How often do you listen to your customers? Not your staff but you. Very few business owners do yet the feedback can help direct you to develop new products and services, find ways of making money that you wouldn’t ever think of, improve your offering, improve your communications and create great customer loyalty. I’m not talking about they way you’re asked by a waiter or waitress is everything ok as they rush past your table and you know by their stance and tone they don’t expect anything but fine or perfect (which happened me last weekend).

I’m talking about making the effort to connect with your customers and treat them like a friend willing to help them. Surveys and focus groups are great but they are often outside the budget of small to medium businesses but talking to your customers isn’t.

Make it part of your business routine. If you are in retail, talk to your customers as you walk around – ask for their feedback on ideas you are thinking about doing and what would they like.

If in a restaurant, ask what did they enjoy the most? If you’re in services, take a client for a coffee and talk to them and ask for their feedback on a new service you’re thinking of offering. You’ll be amazed at the insights you’ll get. When I started the business, I never thought of offering marketing training (I thought there was lots out there and my strength was implementation and mentoring) but lots of my clients told me simple training on marketing implementation was what they needed so I developed that aspect of my business. If you need ideas, I’d highly recommend read Fergal Quinn’s “Crowning the Customer”.

Enjoy listening to your customers. Let me know how you get on.

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The business was set up in 2010 by Una Ryan who identified a niche in the market for businesses who need help getting the most from their marketing efforts and business planning.

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