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Do You Know Your Customers and Clients?

Do you know your customers and clients in your business? The answer has multiple layers to it depending upon your business: Start Up; Already Functioning; Larger Enterprises; service based business; oriented towards delivering a service or product; or selling a product or various products.  On top of these, there is live and in person vs. online delivery type of businesses. Sounds complicated – not really – Do You Know Your Customers and Clients?  The answer is pretty much a Yes or a No.

Maybe we begin the conversation with – “Why Should I Care?”

For a start up one of the fatal errors is to just begin working on the website, the logo, the business cards.  It is such an exciting time! You have this great idea, concept or service and you just know everyone will love it.  Not to pour the rain on your parade, just slow down a second.  Beta testing, market testing and focus groups are not just for the big guys.  You must obtain feedback from the group you feel meets the ideal client parameters you would have set.

For an already functioning business what have you been doing over the years to stay in touch with your customers?  Have you been obtaining their names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses?  With this information have you been adding value to your customers and once in awhile marketing to them or offering them a special insider discount?  An example is in the local market here there is a natural food store, Mrs. Greens.  For years we have purchased goods from the store on a regular basis.  We have never been asked for our information and the only interaction with the people at the store is at the cash register or the deli counter.

A Trader Joe’s store is opening up within two hundred yards of Mrs. Greens. A mass mailer arrived with a contest for the Grand Opening of Trader Joe’s,

“Just Fill out this information, drop this off at the store by … and your name will be placed in the contest to win…”

It would not shock me to see Mrs. Greens entire customer base move over to Trader Joes within the first year.

For a larger enterprise who better to ask about ideas for new products or services than your current loyal customer base?  On the one hand if you are not innovating your customers will rapidly move to those who are – read Blackberry.  On the other hand if you are not in touch with your customers and fully understand what they want how will you know – read Amazon vs. Borders Books.

The point is you must be able to answer the question, “Yes, I know my customers and clients.”

Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified personal and executive coach who resides in Stamford, CT.



  1. I think that new business owners often try to set up their website and publicity materials before they ever really know their business and exactly who their market is. Good points, Mitch.

  2. Once again you are spot on Mitch! I find that through speaking I’m always on the pulse of exactly what my clients’ “troubles” are, and they do change as technology and ways of doing business change.

  3. Yes I know my customers and clients!

  4. Heidi Alexandra says

    Yes I know my customers and clients – but it isn’t always straight forward – since changing the focus of our company we also had to redefine our clients and customers so we could ensure everything we do is a good fit.

  5. I do but it’s a dual market which can make it challenging to stay on top of.

  6. Truly a great post, Mitch. You can emphasize enough how important it is to really know your customers and build a solid relationship with them. Many business owners fall short in this area.

  7. Great points, Mitch. 🙂

  8. Mitch,
    Great points and it’s also important to know that our customers and clients grow as our business grows and we must consider that, too.
    Write on!~

  9. Really good points Mitch!