LOS ANGELES: Consumers are significantly happier about their service experiences with smaller companies, but tend to choose the lower prices offered by larger rivals, a new survey has found.

CreditDonkey.com, a card comparison and financial education site, polled more than 1,000 Americans aged over 18 for their views about customer service and customer satisfaction and found that 52% of respondents were likely to opt for a cheaper price over a better service.

This was despite the fact that 94% said their customer service experiences with small companies met or exceeded expectations, compared to just 64% with big businesses.

Charles Tran, founder of CreditDonkey, noted that over 80% of respondents said they had not bought something because they weren't happy with the customer service they were getting.

"The survey results should serve as a wake-up call for companies of every size," he said. "In this high-tech, fast-paced era, people want companies to respond to their concerns and questions with personalized service."

Small businesses were found to be much better than their larger counterparts at anticipating consumer needs (71% v 42%), anticipating their problems (64% v 34%) and following up (68% v 31%).

Only in the area of soliciting feedback did large companies perform better (74% v 66%).

A separate survey of small businesses focused on the sector's acceptance of mobile payments and found that two thirds were in danger of placing obstacles in the path of mobile consumers by not having mobile optimised websites.

TransFirst, a supplier of transaction services, polled more than 1650 merchants in service areas, three quarters of whom had 10 or fewer employees, and found that 82% didn't know if a purchase on their website had come from a mobile device or a PC.

But data from the other 18% indicated that mobile site visitors represented a significantly increasing portion of online sales.

"The mobile consumer is knocking at the small merchant's door," said Craig Tieken, Director of Product at TransFirst. "Business owners who aren't already up to speed with mobile payment acceptance need to have a viable plan of action to get there."

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff