I mentioned in one of my previous posts about the independent businesses in Norwich - one thing that struck me the other day was the customer service levels provided by independent businesses.
Often the owners are passionate about what they do and about giving their clients exceptional service - I know that this is a common sense way of staying ahead of your competitors, but it was brought home to me all the more when listening to Rachel Crampton, Managing Director of the Travel Centre in Norwich.
Rachel was being interviewed the other day by a panel of three for the Travel Centre to handle the business travel account for a company in Leeds.
"Not being a salesperson myself, I tend not to wax lyrical about how good we are" said Rachel.
But what she realised during the course of the conversation with the company, was that things that she took for granted as being part of the service, were not being offered by her competitors.
To Rachel it is standard to offer different travel options to provide the best value price, organising visas, booking airport lounges, organising car hire delivery to hotel or home, arranging hotels which are not part of the national chains, to name just a few things.
It dawned on Rachel that what The Travel Centre offers is possibly far more comprehensive than other travel agents but it had never occurred to her to shout about it as she thought that was what everyone would offer as a matter of course.
It is of course this extra attention to their customers needs that makes independent Norwich businesses such good value - and why we should support them as much as we can. It is the personal service which counts.