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Connect with customers to better understand their needs

Build relationships with your customers to retain and grow your business.

It sounds so obvious: it is much more expensive to attract a new customer than retain and grow an existing customer relationship. So how do you delight your current customers and continually meet their needs?

Talking with them, for starters. Listening to customers can lead to insights that increase satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. All customer-facing employees from sales and account development professionals to customer service workers should be continuously gathering customer feedback and reporting it back to management. You can also conduct research to supplement this process.

But collecting information does no good if you don't develop a system for doing something with customer feedback. Close the customer feedback loop by improving your products or services, or launching new products and services designed to meet -- and exceed -- their expectations.

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