Let’s face it. Customers, even long-term customers, can be fickle. They want to save money, and that means they may leave your company to save money. You’re always looking to keep your customers happy, find new customers, and keep your business thriving, even in a tough economy.

If you’re losing customers, or just afraid you’re going to lose customers in this rough economy, there are some things you can do to make sure you don’t lose those customers. Here are some things to make sure you know exactly what they’re looking for so you can meet their needs even better than you are right now.

First, conduct an email campaign including a discount or coupon. While this may not work for all businesses, it will for most or them. Usually, customers won’t fill out a survey, there’s nothing in it for them. But if you include an incentive with the survey, like a discount, gift, or coupon, you’re more likely to get responses, and you can use those responses to get informative demographic information that can help you learn what your customers think about you and your products. This will keep them coming back for more because you gave them something to use the next time they need services or products from your business.

Next, try contacting your long-term customers by phone. You need to maintain a close personal relationship with your best customers, and one of the best ways to do that is with the phone periodically. Let them know what you’re offering and what you’re doing, and ask them what they like, and what they don’t like. Let them know you want them to be candid and you really want to hear their honest feedback. Think about it as a “lessons learned” exercise, which we can all learn from periodically.

Finally, analyze your customer purchase trends. You really should be doing this all along in your business, but in smaller businesses, it can be very hard to do it right. Pick a time period, perhaps a few months, or the entire year, and see who were your best customers, where they come from, what they’re buying, and how much they’re spending.

Many businesses don’t pay attention to these statistics, but many of them don’t, and this can be extremely dangerous for them if they don’t. You can’t be as profitable as possible if you don’t know these statistics, so it’s important to get a way to find them in place if you don’t. Use these tips to help grow your business, and stop losing customers when you don’t have to.

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