Businesses should ensure they get to know their customers

David Cameron
David Cameron

Knowing your customers is paramount to business success, says Northamptonshire Chamber’s Paul Griffiths.

Earlier this month Northamptonshire Chamber carried out a survey on chamber membership. We wanted to find out what our members thought of our events, products and services.

We wanted to know what were they using, what do they feel we could do better, is there anything we are not offering that we should be?

As I write this column, the survey data is still being pulled together, but the number of responses has been encouraging and we intend to use the opinions gathered from this survey to improve and enhance the chamber’s services to local companies.

Coincidentally, on May 13, our counterparts at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) launched a national awareness campaign, which aims to get across the message that each and every member of a BCC accredited Chamber – such as Northamptonshire Chamber – is “well connected” to do business.

This is because, not only will they make new business contacts at a local level, they will automatically become part of a nationwide business network of 53 accredited chambers, serving more than 104,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people.

To give an example of how this works in reality, we have been able, in the last few months, to put forward some wonderful opportunities to Northamptonshire companies thanks to our links with the BCC.

Earlier this month, Sonifex, of Wellingborough, attended a breakfast meeting with the Prime Minister at Number 10 to discuss exporting and the issues faced by businesses who trade internationally.

Back in March, Crick Software, of Northampton, got the opportunity to fly out to Moscow as part of a British Chambers of Commerce Trade Mission to explore new markets in Russia.

We were also able to arrange for DB Shoes, of Rushden, to attend a round table discussion with the chairman of Small Businesses at RBS.

These instances all helped our members with issues relevant to their business today.

The accredited chamber network also showed itself in a positive light in February, when members of Milton Keynes & North Bucks Chamber were left with no way of processing vital export documentation for the transportation of goods abroad.

Northamptonshire Chamber and two other neighbouring chambers stepped in to offer the services of our international trade teams to help them.

We should all take the time to listen to the people who buy our products, take up our services and ultimately enable our business to succeed.

Do you really know your customers and what is going on at their business?

Can you help them address a need you don’t even know exists yet?

If so, there could be the potential to grow and expand.

Northamptonshire Chamber is holding a free 60 minute seminar, which is open to chamber members only, entitled How to Keep Your Customers Coming Back For More at Northamptonshire Chamber on Waterside Way, Northampton from 8am to 9am on Monday, July 1.

To find out more details, call the chamber on 01604 490490.