At least not according to data compiled by AYTM Market Research. According to a recent article by eMarketer, AYTM’s report shows that over 52% of internet users prefer small businesses to large companies because of “Personal Service”. Additional surveys by Web.com and Toluna done last August found that the top three most important factors consumers consider when choosing small businesses are: 1) customer service, customer-focused (86%), 2) personal, intimate, human, face-to-face (84%), and 3) knows customers and their needs (84%). Not surprisingly, 84% of US consumers associate customer service and customer-focus with small businesses. The eMarketer article also notes that “61.2% of respondents [to the AYTM study] said they would pay higher prices to support small businesses.”
All of those numbers can make a great case for small business, but that is a post for another time. My take away is this: large business or small, people value superior customer service. Human beings expect to be treated like human beings, and if you can give them personal and personalized service, they are willing to pay for it. Give your customers a remarkable experience and they will remark about it…to their family, their friends, their acquaintances, even perfect strangers! Give them a reason to come back and they might just bring the neighborhood with them.
So consider this: if you were receiving the kind of customer service you currently provide to your customers, would you continue doing business with your company? Would you tell your friends? If you don’t immediately think “Yes!” then something needs to change. Nice guys finish last? Not in this connected economy!