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Transport sector home to strong customer service levels

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Almost four in five (78%) of transport SME firm owners feel that they deliver excellent customer service, with only 3% admitting to offering either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ service when asked to rate their customer service levels.

The results were obtained as part of the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey of UK SME owners and senior management across a range of sectors and regions.

When asked ‘do you have someone in place that is responsible for customer service as part of their job?’, 70% answered ‘yes’ with the remaining 30% answering ‘no’.

“Because transport firms are often customer-facing, their levels of service are, generally, very good,” said John Fawcett, CEO, of the Transport Division at Close Brothers Asset Finance. “There is always room for improvement, but on the whole, it’s one area that is not a real concern at the moment.

“The barometer also tells us that 48% of transport SMEs are looking to improve their customer service capabilities, which means complacency is not an issue and that many firms are using customer service as a key differentiator to stand out from their competitors.”

When it comes to dealing with enquires and complaints, the telephone is still the most popular method of communicating with customers, followed by face-to-face and email. Social media is rarely used, with very few companies surveyed selecting it as a customer service channel.

“Despite the advent of new channels of communication, personal interaction - either in person or over the phone – is still by some distance the favoured way to connect with customers, and I don’t see that changing any time soon,” continued John.

“Clearly, people recognise that some things could always be done better, but overall, these are a strong set of results for SMEs, who understand the importance of delivering high levels of customer service at all times, and are, in many cases, actively putting forward plans for improvement.”