When a female entrepreneur sets out to get to know her ideal customer – and therefore increase her business and customer loyalty – she will achieve greater success if she follows several specific guidelines:

1. Get to know “the” ideal customer, as well as what he or she needs and wants – and then learn even more about him or her to hone in marketing materials and develop new products and services.
2. Ask compassionate questions. In general, female entrepreneurs genuinely want to help their customers. They want to provide solutions to their customers’ challenges or help their customers achieve their dreams. To best serve her customers, then, a female entrepreneur must ask them open-ended questions that truly seek to uncover their greatest challenges, to elicit a deep understanding without creating judgments (entrepreneurs must take care to ask questions in a way that do not bias the results, but instead elicit the "real" answer to their questions).
3. Be an effective listener. When a customer shares information with an entrepreneur, the entrepreneur must listen with an open mind, with the intention of developing empathy by stepping into the customers’ shoes.
4. Integrate customer understanding into the business at every step along the way. Make customer understanding an ongoing part of the business decision-making process. In other words, an entrepreneur will better meet her customers’ needs (and therefore grow her business) by basing any decision, product, service and price on what she knows to be true about her ideal customer.
5. Temper customer understanding with understanding of self. Entrepreneurs who build their businesses around what serves their customers AND what serves their own hearts, find far more personal fulfillment, and therefore love their businesses, which lets their passion shine through. For example, an entrepreneur who is terrified of public speaking shouldn’t let her customers talk her into public speaking if she’d far rather write her material – in that case, her passion wouldn’t shine through in public speaking and she wouldn’t serve her customers as well.

As women business owners seek to grow their businesses, they must get to know their customers – and well – while remaining true to their own hearts. By following the above guidelines, female entrepreneurs can grow their businesses while fueling their passions.

Author's Bio: 

Michele DeKinder-Smith, is the founder and CEO of Linkage Research,
Inc, a marketing research firm with Fortune 500 clients such as
Starbucks, Frito Lay, Tropicana, Texas Instruments, Hoover Vacuums and
Verizon Wireless. She parlayed this entrepreneurial knowledge and
experience into founding Jane Out of the Box, a company that provides
female entrepreneurs like YOU with powerful resources, such as
educational blogs, teleclasses, newsletters, and books. Take your Jane
assessment to determine your own business type at