What do you get when you have a representative of Microsoft, Network Solutions, and Google sitting on the same stage? A fight, no, but some of the most successful companies at attracting customers and keeping them loyal to a product or service. So what did they have to say at the Small Business Technology Summit?

  • Be a customer – To keep customers, think like you are in their shoes. What do you like when you are interacting with a vendor?
  • Give them what they want – Get feedback from your clients and then make sure to implement that feedback into your products.
  • Start local – Ask your customers for word of mouth testimonials, buzz, and ratings on sites like Yelp.
  • Do a blog to communicate with prospects and customers.
  • Serve your clients and prospects by interacting on forums where they spend their time. One skin care company had amazing results by being an expert on SkinCareTalk.com
  • Be a natural expert – Help your clients with topics that you are comfortable with and refer business to others when you aren’t.
  • Always ask for feedback.
  • Provide valuable information for your customers on your site including video and tutorials.
  • Be a part of the larger conversation about your business.

A few others I would suggest

  • Seek to understand to be understood.
  • Manage expectations and announce issues early.
  • Expect things to change. Always ask about new hires, roles, and dismissals in the business. It could mean new opportunities or issues to be resolved.
  • Keep touch on the progress of the business.