Thousands of new businesses emerge year after year, but what’s surprising to know is that there are as many businesses that go out of operation. This goes to show that running even a small business isn’t as easy and simple as many think. There are many factors that can determine whether an enterprise is going to fail or succeed. One of the most important tasks every entrepreneur must do is get to know the their customer base. In fact, many failing business owners realize late that they didn’t have that much understanding of their customers’ needs.

To improve your products and services, it is essential that you understand the wants, needs, and mindset of your consumers. You needn’t spend too much money to do this, especially if you use any of these for ways to know more about your customers.

1. Talk to your employees.

Among all the members in your company, it is actually your front-line staff that knows your customers the best. They are the ones who deal with your customers on a daily basis, which gives them all the reason to know what your clientele needs and wants. What you should do is set regular meetings with your staff. Ask them what specific things can make your customers satisfied and otherwise. Get to know also which products are purchased the most and what other items people often look for. Communicating with your staff will not only allow you to learn more about your market, but it will also strengthen your relationship with your workers.

2. Get your customers’ opinions.

There are several ways you may solicit your customers’ opinions, such as doing an email survey, interviewing your customers, or even using the social media. Your main goal is to get feedback from your customers regarding your services and products. You shouldn’t forget, though, to acknowledge your customers for taking the time to offer you their insights.

3. Use the ethnographic research.

This approach is done by observing customers while they are making their purchase or using your products. The advantage of this method is that you get to witness the exact process by which your customers make a decision to buy your products, how they actually utilize your products, as well as how they react to the fact that your company doesn’t offer what they need in particular. This strategy will be more effective if you could follow it up with a conversation with them.

Business mentoring experts believe that soliciting opinions from customers is beneficial for any business strategy and the overall development of a business. Using the methods mentioned above, you also wouldn’t need to spend a lot of money, but of course you would need to commit your time on it. The best thing to do is start by talking to the people around you, like your own staff, and your customers themselves.

Author's Bio: 

Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Centre, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe.