Any successful business owner will tell you that customer feedback is vital to success, but it's especially true for small businesses. Knowing what customers want and what they don't is important, especially when one is just starting out. That means actively listening to customers but also going the extra mile to find out what they think about a business and how it could better serve them in the future. I ran across a great example of gathering customer feedback this week, when I was contacted by the Salt Lick BBQ restaurant in Texas.
Amazon has always been recognized for customer loyalty, and now it might actually be costing them money. "Amazon Prime," a loyalty program rolled out years ago as a way to encourage more online purchases has been a dramatic success for e-retailer. By paying $79 a year, members get free, fast shipping for all purchases.FULL ENTRY
Never has customer service been as important as it is today. With social media, online review sites and blogs, the customer oftentimes has more of a voice and influence than a company does. Budgets no longer matter as the power of influence has shifted. Customers have the power to shape the perceptions of a businesses brand, for better or worse.
But that doesn't mean that the "customer is always right," a long standing mantra for businesses everywhere.FULL ENTRY
Online review sites like Yelp, Zagat, and Citysearch have in many ways become too influential in determining the reputation of businesses everywhere, especially on a local level. With the increased importance of online search, review sites are consistently popping up in local searches. So are reviews on Google Places, which always shows up on a Google search. If you’ve got a website or established web presence as a small business owner, chances are it will show up in a local search query. But what happens when a negative review about your small business pop up?FULL ENTRY
Jason Keith has been working for and with small businesses in the New England area for more than 10 years, specifically small, micro businesses. Born and raised in Massachusetts and a former journalist, he provides a unique perspective on the issues facing small businesses locally and nationally.To reach him directly email email@example.com.
This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone.