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News Title
Talk to Your Customers; You Might Learn Something
News Description

If you own and run your business, you’re busy. I get it. Who isn’t? You
have to pay the bills, pay your employees, order supplies, and the list goes on
and on and on. And if you’re growing, you have less and less time to do all of
the above, including talking to the people who are most important to you: your
customers.

I’m not saying that you need to be on the floor all day or answering customer
service inquiries. What I’m talking about is listening to how they feel about
your business and communicating back with them that you’re hearing them.

At VerticalResponse, we have hundreds of thousands of customers, so it’s not
possible for me to do this. But I do believe in keeping a close ear on what
people think, making myself as accessible as I can, and talking.

So what do I do to make myself available?

1. I put my email address on our blog and our website. I also include my Twitter
handle as well. These are, hands down, the best way to get to me. If someone
wants to call me directly, he or she can. I’ve found that when a customer calls
or emails me, he or she has either had an exceptional experience with us, or a
rotten one and I typically find a process that needs to be fixed. For that one
person who contacted me, there are likely 20 more out there who just didn’t
bother. It’s an opportunity, imho.

When a customer emails me with a question about our product, I’ll try to answer
it if I can, instead of forwarding the email to someone on the support team. It
doesn’t happen too often, but because he or she has taken the time to find my
email address, I feel that I should at least respond with an answer – hopefully
the one he or she is looking for!

2. I regularly check our Facebook page, and I look to see what people are saying
on Twitter about “VerticalResponse,” “Vertical Response” (because people often
think our name is made up of two words), and our handle, “@VR4SmallBiz.” I also
look at what people are saying about our competition as well. It’s always good
to know the good and the bad so you can act on anything if you need to.

The Harvard Business Review just published a study about the low percentage of
CEOs who use social media in their business. I was shocked by some of the
comments made about how CEOs have “people” for that. Seeing and listening
firsthand to what your customers think is crucial to your business.

Are you accessible?