Knowing what your customers want is one of the basic rules of business but it got lost in old adage "if you build it they will come". Well the news is they won't come if they don't want it so you need to get in touch with what your customers really wants in order to be successful. In the internet age, businesses have caught up by serving customers what they want by using popular keyword searches to serve potential customers. The good news that this is one of the many methods available to find out what your customers want.
The most popular method of finding out what your customers want is through social media monitoring. Sites such as SocialMention.com are very, very useful for finding out what people are talking about. It's akin to listening in on people's private conversations. You can use it to find out what people are saying about your business personally and about what they want in terms of the products/services you offer. All you do is put in the keyword you wish to search for and all the relevant consversations will populate and you go through and read as much as you wish. Your own access to market research without the cost. Make sure to use it in a balanced approach ie. read a fair amount to get a reasonable idea of what is being said rather than just one or two, it is easy to get skewed responses that way.
Another poplular method is to use online surveys/polls. Posted on your website or to your email database it is an easy way to get regular feedback from customers about a varied number of questions. Polls are usually one question in length and are not designed for in depth analysis but are useful in their own way. Surveys provide in depth analysis and are useful for pre and post product launches, in diagnosing problems withing your business and in getting a broadside view of customers' changing tastes and trends. If you're looking to add a poll or survey to your website there are a great number of providers out there, even free ones as well if you're looking to try a service before fully committing.
These are just the online services available, there are also telephone surveys, postal surveys, feedback boxes and industry information that are all available to you to help you know your customer so you too will know how to be successful in business.