Have you ever spent weeks planning a top night out for you and your loved one, only to have it ruined by an arsy waiter? Or been with a service provider for years only to be told you are not eligible for its new product because you are not a new customer?

Good service seems to be harder and harder to find nowadays. Is it because, as a society, we are ever more demanding, and with competition so fierce we lack any loyalty? Or is it that the bigger a brand gets the less in contact with its customers it becomes?

But as these big brands continue to accept that as they grow they will inevitably upset a few customers along the way, the smaller companies are spotting an opportunity and listening to what we, as customers, want.

Last year my wife and I were truly inspired by a smaller retailer doing just this. Based in High Wycombe, Steve and his family run the Bucks Boarding Company, and they should be an inspiration to all.

Not only do they know most of their customers by first name but they also care about what they sell to you, not how much it’s worth. Although they have years of experience their starting point is the same each time they meet you – they listen to you.

It’s not brain science, but we will never buy our boarding gear from anywhere else – even if it is 45 miles away.

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