By Josh Patrick
NEW YORK (AdviceIQ) -- Your business sits on a trove of information to improve operations and profit: your customers' opinions. Here's how to gather them.
I used a customer advisory board in every business I owned. The only way to get quality feedback about your company and your service is to ask your customers.
Asking one-on-one makes a good start, but asking a group of customers is magic. The real value to you of such a customer advisory board? The follow-up question that you need to ask to figure out how to implement their thoughts.
Don't do surveys. A waste of time: You ask one question and get one answer.
A survey can probably make you feel good as your customers choose nice things to say to you about you. Yet I never saw a survey that came up with solid, actionable items a company benefited from. Go right to an advisory board.
Synergy in a group. I often hear business owners say, "I don't need an advisory board. I talk with my customers all the time." If you run a great business, you should talk to your customers. If you don't talk to them, start.
Bring customers together to talk to each other, too. Members getting energy from each other strengthens a board's value to you. Ideas build on each other and you find suggestions to help you improve your company significantly -- if you take action on the suggestions.