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Managing Customer Relationships: A Strategic Framework, 2nd Edition by Martha Rogers, Don Peppers

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Chapter 9

Privacy and Customer Feedback

Being good is good business.

—Anita Roddick

Getting customer information is easy. You can buy it from the government, from list brokers, from competitors even. But getting customer information from customers is not easy, as we’ve seen in the last two chapters. Yet it’s absolutely necessary, because the only real competitive advantage an enterprise can have derives from the information it gathers from a customer, which enables it to do something for him that no one else can. Competitors without a customer’s personal information are at a disadvantage. That is the one compelling reason an enterprise must interact with its customers and reward them for revealing their personal information. It is also the main reason why an enterprise should never misuse the information it owns about a customer or violate a customer’s trust—because a customer is the most valuable asset the firm has, and the ability to get a customer to share information depends so much on the comfort level a customer has with giving that information to an enterprise.

Interestingly, for the first time since we all became aware of privacy as an issue, enterprises and customers share a common interest: protecting and securing the customer’s information. At least that’s true of customers who are thinking about the implications of their far-flung data and of enterprises that are building their value through strategies designed to build the value of the customer base.

In this chapter, ...

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