Independent businesses in Bury St Edmunds have been heartened by a study out this week showing that excellent customer service and the local relevance of a business are highly valued qualities.
The report, from the Institute of Customer Service, was published in the week of the annual Our Bury St Edmunds celebration of the town’s independent and smaller businesses.
In the study, despite the increasing cost of living, only 12% of those surveyed said they would be prepared to sacrifice the quality of customer service to receive the lowest possible price and 45% highlighted that they choose a business because of its local relevance or commitment.
The findings have been welcomed by the Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District (BID) team behind the annual Independents’ Week celebrations which began on Monday.
Marketing and business support officer Mike Kirkham, who co-ordinated the week’s events, said: “We know that many of our independent business members are able to give a level of customer service that you just don’t find in out of town retail parks or with some online only retailers. We want to highlight this during Independents’ Week, but we hope that customers will realise that those businesses are worth returning to time and time again because they offer so much more as a customer experience.”
One of the businesses participating in Independents’ Week is Shuffle Board Game Café, in St Andrews Street South.
Co-founder Andrew Woolrich said: “It doesn’t surprise me that this study found that more than 85% of people who feel a personal connection to a business say that they get more customer satisfaction from it. Building that connection is at the heart of everything we do – from interacting with our customers on social media to our Wednesday night Shuffle Social where people who want to meet like-minded games enthusiasts can come into the café on their own, be assured of a warm welcome and join in with the games on offer.”
Our Bury St Edmunds Independents’ Week runs until this coming Sunday, July 10. Details of all the independent businesses, many of whom will have special deals and offers for Independents’ Week, can be found at www.ourburystedmunds.com or on the LoyalFree App.