Small business customer service and delivery – Big v Small

In a choice between Big v Small, choose small.

Big v Small is a classic, isn’t it and forever has been so? From David v Goliath to Wrexham v Arsenal in the FA Cup or Finland v Russia in the war of 1940, to todays’ Big Tech v local business, Big v Small is the everlasting encounter.

And I would always opt for small.

Big has big claims; they are in the big league, employ the big cheeses, have big offices (and lots of them), enormous purchasing power, they know it all, they will be around for a long time and are financially stable, they understand you, and of course, they are also your best of friends. Or at least they say they are, but in today’s age of connectivity it is surprising just how disconnected one can feel from Big.

Big may know your analytics, where you shop, your credit score, your online habits, where you live, what demographic you are in, who you work for and even who you may be interested in ‘linking’ with, but I’ve never met a single big company that truly knows me.

In these estranged times, ask yourself how satisfactory it has been communicating with one of your ‘Big’ suppliers, be that your mobile supplier, insurance company, bank, supermarket, delivery company, or perhaps the holiday company you booked with and are now trying to re-arrange the holiday or have a refund? Have you ever spoken to the same person twice, or are you even able to talk to someone? From Airbnb to Amazon or BT, just getting a number to talk with someone is tough.

The beauty of talking with someone is that issues and queries can inevitably be dealt with more efficiently, often within the call. And the beauty of dealing with Small is that you will usually be talking with someone who knows you, your business, who wants to handle the query you have      and who will be there to speak with you again. Small businesses know their customers, connect with them at every level, and are adaptable and flexible.

Small knows that if they don’t provide support and service levels, their customers may well walk over to the dark side (!) to Big, so they work hard at service. Big thinks everyone should be working with them, and big has worked the algorithms.

But Big also knows how they like to deal with financially challenging times – they rationalise to being smaller, fewer offices, more centralisation, less local presence, Big moves back to its’ big office. But of course, Small doesn’t – it often is rooted in the local economy, so it adapts, works harder at being better and mops up the disenfranchised Big customers.

So for me, it’s always Small over Big. You should give it a try.


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