Only 29% of the UK's small businesses believe that customer service is a key differentiator in today's competitive marketplaces. That incredible news is from a new report from Epson Business Council that highlights we lag way behind our European counterparts on this. It suggests that 88% Of Spanish businesses and 77% of Italian businesses see customer service as being the differentiator that helps them stand out.
29% surprises me - it seems very low, and does not reflect the discussions I regularly have with clients and contacts. On reflection, that's maybe because by the nature of these things, those that are in my audiences at conferences and seminars do tend to recognise that this stuff counts!
"Companies still aren't placing enough emphasis on customer service, despite the fact it's a key driver of growth in today's climate" says Neil Colquhoun, Director, Epson UK.
I actually think it's good news! Good news? Well, it's good news for the 29%! If you are one of those who do believe that customer service is a key differentiator and are working to make it so are likely to be ahead of your competitors! Our research tells us that Excellent Customer Service really can be the 'Dramatic Difference'!
Does that include you?
The report does also go on to say that many UK companies do not have the systems in place to support a customer-orientated strategy, with 70% admitting that they do not have a very sophisticated and up-to-date customer database (the survey was done by Epson!)
I don't think it's about databases, although of course they can help - it's about creating a customer focus and getting everyone on board with that! I often hear people tell me that they've got a great CRM system, and that's the answer to all their problems. The reality is all they've got is a computer with lots of names on it!
I tell them to 'Forget CRM, Think MCR!' That means 'Maximise your Customer Relationships! and get everyone in the business on board to do the same.
If you want a bit of help in making it work better for you, you might be interested in this FREE toolkit we've produced:
It's called (surprise surprise!).... 'Forget CRM, Think MCR! Maximise Your Customer Relationships!'