Customers happier buying from small businesses than larger corporations

A new study claims British customers feel happier when purchasing from a small business compared to a bigger company.

A study of 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by new web-to-print service WePrint, has found that more than 80 per cent of Brits reported feelings of happiness or contentment when they purchased from a small business.

This figure dropped to 53 per cent feeling this way after purchasing from a large company.

A quarter of Brits said choosing to buy from a small business actually made them feel good about themselves, with more than three quarters saying they would put their trust in a small, local chain or an independent when making a big purchase.

Marketing director for Avery WePrint, Fiona Mills, commented: "We commissioned the study to show just how much the UK’s small and independent businesses have to be proud of. We want to encourage these organisations to celebrate their status as a small business, it’s something very special.

"There’s no feeling quite like starting and growing your own business, so why not shout about it? The research shows just how much the British public likes the service they receive from small businesses. So if you’re proudly independent or a passionate small business that really cares, it’s worth communicating this in everything you do, from your business cards to branding and marketing materials, your packaging, presentation and your customer service."

The personalised service offered by small businesses was cited as the number one benefit of buying from them, with over 60 per cent of Brits agreeing with this. This was closely followed by good customer service, feeling valued and being able to deal with the same staff. 

It appears there are definitely some lessons in customer care that big businesses could learn from. A frustrated 58 per cent of Brits had experienced poor customer service at the hands of a large organisation including waiting on hold for more than 30 minutes, no-one getting back to them and excessive cold calling. 

The top three big business customer service fails were found to be unpleasant staff, being ignored or forgotten about and receiving an impersonal service. 

Brits were more likely to put their trust in a small business owner than the CEO of a large company. A third of people felt that small business owners were trustworthy but just five per cent of Brits felt that the CEO of a big business could be trusted.

When asked how they’d describe a small business owner, the number one response was "hardworking", cited by almost 75 per cent of people. Yet only 22 per cent of people felt the term "hardworking" applied to big business bosses. 

Mills added: "Trust is so important in business, especially with so many consumers feeling that they have been let down by big companies and poor service. The WePrint research also found that almost a third of Brits stated they had to trust someone before doing business with them.

"So the UK’s small businesses have a clear advantage here. Small businesses are often better positioned to offer the personalised and flexible service consumers are calling out for."

Image source: Shutterstock

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