Courtesy navigation

How shoddy service can wreck your small business

How shoddy service can wreck your small business

June 26, 2014 by Marketing Donut contributor

How shoddy service can wreck your small businessThere was a time when businesses could get away with hiding from their customers, particularly when they knew they had done something wrong. Those days are long gone.

Good customer service is more critical than ever and businesses that want to survive and thrive must value their customers and build good relationships with them.

In fact, there are simple ways that small businesses with tight budgets can improve their customer service. Here are some findings from Expert Market UK’s recent customer service study, which found that:

  • 72% of UK customers would ditch their purchase for a competitor if they didn’t get an email reply within one day;
  • British businesses lose 85% of callers if they don’t answer within five minutes or less;
  • 67% of Brits who are hanging on the phone want updates on their place in the queue or time left to wait;
  • Most people still prefer an old-fashioned phone call (50%) or email (44%) to make their complaints, rather than using social media.

The biggest damage occurs when potential customers don’t get the information they need when they first enquire (57%). The other danger point is when a customer has made a complaint but is not satisfied the response (26%).

Phones and email are still the preferred channels in the UK and respondents polled said businesses should focus on increasing their customer service staff (36%), providing contact details (24%) and making sure staff are aware of current policies and promotions (20%).

In fact, complaints can often be turned into wins for small businesses. Always contact customers promptly, using their preferred method. At the same time, make it easy for customers to reach you by displaying contact information clearly.

Victoria Elizabeth is digital asset executive at Expert Market UK.


Anonymous's picture

Hi  I totally agree. Bad customer service such as having long phone queues tell potential customeres you really dont care enough to put them first. These days if you dont them your competitors will, simple!.   There are a number of very cost efdfective ways to correct this in a SME. Divert after a few rings to another number or even your mobile. If thats out of area or not practicle then divert the mobile, or landline, in to a trusted answering service to speak tothe caller on oyur behalf. But dont leave folk hanging on. How rude!   You wouldlnt leave someone at the business' door waiting for you to go and open it, or would you?

Anonymous's picture

Hi there, thanks for the post! I couldn't agree more that good customer service is key to a successful business. Particularly now with the increasing use of social media, if you have a business or brand account and are perhaps giving bad customer service this is a way customers can use to vent this easily and publically. I work for a Marketing and PR recruitment agency and we pride ourselves by aiming to give a high standard of customer service as we are of course dealing with many job seekers and clients and we know how difficult job searching and filling can be! All in all, I'm sure you would agree that if you receive bad customer service from a business or brand, you would certainly remember it, and of course not in a good way! Kind regards, Lauren

Add a comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <p>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Links to specified hosts will have a rel="nofollow" added to them.

When you click 'Register' to create a new account, you accept our terms of service and privacy policy