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Ensure senior executives get the customer experience

What your customers say in market research surveys may not always reflect their actual experience.

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Sometimes, what your customers say is not what they will end up doing, so try instead to put yourself in your customers' shoes, says Harvard Business Review.

"If your company is looking to innovate, don't waste time analyzing market research reports and delving into customer data. What customers say they will do is not necessarily what they end up doing.

Instead, put yourself in your customers' shoes. Observe them using products and watch for frustrations they may not even notice.

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Don't delegate these explorations to the market research consultants. Do it yourself. Make sure senior people in your organization – those who have the strategic understanding to recognize opportunity and the authority to act on it – get out and observe customers too."

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