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Management article
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Reference no. U9710A
Authors: Adam Tobler
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Management Update", 1997

Abstract

Corporations today are finding that the road to growth is paved by the customer. Despite previous decades of ignoring consumers'' needs and wants, companies are now forced to think about the customer in terms of relationships rather than transactions. Customer-driven growth involves finding innovative ways to listen to current, as well as prospective, customers. The author gives a number of examples, such as Mazda''s practice of visiting junkyards to discover why customers might be dissatisfied with its cars. By focusing market development efforts on the actual end-users of their products, companies have been able to satisfy and create loyal customers, while at the same time growing their businesses.

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Abstract

Corporations today are finding that the road to growth is paved by the customer. Despite previous decades of ignoring consumers'' needs and wants, companies are now forced to think about the customer in terms of relationships rather than transactions. Customer-driven growth involves finding innovative ways to listen to current, as well as prospective, customers. The author gives a number of examples, such as Mazda''s practice of visiting junkyards to discover why customers might be dissatisfied with its cars. By focusing market development efforts on the actual end-users of their products, companies have been able to satisfy and create loyal customers, while at the same time growing their businesses.

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