to them and addressing their needs quickly and responsively, they will not only spend more – they will spread the word to others as well.

‘Great customer service is great business and a competitive advantage when done right. In the UK more than one in five people have said that they would simply refuse to do business with a company that provides poor service. Only consumers in Australia and Japan are seen to be more discerning.’

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