October 21, 2010, is Get to Know Your Customers Day. This day is a great opportunity and a great reminder to all small business owners that you must get to know your customers in order to offer the products and services they want. My five tips will help you get to know your customers and continue to provide the things they want as you continue to grow your business. You cannot grow your business without customers.

Five Tips So You Can Get to Know Your Customers

1. Survey – send a survey to your customers either through the email, snail mail or using social media. An anonymous survey will enable your customers to tell you what he or she really thinks without hurting your feelings if the person was asked to be honest in person. There are many free online survey services you can use to survey or send a poll to your customers.

2. Customer Appreciation Day – host a customer appreciation day. Make time on this day to spend time mingling with your customers and really getting to know him or her. You may offer refreshments, product or services discounts, training, or hold a drawing for a prize.

3. Pay Attention – when your customer is at the checkout counter or browsing in your store you can take a few minutes to engage him or her in conversation and learn more about him or her. Pay attention to see if the customer always buys the same beverage, dessert or color of an item. You also want to pay attention to nonverbal cues. Is the customer happy when he or she enters your business? Does he or she look around bewildered and confused? Does he or she turn up her nose and make a face? If you are seeing nonverbal communication that does not match the verbal communication ask the customer for clarification. He or she may just not be feeling well or he or she may smell something foul in your store. Again, ask for clarification and make time to get to learn about your customers buying habits.

4. Learn his or her name – learn the names of your regular or loyal customers. Greet them when they enter your small business by name. This will make him or her feel special and valued. He or she will know that his or her business matters to you and your business.

5. Actively Listen – when your customer asks if you carry a certain product do you write down the request? If you notice customers are asking for certain products or services you will want to start offering the product or service so that your customers stay loyal to you. Active listening also includes listening for the tone of how words are spoken. We can all say “fine” and have it means various things depending up on how we say it. We can say it sounding sad, tired, sarcastic, snippety, or chipper and friendly. When you combine active listening with watching for the body language you will get an even better understanding of what the customer is saying. As a business owner you must actively listen to your customers in order to stay in business.

On Get to Know Your Customers Day employing my five tips or one or more of my five tips will make your customers feel appreciated and valued. You, as a business owner will gain a wealth of knowledge by surveying your customers, actively listening, paying attention to his or her body language and shopping habits, learning his or her name and then by hosting a customer appreciation day. The more you know about your customers the more you will be able to ensure you are providing products and services that your customers want.

Author's Bio: 

Coach Jaynine is the owner of Dream Catcher Business & Life Coaching. She is the international business and life coach who enjoys teaching business owners the systems and strategies needed to grow their business while remaining debt free. She is a retired United States Marine and former psychotherapist residing in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Jaynine is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Psychology with Capella University.

She is also the author of Write the Right Resume, Attract Love Keep Love and various other ebooks and home study courses. Coach Jaynine is a member of the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce, Carteret Chamber of Commerce, Coachville, 24/7 Coaching, and the American Psychological Association.

You can download your free ecourse Networking Detox by visiting http://www.networkingdetox.com/. This course will teach you how to design your networking plan so that you can grow your business. You can visit her website at http://coachjaynine.com/ or contact her at 910-539-2810 so you can start turning your dreams into reality.