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Are you listening to your customers?

Chantal

I recently went to a presentation on social media. The introduction was given by the local mayor who was full of negativity about the dismal start of the economic outlook. He gave lots of figures about the amount of debt the area is in and the number of companies going out of business. He also said he thinks that social media is a waste of time. Fortunately this didn?t put off the presenters, who went on to give very positive talks about different aspects of social media and how we can use them to promote our businesses.

If you listen to the news, the economists and the business analysts, you might as well pack up your business and bury your head in the sand. On the other hand, if you listen to what other small businesses are saying and listen to your customers, you?ll realise there?s a very different world out there. We are all open for business and many of us are actually growing our companies. One of the most effective ways of promoting your business is by talking and listening to your customers.

How do you do this? Talk to your customers about what they want from you ? in terms of products, services, support, amount of contact and customer service. Use their feedback to create new and better versions of what you do. If a number of your clients want a different service from you, develop it for them. If they want you to keep in touch with them on a more regular basis, look at ways in which you can do that. If they want better customer service, find ways of giving it to them. It?s easier to sell more to an existing customer than it is to recruit a new one, so listen to what your customers want and then let them have it. Don?t listen to what?s being said by people who don?t run their own businesses. Think, act and be positive and your customers will help you to grow your business, no matter what the ?economy? is doing.

At Appletree we carry out a survey of our clients every couple of years, to find out what they think of us and what they?d like us to change. How do you talk and listen to your clients?

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