What is the most important thing when you’re trying to grow your small business? That’s a question many wish they had an answer to and although we can’t give you the correct answer for every business, we do know that knowing your customers and what they want is very high on that list of importance, if not at the top. Once you are in tuned to your customers needs and wants you’ll be able to help them get the most pleasant experience from the service(s) you offer.

If you’re an online retail store, there are a few ways to get to know your customer better. First, ask them to fill out a quick survey pertaining to their shopping experience on your website. Give them incentive to do so. For example, if you have some sort of Rewards Program or point system, you can offer each customer who participates in the survey an extra 50 points for doing so. You could also offer some sort of coupon, such as 10% off their next order. Another way to learn more about your customer and what they like is by having a program like the one mentioned above. By doing this, you can see what types of products your customer is interested in, and cater to their needs. Lastly, ask your customers to review their products after they’ve received them. By listening to the reviews of the customer, your business can learn what works for the customer and what does not.

Even if you’re not selling product online, having an online presence is important and a great way to get to know your customers. Have somewhere on your website where customers can leave feedback regarding the service you provide or the products you sell. Listen to what your customers are telling you and improve upon or keep doing what you’re doing, accordingly. Also, make sure your business has a presence on as many online platforms as possible (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.). Just by adding these small little touches to your online practices, you’ll get insight into the wants and needs of your customers.

When implementing the following suggestions, please note that not all customers will want to participate in these things; however, many will. Don’t get too frustrated if the results aren’t immediate and remember, by just the customers who do participate, you’ll have the opportunity to know more about your demographic and the chance to make your small business a more successful one.