Small business owners in the restaurant, medical and automotive industries are flying the flag for five-star treatment as new research unveils Australia’s best industries for customer service.
In a survey by TrueLocal – a trusted online business directory and review website – 1000 Australian respondents answered questions on their sentiments and behaviours in relation to customer service in 10 industries from hairdressers and dentists, to tradespeople and accountants.
Of the respondents, more than 1 in 4 Australians (27%) rated restaurants as offering the best level of customer service, highlighting the hospitality industry’s efforts to engage customers and satisfy more than just their appetite. Medical centres came in second, selected by 18% of respondents, and automotive services came in third, selected by a further 10%. Professional services however seemed to fare less well, with just 8% of respondents choosing services such as accountants, brokers and lawyers.
TrueLocal spokesperson, Bradley Taylor says, “It appears that Australians are associating good customer service with the services that make us feel good. Tax returns and getting finances and legalities in order are life admin tasks that don’t generally feature on the top of a consumer’s ‘fun’ list.” Bradley elaborates “Dining out, on the other hand, tends to be a pleasant experience shared with friends and family. Similarly, having our wellbeing supported by a good doctor can make us feel cared for.”
The survey also questioned respondents about poor customer service. When asked what it would take to drive them to share a bad experience with friends or online, 72% of respondents selected rudeness, 57% chose being ignored, and 62% indicated hidden costs or additional charges. Incomplete work (64% of respondents) and being given the run around on the phone (46%) are also major peeves.
Worryingly, when respondents were asked what businesses had most commonly done to remedy poor service, 42% said that no action was taken while 10% reiterated their terms or conditions or personally blamed the customer for things going wrong. 19% of businesses offered respondents a refund or discount off future services, and 12% offered gift vouchers.
Bradley explains that the best customer service comes from businesses that are willing to go above and beyond their transactional contact. He says, “Businesses most popular for good service are likely to be active in the spaces where their customers are, encouraging honest feedback, and - perhaps most importantly - noticing and taking action when a customer is unsatisfied. “ He explains “These are the key elements of building a great reputation. In this regard, it’s no surprise that restaurants are the most popular for good service, as this is an industry that has a strong presence on the ground and online.”
For interviews and more information, please contact Suzanne Colville, 0406 050 381