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The Hidden Power of Your Customers: Four Keys to Growing Your Business Through Existing Customers by Becky Carroll

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CUSTOMER LISTENING POSTS

To begin, I advocate that you spend time on a regular basis listening to your customers at the locations where they “hang out.” In many cases, that could be in online forums or chat rooms, on social networks, or elsewhere in the digital universe. In the case of Walt Disney World guests, it could even be in the hot tub!

Recently, my family stayed four nights at a Disney World resort in Florida. At the end of a long day, with feet aching, we headed to the resort's hot tub by the pool to soothe our tired muscles before another day of theme park exploration. We overheard some very interesting conversations and learned a lot.

We learned which theme park to visit early in the morning and where the crowds would be. We learned which hotel restaurants to eat at and which ones to avoid (and why). We learned what other Disney guests liked, and didn’t like, about each park: the rides, restaurants, shops, lines, shows—you name it, they discussed it. We were definitely influenced by this unexpected word of mouth.

What valuable information this would be for Disney! We participated in a survey at one of the theme parks; I even took the time to answer the follow-up survey I received in my e-mail. However, I couldn't help but think that Disney's team would find much more open and honest information bubbling out of their guests (pun intended) if they went to any of the company's resort hotels and listened in on conversations taking place in the hot tubs.

Of course, we can't ...

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