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Give Them What They Want

"Deceptively simple" but astute advice to small-business owners from USA TODAY columnist Steve Strauss: Ask customers what they want and then give it to them. There are lots of ways to solicit customer opinions, Strauss writes, including one-to-one chats, questionnaires and telemarketing.

Asking them what they want is deceptively simple. Believing what they tell you… that can be difficult. It is always easier to attack the message or the messenger than to own up to your customers opinion of your products and service. Don’t blame the messenger. Own your customer’s thoughts on your products and service. Those comments may be the spark that leads to increased customer retention, improved sales and the development of new products.  Don’t just ask, learn from your customers and your bottom-line will thank you.