IT'S the best type of marketing there is - and it's free.

Customer service underpins Gladstone's business community and if an informal survey from the Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry is anything to go by, we're getting better.

For the second year running, members of the GCCI toured the area on an 'impact roadshow', taking local business owners out to meet the customers they're trying to woo.

In the first survey in 2013 only 68% of people rated customer service standards higher than a six out of 10.

But now that's up to 80%.

GCCI member and Armana marketing director Lyndal Hansen said that could be a sign people had started making the link between buying local and great customer service.

She said in the past five years Gladstone had become home to a more transient community that lacked an inherent commitment to supporting the local community.

"But now we have more families settling here and that seems to be changing," Ms Hansen said.

"There seems to be more commitment to contribute to the community now and part of that is to buy local. Even if it's just $5-10, it makes a difference."

She said people would come back and were even willing to pay more for excellent customer service.

She said high service standards were essential if "you're expecting people to pay more".

WHAT YOU SAID ON FACEBOOK:

Jessica Mckim-Hill: Gladstone Printing Services are a great business to deal with. I had two shirts printed at short notice and they were fast, efficient and friendly.

Tom Allen: Boyne Mitre 10, best service around, they know their stuff and can't do enough to help.

Fallan Willis: Meegan-Leigh Watson and her team from Optus in the valley. Always kind and also seem to want to help you rather than tell you anything to get you out of the store.



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