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Pick Their Brains

Dig deep and answer the eternal question: "What do my customers want?"

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This story appears in the October 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Give customers what they want. It's a simple idea that tends to perplex many an e-commerce merchant. That's understandable, to an extent: When you're busy operating an online store, fulfilling orders and enacting various banner campaigns, communicating directly with customers-and formally finding out about them-often falls by the wayside. Days are packed with running the business, and before you know it, you're acting on gut rather than hard data.

But neglecting to peek inside your customers' heads can have dire consequences. Face it: How do you honestly know what they want-or what they don't want-if you don't even bother to ask?

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