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Businesses to provide more customer satisfaction

Saturday, 12th November, 2011

By Paula Doran

 Broken Hill businesses are rising to the challenge of improving customer service, according to Chamber of Commerce President, Paul Seager.

Mr Seager said although customer service was not always perfect in the city, businesses were conscious of the improvements needed and were stepping up, particularly as part of the ‘Give the Local a Go’ campaign.

“The campaign has already generated plenty of discussion about the importance of customer service, our changing shopping habits and the challenges faced by local businesses in the coming years,” he said.

“A strong and diverse local economy is critical to our future prosperity. As a community we need to continue to adapt to changing circumstances.  

“One of these changes is the way we purchase goods and services. Compared to ten years ago, many people now have access to internet shopping.  

“As a result consumers can now compare items sold locally with similar items sold elsewhere in Australia or overseas. 

“However the cheapest price does not guarantee quality, nor does it carry the same level of after-sales service provided by local businesses.”

The Chamber of Commerce estimates that between $20 million and $30 million is spent out of town.  

“If we could return even 10 per cent of this business to Broken Hill, it would be a great outcome for the local economy,” Mr Seager said.

 “The ‘Give the Local a Go’ campaign has two elements. It asks shoppers to try to buy goods and services locally wherever possible. Buying out of town should be our second choice, not the first choice.

“It also asks businesses to respond to the challenge, making sure that prices are competitive and that customer service is always of the highest standard.

“Poor customer service can be a significant obstacle and must be addressed wherever it occurs.  

“We can all relate to this type of experience; it certainly leaves a bad taste.” 

In a recent letter to the BDT, ‘Local shopper’ complained about the standard of service but even he or she stated that there were some “outstanding places” in Broken Hill, Mr Seager said. 

“I too have many positive experiences of businesses who have gone beyond my expectations, and I regularly hear reports from others about excellent customer service.  So it seems we can do it if we want to, but good customer service is not consistent across all businesses,” Mr Seager said.

“Give the Locals a Go is about generating community discussion with a view to stimulating changes in the way we do business, both as shoppers and suppliers. 

“If we are committed to a bright future for Broken Hill, this should not be hard.

“With goodwill and support from the whole community, the relationships between businesses and customers can be strengthened and improved.

“Inevitably, this will lead to more personal customer service and a bright future for Broken Hill.”

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