In an American Express Gobal Custmer Service Barometer study conducted in early July, 61% of Americans said quality customer service is important to them in the present recessionary environment and they will spend an average 9% more when they believe superior service is being provided. Yet within the slow-growing economy, only 37% believe companies have increased their priorities for providing excellent service. According to 2004 IDC Research data based on average U.S. small-business annual revenue of $3.6 million, an average small business that improves service levels could potentially increase its annual profit by $324,000. “Service is all about the technical delivery of the product, while hospitality is about how guests feel during that transaction and believing you are on their side. For people to rave about their experience and become repeat customers, you need to have both,” said Susan Reilly Salgado, managing director of Hospitality Quotient, a new customer service consulting venture. Research was tabulated online among a random sampling of 1,000 U.S. consumers age 18 and over, with interviewing directed by Echo Research from April 13-20.