A new survey conducted among 320 women business owners with revenues of up to $10 million USD finds that, while women business owners put customer service and client retention at the top of their business priorities, many have not implemented formal customer relations programs within their companies.
When asked about their top strategic and operational strategies for the coming year, the women surveyed picked prospecting/sales (36%), customer retention (35%) and customer service (33%) as the top three out of eight items offered. However, when asked if they had a “dedicated customer service strategy,” just 18% stated that they had a formal, company-wide service and support strategy, while 55% said they did it on a case-by-case basis. Fully 27% had no customer service strategy.
Other shortcomings cited by the study’s authors:
- 61% do not use social media for customer service outreach,
- 49% of those surveyed do not track customer purchase activity or volume, and
- only one-third of those surveyed produce a newsletter or e-newsletter for customers.
The study was conducted for Key4Women (Key Bank’s outreach program for women business owners) by Forbes Insights. It can be downloaded for free (upon giving them your contact information) at this link. Or read a news release summary of key study findings at this link.
While Womenable would caution against drawing too many conclusions from such a small sample size – one that does not allow for industry or business size comparisons – it is nonetheless refreshing to see a survey point out where women business owners could do better, and to offer strategies for growth and improvement.