Why consumers favour small businesses?

 

One of the major goals of any business is to increase production and service quality, which will increase revenue. In order to do this efficiently, businesses need to constantly pay attention to changing times and the growing needs of customers. Understanding what your customers want will help you to adapt and evolve with the times. As times change, so do customer needs. Your business should be flexible and should continue to evaluate service and product quality.

US consumers are choosing small businesses because of the personalized experiences they provide compared with larger businesses. According to April 2014 data from AYTM Market Research, personal service was the No. 2 reason US internet users preferred small businesses vs. large companies, cited by 52.7%. This trailed supporting the local economy (56.2%), but it led all other options by at least 23 percentage points. Lower prices did not play a huge role in choosing small businesses. In fact, 61.2% of respondents said they would pay higher prices to support small businesses.

An August 2013 study by Web.com and Toluna found similar results. The factor that US consumers considered the most important when choosing small businesses over other types of businesses was customer service (86% of respondents). Personalized and intimate experiences as well as small businesses’ understanding of customers’ needs were also popular, each cited by 84%.

Web.com/Toluna found that US consumers and small-business decision-makers were relatively aligned when it came to characteristics they associated with small businesses, but the latter tended to focus more on what went into building the company. Unsurprisingly, a focus on the customer was the top characteristic cited by consumers. Meanwhile, small-business decision-makers stressed the fact that businesses of this size were owner-operated and accountable.

As small-business decision-makers focus on building committed businesses that are easy and friendly to work with, they’re creating personalized, customer-focused environments—and drawing consumers in as a result.

Here is what companied need to keep in mind in order to gain more loyalty and appreciation from their customers:

Customer Focus

Businesses may use a variety of methods to determine what services, goods or products future or current customers desire. Customer focus means your business is dedicated to providing these services that are useful and relevant to consumers. This may require research in the form of questionnaires and surveys to the target population or demographic your future product will reach.

Customer Needs

Customer needs drive the focus of the company. Businesses often see a need and this is how their business is started. It is important to continue to check with consumers to ensure that this focus is on target. Understanding customer needs is important for expanding a business and providing future products to new clientele.

Marketing and Sales

A business that understands the needs of their customers and is dedicated to providing customer focus will be able to market and sell their product or services. Consumers need to feel that your product is worth buying. A good salesman will be able to demonstrate the need for a product in a consumer’s life by relating the needs of the customer and how the product or service will fulfill that need. This will also guide how you choose to market your product and service.

Competitor Services

Think about how consumers are currently fulfilling their need for the service or product you wish to supply. Consider what competitors offer that you do not and consider what you have to offer that they do not. This will help you to understand where the consumer is coming from and you may be able to make adaptations to your services to meet the need of the consumer more efficiently.

  By 27 April 2014

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