Happy New Year!

I think everyone can agree that 2011 was a very challenging year, whether it was getting used to a new job (or new job responsibilities) or determining how to get more done with fewer resources.  However, in these constantly evolving and turbulent times there is one constant that always seems to come up and that is the need to “Listen to your Customer”.

Whether you are a research supplier, manufacturer, retailer or really any other type of organization with customers, the key to being a good resource to your clients is to be a good listener.  The status quo is just not good enough anymore and since growing and maintaining your business is harder than ever, you cannot be successful without this level of collaboration.

There is however another step in this process and that is to act on this information.  You may be no better than the person who does nothing (and maybe worse) if you know what you need to do but ignore the signs.  That’s not to say that you should not do what is best for you (and your organization), but there is generally a common ground that makes these types of activities “win-win” solutions for everyone.

An example of these types of collaborative activities is the increase we have seen in shared cost and syndicated studies.  Most business issues are not unique to one organization and if you would take the time to discuss and listen to your customer’s needs you may find that there are better solutions at lower costs.  At Meyers Research Center we have increased the number of syndicated studies we complete each year with our Dollar Store (Wave V) and Membership Warehouse Club (Wave I) Close-Up reports released in late 2011 and Convenience Stores (Wave IX) and Alternate Grocery (Wave I)  planned for 2012.   

We would love to hear your thoughts in this area or to learn about some collaborative experiences that have worked for your company.

 Good luck in 2012!