Chapter TwoSee Through Your Customers' EyesHow to See What Your Competitor Can't

From the time Amazon was a tiny company, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has regularly scanned customer emails, sometimes even ignoring the discussion at his own meetings as he does so. He immediately forwards both complaints and ideas for innovations and improvements to the people in his organization who can act on them, and expects them to do so promptly.

Most CEOs rely on lower-level employees to conduct such time-consuming customer intelligence. CEOs who do read customer emails might even feel guilty for not spending their time on more important company matters, like setting budgets, communicating with Wall Street, or discussing financial results with their team. ...

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