In a time where people are more hesitant to spend money than ever you have to make sure that your business is the one they choose. What can you do to make your business stand out among your competitors?

Start out by analyzing why your current customers are with you. Make a list of the top reasons why you think your business is attractive, including any special offers or policies you have that draw in customers.

Next, ask your steady customers why they keep coming back to you. Use what they say to ensure they maintain loyalty to you and attract new customers. When customers feel that their input is valued as much as their business, they are more likely to come back for more. Make sure and ask the things they like about your business as well as the things they don't like. What can you do to improve the quality of their interaction with you? Are they satisfied with service? Prices? Taking in and applying suggestions from your customers causes your business to grow and provides them with a heightened level of satisfaction.

Communication is a mark of good customer service and it is a vital key to success for any business. Communication goes both ways. You need to listen and you need to talk.

One way to get what you have to say out there is through short e-mail newsletters. Make sure the bulk of the newsletter is informative, discussing business ideas or other interesting tidbits from the industry, while you may choose to use a smaller portion for direct advertising, such as a coupon or a new service. The whole newsletter serves as an advertisement because it gets your customers thinking about your company, so make sure you don't go overboard promoting yourself. Instead think of it as a way to network with your customers and share ideas with them.

If your customers are satisfied with the service, not just the product, they will likely become repeat customers. Good service extends beyond the face to face interactions. Make sure you return e-mail inquiries, messages left on the answering machine, and keep your Web site up to date. Use such communication as an opportunity to build on the relationship you have with your customers and provide them with what they really want.