Local Companies Focus on Customers

One of the best things about shopping at local businesses is their focus on customers. They treat you like family. They genuinely care about your experience because their business depends on you.

Like a story I saw on CBS News about The Fuller Cut, a Michigan barbershop that promotes child literacy by offering a $2 discount to kids who read aloud during their haircuts.

These barbers invest in each child’s future as if they are family. They track progress through books, encourage titles with positive messages, and help each kid conquer fears of public speaking.

Although any major haircutting chain could institute a literacy discount, it’s difficult to replicate the compassion these local barbers have. It’s an experience you’ll only find at this one amazing establishment.

Score.org , a partner of the Small Business Administration, says “eighty percent of Americans believe smaller companies place more emphasis on customer service.”

One reason for this higher level of service, according to the Harvard Business Review, is smaller companies are more likely to “use common sense over standard operating procedures.”

If a local business doesn’t meet your expectations, it’s their personal reputation on the line, and they often have the freedom to do whatever it takes to improve your experience.

SaltSpring Air, a small airline based out of Canada, strayed from standard procedure one morning when fog caused cancelation of flights leaving Ganges Harbour airport.  Airline policy stated all customers would receive a full refund or passage to the mainland via ferry, which they offered, but this meant one customer wasn’t going to make her important connection in Vancouver on time.

SaltSpring Air drove the customer to a dock on the other side of the island where it wasn’t as foggy and picked her up by seaplane so she could arrive in Vancouver with time to spare.

That level of focus on a single customer is unheard of at a major airline.

But it’s common among local businesses.


Adam Lucas holds a Finance degree and an MBA from the University of Kentucky. His work has appeared in many major outlets including AARP.org and GoBankingRates.com.