Small Businesses Putting Customers First

  • Britain’s 4.7 million small business prioritise customer satisfaction
  • Welsh most likely to prioritise customers

Small businesses are putting customer satisfaction first according to research by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank Small Business.

The Banks polled more than 500 small business owners across Britain to understand their biggest priorities and found that almost nine out of 10 (85%) admit customer satisfaction was one of their top three, well ahead of exploring marketing, sales and new business opportunities (60%).

Top three priorities for Britain’s small business owner

  1. Maintaining customer satisfaction (85%).
  2. Exploring marketing, sales and new business opportunities (60%).
  3. Networking with suppliers and new business contacts (34%).

What’s more, 90% of owners of accountancy, finance or legal businesses agree that customer satisfaction is one of the top three important priorities – pipping the retail industry to the post as the most customer savvy industry (89%). Small business owners in Wales appear to be the most likely to prioritise their customers (90%) but least likely to prioritise marketing and new business opportunities (51%).

Least important priorities for small business owners

  1. Legal advice (three%); such as employment law or regulation.
  2. Investment in workforce (eight%); such as hiring staff of training and development.
  3. Health and safety (nine%); such as implementing rules or buying equipment.

The survey also revealed:

  • Small business owners in Scotland are most likely to prioritise procurement and purchasing the best deal (25%) compared to a national average of 20%.
  • Scottish small business owners are the most likely to see health and safety as a priority. More than a fifth (22%) prioritise health and safety compared to less than one in ten nationally (9%).
  • Small business owners in Wales are more likely to prioritise investment in the workforce more than any other region (14%).
  • Small business owners in the media, marketing and advertising sector are least likely to prioritise investment in workforce. Just 5% see investing in workforce as a priority, compared to 8% across all industries.

Gary Lumby, Director for Small Business Banking at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said:

“It is absolutely right that small businesses should see customers as their main priority. In any economic conditions you make sure your customers are happy, but when times are tough, ensuring that your existing customers stick with you becomes even more important.”

“It is also good to see that businesses understand the value in networking and finding new customers, partners and suppliers; providing these opportunities is something we pride ourselves on.”

“While prioritising these areas, ones which perhaps they have experience of and the skills to support, it is vital not to lose sight of the need and importance of finding the best prices for goods and services or understanding regulation; getting either wrong can lead to unnecessary expense which small businesses can often ill-afford. Our research has given us some interesting findings which appear to show some of the areas that small businesses may need some support on from organisations.”

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks’ dedicated can business managers offer knowledge, advice and contacts, or can direct people to alternative sources of business support, to help them meet their priorities. For further information about the Banks’ small business propositions can be found at www.cbonline.co.uk and www.ybonline.co.uk

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