Customer satisfaction top priority for small businesses

Happy customers more important than sales and marketing

Almost nine out of ten small business owners rate customer satisfaction as one of their top three priorities – revealing the importance of customer retention in a difficult economic climate.

A survey by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank Small Business polled 500 small business owners across Britain in a variety of sectors. Of these, 85% said that maintaining customer satisfaction was one of their key objectives, ahead of exploring marketing, sales and new business opportunities.

The businesses which put the greatest emphasis on customer satisfaction were those in the accountancy, finance or legal sectors, with 90% placing it in their top three priorities -just ahead of the retail industry (89%).

More finance-intensive activities such as recruiting legal advice, investment in the workforce and health and safety were at the bottom of the list for most small business owners, who said they preferred to focus on income-generation activities.

“It is good that businesses understand the value in networking and finding new customers, partners and suppliers,” said Gary Lumby, director for small business banking at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks.

“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.”


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