10 Questions You must Ask in Customer Survey


In the previous post on “How to Hold onto Your Existing Customers” we mentioned that regular customer feedback is one of the important tools you should use to keep a pulse on your business and understand how your customers perceive the value they are getting from you. The customer feedback also will raise any red flags that you need to address before they get out of control and the business is deteriorated significantly.
There are several avenues you can use to get customer feedback. If you have a web site for the business you can use the online poll using free survey tools such as Surveymonkey , Free Online Surveys. If you have a physical store you can use a simple typed form that customers can fill in while they are waiting. Even social media sites such as Facebook have poll utilities you can use to get customer feedback.
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How can you Hold on to your Existing Customers


As mentioned in previous post most businesses lose large percent of their customers on a regular basis. We identified several reasons why customers leave. In this post we want to give you tips on how to make sure you retain large portion of your existing customers.
Losing a customer can cost you lot more than you realize. Research shows that it costs multiple times over to get new customers than to hold onto existing ones. You have to spend money on marketing and advertising as well as offer them incentives to come to you again. Our advice to all business owners is this – DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO TO HOLD ON TO YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS.
Here are the steps that show how you can accomplish this:
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Do you know Why your Customers are Dumping you?


If history is any guide; you will lose about 20% of your current customers by the end of the month and 40% by the end of the year. I know it sounds terrible; but that’s fact of life. While 30-40% of sales for any business come from existing customers; the rest comes from customers using revolving door. They will come and go for a variety of reasons.
This customer churn can be costly for your business. You need to constantly recruit new customers to fill the gap left by those customers who have dumped you. This costs money reducing your profit. It is said that it is 4 times more expensive to get new customer compared to retaining the existing one. We will look at the ways to stop customers from dumping you in a later post; but let’s understand why they leave you in the first place. The reasons are quite varied and some are easier to correct than others.
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Are you Giving your Heart or just Hands to your Business?


If your heart is not in your business (or anything you are doing for that matter); you might as well not own the business. Your business is just going to drag along at best and in worst case it will fail causing you financial and emotional pain.
We say this from our experience at a concert we attended this past weekend.
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What can you learn from Zappos.com’s $1.6 Million Mistake


If you are not standing by your core values at the time of crisis and instead take a myopic view of the situation you will miss out on building a long-term, thriving business. Just look at what Zappos, the popular shoe site, went through on May 23, 2010. It lost $1.6 Million dollars within matter of hours. But it’s what it did afterward that is the real story.
For those who don’t know Zappos; it is an online web site that sells shoes. In the process it has built a Billion dollar business!! It has done this by focusing on core tenets of providing exceptional customer service at any cost. Amazon.com just bought the company last month for $928 million.
So what happened?
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Does Your Business have Social Media Strategy?


If you don’t have a strategy to deal with Internet and social media you might be in a danger of losing lot of business. Just look at this article in Detroit Free Press past Saturday. To summarize the article – a student from Western Michigan University claims his car was illegally towed from his apartment complex by the tow truck company. He created a Facebook page to fight with the towing company and attracted 11,000 “fans” on the page; who joined him in the revolt saying they too had similar complaints against this company. The result was that that towing company lost half of its commercial accounts.
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How can you beat large business with deep pockets?

Customer Service
It is not only possible to fight with large business; but to win big in this battle. Are you the owner of small business that is fighting for customers and sales with the big, national chains? How do you win the battle when you know you are outnumbered in every way? I just found out how one such business is doing one customer at a time.
I was at the auto mechanic shop the other day to fix the coolant leakage on my old car. The service I received there made me think what it takes to make a first-time customer come back for the rest of his life. Let me explain…
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