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this week's Marketing
complacency precedes a slow
downward spiral without obvious
causes. As society, technology
and other companies change yet
you do not, your vitality ebbs.
The stage is set for customer
attrition and defections.
You can reverse that decline by
frank discussions with
longtime, valued customers.
Quite possibly, your first-
thought solutions don't match
what matters most to your best
Try these questions that I found
in a Deloitte Touche
Tohmatsu white paper:
* What do our competitors do
better than us?
* If you were us, what would you
* If we lost your business, what
do you think the cause would be?
Sitting down face to face to ask
such questions will yield better
answers than a survey, the white
paper suggests. Even better,
because people who like you
don't like to tell you bad news,
have a third party do the
"The easiest kind of
relationship is with 10,000
The hardest is with one," says
singer Joan Baez. She may not
have been thinking of business
in that quote, but the point
Dare to ask. Then listen.
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