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When Customer Service Matters

I was reading a post online this week that said that the reason for stores on the high street closing was not because online retailers can supply products more cheaply than high street stores, but because they offer a higher level of customer service than stores on the high street. There are massive challenges to operating a conventional shop in the current climate and competition is fierce. With the larger overheads that go with having a presence on the high street, it is extremely difficult to match on prices with not only online retailers, but the big national retailers as well, who can get products far cheaper due to the amount they purchase.

So where do small, independent businesses fit into the picture? Well, more and more independent businesses are setting up at home and selling their products through an online platform. That is all very good but in the fitted furniture industry, people like to physically see examples of what they are purchasing. A showroom of some description is important to help customers visualise what their room may look like at the end of their project. Whilst various avenues can be explored to keep the cost of having a showroom lower, this does increase your overheads, making it difficult to compete on price.

The area where small, knowledgeable, independent businesses can excel is with their level of customer service. Where else, would you have a situation where a customer can call and speak to the same person every time, where people within the business know their project intimately and able to offer advice and reassurance, or where somebody can make a decision enabling them to respond to a query or complaint immediately? Small businesses have the ability to offer this highly personal service to their customers but it does require patience as sometimes it means that the sale does not come straight away. However, if the business really values their customers, it shouldn’t matter how long it takes the customer to make a decision and every time that customer contacts the office, they should be treated with the same enthusiasm as on the first telephone call.

So many small businesses fail in this area of personal customer service – an area that is very difficult for online and larger retailers to compete in – and don’t value putting time into the relationship with the customer. However, if they excel in this area and become the ‘go-to’ company in their area for advice, sales will follow in the longer term, ultimately helping our high streets to become vibrant places with smaller shops succeeding.

Here at Taylored Room Solutions we do value that time and like to build excellent relationships with our customers, offering expert advice on fitted furniture to all our customers and potential customers. If you have a question or would like further information, please contact us or request a brochure.

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