Customer service is key priority for transport sector

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Almost four out of five (78%) small-medium transport firm owners feel that they deliver excellent customer service.

The results were obtained as part of the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey of UK SME owners and senior management across a range of sectors and regions.

Only 3% of those surveyed admitted to offering either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ service when asked to rate their customer service levels.

“Because transport firms are often customer-facing, their levels of service are, generally, very good.

“There is always room for improvement, but on the whole, it’s one area that is not a real concern at the moment,” said John Fawcett, ceo of the Transport Division at Close Brothers Asset Finance.

When asked ‘do you have someone in place that is responsible for customer service as part of their job?’ 70% answered ‘yes’ with the remaining 30% answering ‘no’.

“The barometer also tells us that 48% of transport SMEs are looking to improve their customer service capabilities, which means complacency is not an issue and that many firms are using customer service as a key differentiator to stand out from their competitors,” added Fawcett.

When it comes to dealing with enquires and complaints, the telephone is still the most popular method of communicating with customers, followed by face-to-face and email.

Social media is rarely used, with very few companies surveyed selecting it as a customer service channel.

“Despite the advent of new channels of communication, personal interaction - either in person or over the phone – is still by some distance the favoured way to connect with customers, and I don’t see that changing any time soon,” continued Fawcett.

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