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Knowing if your customers are happy

One of the important parts of business management is having a good handle on how your customers are responding to your business, your employees, your products, etc. You have to know if you have happy customers, or unhappy customers. You have to know what is making them happy, what areas could be improved upon, and many other aspects of customer satisfaction.

When managing a business, knowing how your business is perceived is one of the first steps to keeping it successful, and making needed changes. Every day ask yourself the following three questions:

1. Are you meeting customer expectations?
2. Are your customers happy with your product and service?
3. How do you know?

Each of these are vitally important questions, and one of the things you need to be asking yourself is what means you are going to employ to track customer satisfaction. If you don't know about problems you can't fix them. If you don't stay on top of customer service and satisfaction, you are sure to disappoint. It is vitally important to create a plan for how you are going to evaluate whether or not you are meeting your customer's needs.

There are a number of ways to evaluate how satisfied your customers are, you can do customer surveys, offer incentives for feedback, do customer calls, or have various techniques for gathering that info. The point is, regardless of how you do it, you need to be able to ascertain whether or not your customers are happy.

In addition to evaluating how happy your customers are, you need to ensure that your employees are trained to treat them well. Greeting your customers properly, always treating them with kindness, handling complaints and the like quickly and efficiently, all help you to keep customers happy, and in doing so inspire referrals. Referrals are a huge part of keeping a business going. In fact, you can determine how satisfied your customers are by how many repeat customers you are getting, and how many referrals you get from existing customers. If your existing customers are not recommending you to friends and family, then there is something more you could be doing. It requires more than maintaining them as a customer, it means keeping them happy enough to get their vote of confidence.

Talk directly to your customers, and get a feel for what they want from you. This does not mean you can do every single thing they want. They may, for example, want much lower prices, but chances are, you have them set where they are for a reason. So, do what you can to accommodate the desires of your customers, within the scope of your capabilities.

When your customers are happy, business grows. When they are unhappy, they will go out of their way to use other businesses, even if they are not as convenient as yours.

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