Our latest Sage Business Index revealed that competition around customer service is set to intensify with over half firms stating that it has become more important to their company over the past 12 months.
The survey of 10,000 business owners from across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia underlined the link between customer service and success. Sixty per cent of owners and managers who have increased revenues in the past six months stated that going the extra mile in customer service was more important than ever.
The research shows that customer service has become an increasingly important point of differentiation for more than half of firms in the US (55%), UK (53%) and Germany (53%). However, in France less than one in three firms (32%) believe customer service will be more important to their business’ success this year which explains why only 24% of French owners are committing additional spend to enhancing service compared with 43% in Germany, 41% in the UK and 39% in the US.
Last year we commission some research into customer purchasing behaviours amongst 2000 UK residents which revealed that the squeeze on personal finances had made people more selective with their purchases, and that customers placed a higher premium on the customer experience companies offer. Furthermore the research highlighted that one in three consumers (30%) would never interact with a company again after one poor experience.
This is what our Head of Customer Operations, Gary Young, had to say about it:
“Any company that takes a laissez faire attitude to customer service is seriously hampering its ability to compete in today’s environment. Consumers know it’s a buyer’s market and they, quite rightly, want more than just a product when they make a purchase. The want the company to recognise and treat them as an individual and for the business to prove that they value their custom by going the extra mile on their behalf. Delivering an extraordinary customer experience used to be the exclusive preserve of small businesses, but over the coming months we’re going to see more and bigger businesses encroach in this space as firms seek to win the hearts and minds of consumers.”