How Consumers Choose Their “Go-To” Businesses
Consumers place a heavy emphasis on small business employees and personalized service when choosing where to spend their money regularly, according to a new survey by DaySmart Software, a provider of business management tools. The survey, conducted in February prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, included a poll of 2,000 consumers who had in the past year used services in the pet (groomers, spas, kennels, daycares), hair and nail, spa and tattoo industries.
When selecting a “go-to” business, 62 percent of consumers believe quality of service is the most important trait, according to the survey. This followed by cost (40 percent), convenience (32 percent) and reputation (32 percent). Once the customer starts feeling comfortable at their chosen businesses, more than half (51 percent) said that it takes 10 visits or fewer for them to consider themselves a “regular,” the survey further revealed.
“While it is important that business owners make investments to foster a growing relationship with their customers, it is also critical that they prioritize employee satisfaction by investing in tools, such as business management software, that make their jobs easier and enable them to focus on clients,” officials said.
The survey showed that 67 percent of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a particular employee rather than the overall business. Further, 48 percent said they would follow an employee from a business they were a regular at if they moved to a new business.
The survey also showed that 60 percent of consumers would never go to a business again if that business ruined the service they went there for. Moreover, according to the survey, 50 percent said they would never go back if an employee was rude to them, and about 77 percent of consumers are less likely to visit a business again after receiving bad customer service.
When it came to grooming services in particular, the survey found the following as deal breakers for consumers: ruining the service they went there for (59 percent), falling victim to a cyberattack (50 percent), being charged the wrong amount (42 percent), failing to meet regulatory requirements (39 percent), an employee forgetting their name (34 percent) and increasing prices (34 percent). The results were similar within the pet kennel and daycare sector.
Businesses that adopt technology tend to be a draw for consumers, according to the survey. Seventy-four percent of respondents are more likely to continue visiting a business if they can utilize online resources to book appointments—a percentage that jumps to 81 percent for consumers between 18-23 years old and 79 percent for consumers between 24-39 years old.
“Employees are the heroes of the customer loyalty story—and the keys to unlocking critical benefits such as repeat business, referrals, constructive feedback and more,” said Jeff Dickerson, CEO of DaySmart Software in Ann Arbor, Mich. “This survey supports the importance in investing in business management software to free up employees from repetitive, time-consuming tasks so they can pay more attention to learning employee preferences and building social rapport. By implementing the right tools, small businesses are investing in their two greatest assets: their team and their customer base.”
Chart Credit: DaySmart Software