I often say perception is reality. Take the time to listen to what people are saying about your business. Be more interested in the negative than the positive. When listening to complaints, look not to defend yourself and your business, which is human nature, but how to turn that negative to a positive. If you go in with that attitude, you are more apt to regain the business you might have lost, but more importantly have a new way to distinguish your business from others which you can market and advertise. Examples of this might be waiting in line, parking, wheelchair access, cleanliness and lack of product amongst many others. Donna Dahl of the Calgary Beacon has a great article on this with a great example at : http://www.calgarybeacon.com/2010/12/your-marketing-minute-wisdom-from-the-complaint-department/.
Try an internet search of yourself and your business once a week. You may be quite taken aback by what people might say about your business, especially if you're a restaurant. Websites like urban spoon are a revalation for a restauranteur to get feedback positive and negative and make changes. A client of mine has a fantastic 100% profile on the site: http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/15/1483812/restaurant/Northeast/Trembling-Cup-Calgary . I added my 2 cents and read all of the posts and tweaked their ad a bit to reflect how their customers felt about them. We added the Urban Spoon address to the site, added a picture of proprietor Mrs. Lee and the tag line "Smiles are always free". All giving the perception that it's a warm, friendly place to have a cup of coffee. It helps to know that it's true. You can see the ad on page 18 at: http://www.calgaryarea.com/pdf/Crossroads.pdf . Right next to a good looking ad man! Tongue firmly in cheek!
In a previous post I spoke about asking your customers how they felt about your business, but taking that further and asking what they don't like about your business may be worth MUCH MUCH more!