Small Businesses Must Be Better At Customer Service
When the big beats the small, it’s always a foregone conclusion. When what happens is the exact opposite however, it becomes news. Especially when small businesses get the upper hand against big businesses, that news tends to alarm the well-entrenched corporations to drive them nuts enough to consider buying out these pesky rivals. In most cases, small companies that do become that successful succumb to the pressure and bite the bait to make big business win anew. The big business victory however tends to be a short-lived one. In no time, small business owners who now have the big bucks to bankroll their next venture are soon back on the scene to once again pester their bigger rivals.
So where do small businesses usually beat the bigger guys to the punch? According to a survey made by US-based credit card comparison website, creditdonkey.com, in all customer-satisfaction categories, consumers tend to be more content with the customer service efforts of small businesses than those being done by big companies.
The info might prove surprising to many people especially those with a lot more experience and who associate big companies with highly institutionalized customer service machineries that often support and justify grandiose marketing/advertising campaigns. Even the average consumer familiar with customer service networks and how they make toll free numbers in something like a business phone system the easiest way to connect to companies, could find this revelatory.
Time to Wake Up
For big companies however, it’s time to wake up and rub the complacency off their eyes. Business has become high-tech, fast-paced and built around online tech’s responsive immediacy. People want companies that are capable of responding to its retail constituents in a readily accessible way that could also be done in real-time. Customers appreciate small companies that tend to attend better to their concerns and questions with a strong bent on personalized service. The survey also reveals that poor customer service leads to four out of five transactions not pushing through with a purchase.
Where big companies thrive are in situations where the economics of scale tip the retail battle into their favor. Prices continue to be more of a deciding factor when it came to purchases as 52 percent of said survey respondents said they would definitely choose a lower price over better service. Big companies also fared better than small ones in the area of soliciting feedback from their customers. They scored 74.2 percent to beat small business’ 65.5 percent.
Beaten in Four
Small businesses have an edge over their bigger business rivals in certain aspects owing to their scaled down ability to do the following:
- Be more personalized with the kind of customer service since there is the tendency to become more intimate with customers when the business isn’t too big yet to impersonalize communications.
- Much simpler retail methods owing to small business penchant to opt for more tech to simplify processes.
- Customer service becomes more appreciative of customers since start-ups tend to treat the latter as “pioneering” customers.
- Being small often challenges its people to double their efforts in being responsive and persistent.
The practices to be found in small businesses also tend to beat those in big companies in four areas according to the creditdonkey.com survey:
- Anticipating customers’ needs. Small businesses eased out the biggies with their 71 percent rating against 41.8 by big companies.
- Anticipating customers’ problems. Small businesses new how to deal better at this area via a 63.9 percent rating. Big companies could muster only a miserable 33.8 percent at this.
- Being thankful. Small businesses are a more appreciative lot and tend to say “Thank you” more to garner a 96.9 percent rating as opposed to big companies with their lot less thankful 80.8 percent.
- Doing follow-ups. Persistence levels among small companies are at an amazing 68 percent compared to those found in big companies with a comparatively low 30.5 rating.
All of the above justify why small businesses need to outdo their bigger rivals at customer service. It’s the only way to beat everybody else!