Study finds that many UK business owners don’t have the time to improve or enhance customer relationships

Businesses cautious

Over half of the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises do not “completely” understand the habits and preferences of their customers, according to a survey commissioned by First Data Merchant Solutions.

Of the 1,000 small business owners surveyed, 45% said they understand their customers “very well”, while 42% of decision makers go by “feel” as opposed to using data and analytics to paint an accurate picture of their customers requirements and dislikes.

The survey also discovered that just 23% of small business owners understand customer needs very well, by using data and analytics to assess customer interactions. Additionally, 18% were quoted as saying they “do their best but find it difficult to keep track.”

Despite this finding, most businesses (69%) recognised that poor customer service is a reason that a customer might walk out of a store.

Raj Sond, general manager at First Data Merchant Solutions, commented:

“With stiff competition from larger retailers and online giants, small business owners must learn from these insights and find ways to really look under the bonnet of their business.

“If they want to survive in this competitive landscape, small business owners need to implement systems that can harness this knowledge and be used to create unique customer experiences and safeguard the relationships with their shoppers.”