Vancouver business owners who think their customer service is just fine are almost always wrong, a new study suggests
Earlier this month, Falcon Consulting Group Ltd., a Vancouver-based customer experience management consultancy, surveyed 100 small business owners and 100 consumers in Greater Vancouver about whether businesses were meeting consumer expectations. Despite the fact that 87% of small businesses replied "strongly believe" to the question of whether they are delivering exceptional customer service, only 12% of customers agreed.
The staggering difference in opinion is a wake-up call for Vancouver-area businesses, says Michel Falcon, Principal of Falcon Consulting Group Ltd. “I believe the discrepancy exists because businesses aren't investing into their customer experience,” says Falcon. “It’s customary to invest in customer acquisition but an investment in customer retention is often overlooked. Small businesses in Vancouver must have a closer connection and understanding of how their customers are purchasing, behaving and their aversions.”
The study also revealed that only 3% of small businesses are investing in customer service related strategies, a fraction of the 38% that are investing in "sales" and 59% investing in "marketing" strategies.
"It doesn't surprise me that the investment in customer experience programs and strategies are low,” says Falcon. “Business owners and leaders are reluctant to invest in their customer experience because the ROI takes time to surface, it's not instantaneous.”
Businesses that ignore customer service do so at their peril, the study indicates. Consumer respondents pay for being treated well—87% of consumers said "yes" they would pay a marginally higher price for a good or service if they were confident they would receive consistently exceptional customer service.