Here’s a classic business maxim that was an article of faith for generations: “It’s essential to know at all times what your competition is doing, or you might lose old accounts and new prospects.”
Do you still worry about the competition? In the Age of the Customer, an obsession with the competition can result in an unfortunate and dangerous condition I call the “Customer? What Customer? Syndrome,” or CWCS for short.
A company has CWCS when it’s more likely to ask, “What’s my competition doing?” than the much more appropriate questions, “What do my customers want?” and “What are my customers’ expectations?”
There are two levels of CWCS. In this column, we’ll focus on Level I.