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Proximity to customers promotes business


Country Manager - Regus Sri Lanka,
Dr. Nirmal de Silva

As the popular saying goes, 'Location is everything' and the latest research carried out by Regus, the global workplace provider, has highlighted the importance of physical proximity to customers for businesses. The findings show that locations closer to customers bring bumper benefits ranging from increased visibility to more sales.

A study, canvassing over 44,000 people from more than 100 countries, reveals that operating out of locations closer to customers helps firms resolve issues faster (74%) while 71% say customer proximity improves customer satisfaction and retention rates. In Sri Lanka, where Colombo is known to be the main business hub, the same rules apply. Given the challenges posed by increased vehicular congestion due to the morning rush hour, afternoon school traffic and evening rush hour, customers have a tendency to prefer to work with businesses that are closer to their offices.

About 63% of respondents believe that firms with local offices understand customers and markets better as they are steeped in the local culture and, therefore, have a better grasp of the intricacies of the market. Being in the same area as potential customers improves market knowledge as specific local information can be used for product development and more effective marketing. Setting up in locations closer to customers or prospects can bring significant benefits to both businesses and customers. For instance, firms can respond faster when there is a problem, and get it resolved immediately.

Improved customer care leads to happier customers and better retention rates. By setting up locations closer to customers, firms not only increase visibility, but also gain a clearer view of their markets. A deeper understanding of the local environment can also lead to improved marketing effectiveness. Businesses can also benefit when it comes to staff recruitment. Branching out can also help widen the talent pool as businesses will attract staff in different areas and, therefore, capitalise on their knowledge and experience.

 - NS

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