Legal and Finance: Customer Retention Is Top Priority

The Birmingham Post (England), August 29, 2003 | Go to article overview

Legal and Finance: Customer Retention Is Top Priority


Byline: John Duckers

Tough trading conditions are forcing companies to focus on customer retention, according to a new snapshot survey from accountants Grant Thornton.

A poll of nearly 400 senior managers in mid-corporate organisations revealed that 87 per cent put customer retention top of their list of priorities.David White, partner in the firm's entrepreneurial business team, welcomed the result but urged directors not to forget more long-term planning to ensure future business strength.

He said: 'It is encouraging to see that customer retention is the number one issue for British mid-corporates.

'In a difficult marketplace, existing customers are often the best source of new business and by improving the overall customer experience, companies can expect to reap the rewards. But directors must also consider who their customers will be in five or even ten years' time and this needs dedicated long-term planning.'

Customer retention was closely followed by concern over red tape and motivating key staff as major concerns.

Mr White said: 'The focus on red tape echoed the result of the Business Barometer survey carried out in the Midlands and North earlier this year, with 98 per cent of respondents citing the cost of complying with legislation as one of their fastest growing overheads.

'It seems that despite a significant amount of lobbying by industry leaders we are no nearer to reducing the burden that red tape places on every business, whatever its size.

'Anecdotal evidence from our colleagues in European offices lead us to believe that new regulations are far more closely adhered to in the UK than by some of our European cousins,which ultimately leads UK plc to be competing on an unlevel playing field. …

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